04 February 2020 Military News
- Islamic State Poised for Comeback, US Defense Officials Report VOA 04 Feb 2020 -- U.S. defense and intelligence officials say the special forces operation that killed former Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in Syria last October has done little to hinder the terror group.
- Afghan Taliban Urges Pompeo to Refrain from 'Blame-shifting' VOA 04 Feb 2020 -- The Taliban rejected charges Tuesday by the United States that the insurgent group lacks "will or capacity or both" to take steps needed to advance turbulent negotiations between the two foes aimed at ending the war in Afghanistan.
- Taliban say US has 'harmed' negotiations Press TV 04 Feb 2020 -- The Afghan Taliban militant group says the United States has "harmed" negotiations that have been going on and off between the two sides.
- Federal Government of Somalia, AFRICOM conduct airstrike against al-Shabaab terrorist AFRICOM 04 Feb 2020 -- In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted an airstrike targeting an al-Shabaab terrorist in the vicinity of Beer Xaani, Somalia, Feb. 4.
- Federal Government of Somalia, AFRICOM conduct operations against al-Shabaab terrorists AFRICOM 04 Feb 2020 -- In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted a series of operations to disrupt al-Shabaab terrorists in various locations in southern Somalia, Jan. 23-29.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Statement on the Fielding of the W76-2 Low-Yield Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile Warhead DoD 04 Feb 2020 -- "The U.S. Navy has fielded the W76-2 low-yield submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) warhead. In the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review, the department identified the requirement to "modify a small number of submarine-launched ballistic missile warheads" to address the conclusion that potential adversaries, like Russia, believe that employment of low-yield nuclear weapons will give them an advantage over the United States and its allies and partners."
- US Deploys 'Low Yield' Nuclear Weapon in Response to Russian Tests VOA 04 Feb 2020 -- The Pentagon says it is deploying long-range missiles armed with low-yield nuclear warheads of reduced destructive power in response to Russia testing similar weapons.
- Digital Directorate sets new pace for Phase II SBIR awards US Air Force 04 Feb 2020 -- The Digital Directorate recently employed an innovative approach to rapidly award seven Phase II Small Business Innovative Research Program, or SBIR, contracts, enabling startup recipients to advance technologies presented at two 2019 pitch days.
- 315th AW delivers humanitarian aid to Honduras US Air Force 04 Feb 2020 -- Airmen from the 315th Airlift Wing deployed a C-17 Globemaster III Feb. 1 to deliver donated humanitarian aid to Honduras in support of the Denton Program.
- Mail Call Diego Garcia: The Most Isolated Post Office in the World NNS 04 Feb 2020 -- Diego Garcia is one of the Navy's most remote duty stations. There are no malls or department stores here, so most service members and civilians stationed here regularly order items in the mail. Due to this, the Logistics Specialists (LS) onboard U.S. Navy Support Facility (NSF) Diego Garcia, who work as postal clerks, are used to hearing one question, "Is there mail call today?"
- NATO allies meet for Defender 20 strategic planning workshop in Warsaw Army News 04 Feb 2020 -- In support of Exercise Defender-Europe 20, service members and representatives from Poland, the U.S. and other NATO partners met for a strategic planning workshop in Warsaw, Poland on Jan. 30, 2020.
- North Macedonia Hopes For NATO Accession Ratification In March RFE/RL 04 Feb 2020 -- Macedonian President Stevo Pendarovski has said that he expects Spain, the last country that needs to ratify its North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) accession, to be ready to do so next month.
- Russia Wants Talks On Norway's 'Restrictions' To Its Activities On Arctic Islands RFE/RL 04 Feb 2020 -- Russia has asked Norway for talks to address what it called illegal restrictions of its activities on the Arctic Svalbard archipelago.
- Chinese peacekeepers to perform humanitarian demining mission in Lebanon PLA Daily 04 Feb 2020 -- The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and the Lebanese Armed Forces(LAF) recently held a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signing ceremony aiming to strengthen both sides' cooperation on humanitarian demining.
- Russia, India Extend Licensed Manufacturing of T-90S Tanks Until 2028 - Trade Minister Sputnik 04 Feb 2020 -- Russia and India signed a deal extending the licensed manufacturing of T-90s tanks until 2028, Denis Manturov, the Russian minister of industry and trade, told Sputnik.
- Russia starts production of S-400 systems for India Press TV 04 Feb 2020 -- Russia says it has started the production of a batch of S-400 missile defense systems for India under a deal the two countries reached two years ago, despite threats of sanctions made by the United States against New Delhi over the purchase of the advanced Russian systems.
