08 March 2020 Military News
- Afghan president demands 'executive guarantee' before release of Taliban inmates Press TV 08 Mar 2020 -- The Afghan president says the proposed release of five-thousand jailed Taliban militants under the US deal will happen only if Kabul gets a guarantee that they will not return to violence
- Taliban Says Intra-Afghan Talks Unlikely To Start On Schedule RFE/RL 08 Mar 2020 -- The Taliban says talks scheduled this week with Afghanistan's government are unlikely to take place on time because of plans by two rivals for the Afghan presidency to conduct parallel swearing-in ceremonies.
- Afghan Provincial Council Member Killed In Kabul Gun Attack RFE/RL 08 Mar 2020 -- Unidentified gunman have killed a local provincial council member and two of his bodyguards in a March 8 attack in the Afghan capital, Kabul.
- Afghan forces will reverse 'defense mode' if Taliban continues attacks: Defense minister Press TV 08 Mar 2020 -- Afghanistan's defense minister says the government forces would switch from 'defense mode' to offensive if the Taliban militant group does not stop attacks by the end of the week.
- Gunmen kill local official, bodyguards in Afghan capital Press TV 08 Mar 2020 -- A local Afghan official has been killed in an attack by gunmen, who also killed two of his bodyguards and left another one wounded, in the capital, Kabul.
- Member of Afghanistan's Logar Provincial Council Killed in Kabul - Council Member Sputnik 08 Mar 2020 -- The incident took place on Sunday morning in the Kart-e-Naw area of Kabul's District 8. Afghanistan has long been suffering from an unstable security situation. The government has been fighting the Taliban, which has been waging a war against Kabul for almost two decades, and Daesh* that has been active in Afghanistan since 2015.
- US military to deploy troops to Mexico border to halt illegal crossings, virus spread Press TV 08 Mar 2020 -- The US military has deployed 160 active-duty soldiers to the southern border regions to entry points at San Ysidro, California and El Paso, Texas in a purported bid to bolster security against a spike in illegal crossings and the spread of corona virus into the country.
- Top Al-Shabab Commander Believed Killed in Drone Strike VOA 08 Mar 2020 -- The U.S. military has confirmed to VOA that one of al-Shabab's top leaders was likely killed in a drone strike last month.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Finland to Skip NATO Cold Response Drills Amid Coronavirus Fears Sputnik 08 Mar 2020 -- The Finnish Armed Forces on Sunday bowed out of the Norway-led Cold Response exercise involving NATO allies and partners amid coronavirus concerns.
- China refutes report about Chinese ship firing laser at American aircraft PLA Daily 08 Mar 2020 -- A spokesperson for China's Ministry of National Defense on Friday refuted a U.S. media report about a Chinese navy destroyer firing laser at a P-8A reconnaissance aircraft of the U.S. armed forces from the Philippine Sea.
- North Korea's Launch of Projectiles May Be Part of Drills, Contradicts Agreements - Seoul Sputnik 09 Mar 2020 -- The projectiles launched by North Korea on Monday toward the Sea of Japan may have been a part of a military exercise, and they go against the inter-Korean military deal, the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said.
- North Korea Launches Three Projectiles Into Sea of Japan - Reports Sputnik 08 Mar 2020 -- This is the second time the DPRK has