- Russia Begins Production of S-400 Air Defence Systems for India Sputnik 04 Feb 2020 -- Russia has begun production of S-400 air defence missile systems for India, Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov said.
- Taiwan coast guard beefs up patrols amid coronavirus outbreak CNA 04 Feb 2020 -- The Coast Guard Administration (CGA) on Tuesday stepped up patrols in western Taiwan and around the offshore county of Penghu, as part of the central government's efforts to combat the novel coronavirus outbreak that originated in China.
- Morocco's military takes delivery of 3 Israeli-made Heron reconnaissance drones: Report Press TV 04 Feb 2020 -- The Moroccan military has reportedly received three Israeli-made and long-endurance Heron unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) as the Northern African country maintains informal but close intelligence ties with the Tel Aviv regime.
- Remarks by President Trump in State of the Union Address The White House 04 Feb 2020
- Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Keith Krach US Dept. of State 04 Feb 2020
- 2020's 'wind of madness' indicates growing instability: UN chief UN News 04 Feb 2020 -- Rising instability and unpredictable geopolitical tensions have led to a "wind of madness" across the world, Secretary-General António Guterres said on Tuesday during his main annual press conference for journalists at UN Headquarters in New York.
- Resolving Israel-Palestinian conflict, 'key to sustainable peace' in the Middle East: Guterres UN News 04 Feb 2020 -- Resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is "key to sustainable peace in the Middle East", the UN chief said on Tuesday, maintaining that the lack of any progress only "furthers radicalization across the region".
- Escalation of Violence in Idlib US Dept. of State 04 Feb 2020 -- "The United States once again condemns the continued, unjustifiable, and ruthless assaults on the people of Idlib by the Assad regime, Russia, Iran, and Hizballah."
- Militant drone strike targets refinery, gas facilities in Syria's Homs, causes damage Press TV 04 Feb 2020 -- Syrian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali Ghanem says foreign-sponsored Takfiri militants have launched a drone strike against a gas field and a number of energy facilities in the country's central province of Homs, causing fire and material damage.
- Turkey takes up its Syria accusations with Russia Press TV 04 Feb 2020 -- Turkey accuses the Syrian military of targeting its observation posts in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib, claiming it is up to Russia to "stop" Damascus.
- Erdogan, Putin Discuss Recent Attack on Turkish Military in Syria's Idlib Over Phone Sputnik 04 Feb 2020 -- The Turkish Defence Ministry said on Monday that five Turkish military officers and a civilian staffer had been killed in an attack by the Syrian army in the province of Idlib.
- UN chief sees Turkey-Syria clashes as threat to int'l peace, security People's Daily 04 Feb 2020 -- United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is "very much alarmed" by reports of clashes between Turkish and Syrian troops in northwest Syria seen as a "threat to regional and international peace and security," his spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Monday.
- Libya rivals agree to ceasefire in principle, UN envoy says Press TV 04 Feb 2020 -- The United Nations (UN) envoy for Libya says the warring sides in the North African country have agreed in principle to transform a shaky truce into a permanent ceasefire.
- Both sides in Libya conflict agree need for lasting ceasefire: UN negotiator UN News 04 Feb 2020 -- The UN negotiator leading talks in Geneva to secure an end to fighting in Libya said on Tuesday that high-ranking officials from both sides of the conflict have agreed on the need for a "permanent and lasting" ceasefire to replace an uncertain truce.
- Military Talks to End Libya Fighting Underway VOA 04 Feb 2020 -- U.N.-sponsored military and security talks aimed at achieving a lasting cease-fire in Libya are underway in Geneva. The negotiations are held as Libya's warring parties continue to violate a temporary truce agreed to in mid-January.
- Myanmar cuts off internet in violence-hit states, intercom firm says Press TV 04 Feb 2020 -- A leading global telecoms operator says Myanmar has imposed an internet shutdown in the country's western states of Rakhine and Chin, amid renewed violence and a few months after it partially lifted that same restriction.
- Myanmar Reimposes Internet Ban in Rakhine And Chin Townships Radio Free Asia 04 Feb 2020 -- The Myanmar government on Monday reimposed an internet shutdown in five townships of war-torn Rakhine and Chin states amid ongoing armed conflict between national forces and a rebel army, after partially lifting the block five months ago.
- Official: ICC Will Prosecute People Who Committed Crimes against Rohingya in Myanmar Radio Free Asia 04 Feb 2020 -- The International Criminal Court (ICC) is gathering evidence against people suspected of crimes against Rohingya in Myanmar, a senior prosecutor told reporters in Dhaka on Tuesday, after a sister court ruled last month in a genocide case brought against Naypyidaw.
- International Court Gathering Evidence in Rohingya Case VOA 04 Feb 2020 -- A team from the International Criminal Court's Office of the Prosecutor is in Bangladesh to begin mapping out an investigation into alleged crimes against humanity committed against Rohingya people from Myanmar.
- South Sudan: UN official welcomes release of women and children abducted by armed group UN News 04 Feb 2020 -- The expert leading UN efforts to stamp out sexual violence committed during wartime has welcomed the release of 78 women and 50 children by an armed group in South Sudan.
- Impeached Trump Upbeat in State of Union Speech VOA 04 Feb 2020 -- In his third State of the Union address, President Donald Trump Tuesday night told a bitterly divided Congress and country that his administration, in three years, has "shattered the mentality of American decline" and rejected "the downsizing of Americans' destiny."
- Senators Give Speeches Ahead of Expected Vote to Acquit Trump in Impeachment Trial VOA 04 Feb 2020 -- U.S. Senators were delivering speeches Tuesday on whether President Donald Trump should be removed from office, as he himself prepared to deliver his annual State of the Union address later in the day before members of Congress.
- Nigeria to Receive Over $300 Million Stolen by Former Dictator VOA 04 Feb 2020 -- Nigeria is set to receive around $308 million seized from bank accounts of former military dictator Sani Abacha under a deal among the United States, the British island of Jersey and Nigeria.
- Return of Stolen Assets to the Nigerian People US Dept. of State 04 Feb 2020 -- On February 3, the State Department hosted a ceremony for the signing of an agreement between the U.S. government, the Bailiwick of Jersey, and the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for the return of more than $308 million to the Nigerian people. In the 1990s, the assets were stolen by former military dictator Sani Abacha, and stashed abroad. More than 20 years later, these assets are being returned to the Nigerian people.
- Secretary Michael R. Pompeo Statements to the Press With Nigerian Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama US Dept. of State 04 Feb 2020
- CIA spy in Iran sentenced to death: Judiciary Spox IRNA 04 Feb 2020 -- Iran's Judiciary spokesman said on Tuesday that the spy who had passed Iran's nuclear information to the Central Intelligence Agency of the US (CIA) is sentenced to death.
- CIA spy sentenced to death ISNA 04 Feb 2020 -- "Amir Rahimpour, a CIA spy who was trying to pass on Iran's nuclear information to US, is sentenced to death," Iran's Judiciary spokesman, Gholamhossein Esmaili said on Tuesday.
- Iran's judiciary sentences "CIA spy" to death: spokesman People's Daily 04 Feb 2020 -- Iran's Judiciary spokesman Gholam Hossein Esmaili said Tuesday that the country's Supreme Court has approved the death sentence of an Iranian who was spying for the United States, semi-official Fars news agency reported.
- Iran's top court upholds death sentence for CIA spy Press TV 04 Feb 2020 -- Iran's Judiciary says the Supreme Court has upheld a death sentence issued against an Iranian individual convicted of committing espionage for the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
- One Person In Iran Sentenced To Death, Two Others To Prison For Spying For CIA RFE/RL 04 Feb 2020 -- One person was sentenced to death and two more people were sentenced to lengthy prison terms for spying for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, a spokesman for Iran's judiciary said on February 4.
- Denmark, Netherlands summon Saudi ambassadors over espionage activities Press TV 04 Feb 2020 -- The Danish and Dutch governments have summoned the Saudi ambassadors to Copenhagen and Stockholm, respectively, in order to express their official protest after arresting and charging four terrorists for spying on behalf of the kingdom in the two European states.
- Families of Kazakhs in Xinjiang's Camps Say Pompeo Promised To Help Radio Free Asia 04 Feb 2020 -- The families of ethnic minority Kazakhs detained in China's mass incarceration camps in its northwestern region of Xinjiang across the border from Kazakhstan say the U.S. Secretary of State was "in touch with" Beijing over the plight of their relatives.
- Europe minds to give more time to nuclear negotiations, says Borrell IRNA 04 Feb 2020 -- European Union Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell said on Tuesday that European parts to the JCPOA by triggering dispute resolution mechanism want to keep the deal alive and give more time for negotiations.
- EU likely to avoid sending Iran nuclear case to UN, triggering new sanctions: Borrell Press TV 04 Feb 2020 -- The European Union will extend indefinitely the time limit to resolve disputes in a 2015 nuclear deal signed between Iran and major world powers to avoid having to go to the United Nations Security Council or triggering new sanctions, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell says.
- Iran to Continue Cooperation on Ukrainian Plane Crash Probe After Talks Leak- Authorities Sputnik 04 Feb 2020 -- Iran will continue cooperating with other countries on the probe into the Ukrainian aircraft crash despite the leak of dispatchers' talks, the country's Civil Aviation Organisation said.
- Turkish-Russian Tension Over Syria Opens Door to Washington VOA 04 Feb 2020 -- Questions about the future of Turkey's rapprochement with Russia are growing as fallout continues from Monday's killing of at least five Turkish soldiers by Russia-backed Syrian government forces.
- Russian Firm Seeks To Recover $11 Million Loan From French Far-Right Leader's Party RFE/RL 04 Feb 2020 -- An obscure Russian aircraft parts company is suing the political party led by French far-right politician Marine Le Pen to recover a $10.8 million that was lent in 2014 to help fund election campaigns in France.
- Lukashenka Says Possible Talks With Putin Will Be 'Moment Of Truth' RFE/RL 04 Feb 2020 -- Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin this week to discuss ongoing disagreements over tariffs for Russian oil.
- Israel's Netanyahu, Sudan's ruling council chief meet in Uganda, sparking Palestinian ire Press TV 04 Feb 2020 -- Israel says it has reached an agreement with Sudan to jointly work towards normalization of ties, after leaders of the two sides held a secret meeting in Uganda, drawing angry reactions from all Palestinian factions.
- Arrest Warrant Issued for Ex-South African President Jacob Zuma VOA 04 Feb 2020 -- An arrest warrant has been issued for former South African President Jacob Zuma after he failed to appear for a scheduled court appearance Tuesday on corruption charges.
- One-Third Of Ukrainians Say They Belong To Church Independent Of Moscow RFE/RL 04 Feb 2020 -- More than one-third (34 percent) of Ukrainians identify with the newly created independent Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU), a poll found conducted by the Kyiv-based Razumkov Center think tank and published on February 3.
- Justice Department Secures Denaturalization of Convicted Terrorist Who Sought to Help al Qaeda Destroy the Brooklyn Bridge US Dept. of Justice 04 Feb 2020 -- Court Denaturalizes Iyman Faris Based on His Provision of Material Support to al Qaeda in Early 2000s, Which Included a Personal Meeting with Usama bin Laden at Terrorist Training Camp Months After Taking Oath of Allegiance to the United States
- EU to unveil reforms in accession system to appease France Press TV 04 Feb 2020 -- The European Commission is to propose changes to the European Union (EU)'s accession system to accommodate French concerns and end France's opposition to the membership of certain new countries.
- EU Proposes Greater Role For Member States In Enlargement Process RFE/RL 04 Feb 2020 -- The European Commission has drafted a new methodology to handle the bloc's enlargement process that would give member states a stronger role in accession talks with EU hopefuls, according to a document seen by RFE/RL.
- Turkmen Leader Dedicates $1.5 Billion To Build New City RFE/RL 04 Feb 2020 -- Turkmenistan's authoritarian leader, Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, has ordered the government to allocate $1.5 billion to buy equipment and materials from foreign nations to build a new city from scratch.
- Ready Or Not, Albin Kurti Is Kosovo's Man Of The Moment RFE/RL 04 Feb 2020 -- Kosovo's prime minister, 44-year-old Albin Kurti, is a former student leader who made his name taking the political battle to those in power.
- Bulgaria's President Blasts Government Over 'Lack Of Will' To Fight Graft RFE/RL 04 Feb 2020 -- Bulgarian President Rumen Radev has accused the center-right government of endangering the survival of the country by failing to tackle endemic corruption amid a scandal over water shortages that cost Environment Minister Neno Dimov his job.
- Bolivia: UN underlines support for 'credible, transparent and inclusive' election UN News 04 Feb 2020 -- With Bolivia this week reaching a "decisive stage" in its electoral process, the United Nations "will do everything possible" to support the country in holding a vote that is credible, transparent and inclusive, envoy Jean Arnault has said.
- Kenyans Remember Mixed Legacy of Moi VOA 04 Feb 2020 -- Daniel arap Moi, who served as Kenya's president between 1978 and 2002, has died in Nairobi at age 95. Kenyans have mixed memories of the longtime leader, with some recalling him as a force for stability and others remembering him as a tyrant.
- Meeting of Sudanese Leader, Netanyahu Sparks Criticism in Khartoum VOA 04 Feb 2020 -- The head of Sudan's ruling body, the Sovereign Council, met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Uganda Monday to discuss normalizing relations between the countries. The meeting sparked criticism from religious leaders and some officials in Sudan, for whom Israel remains a sensitive issue.
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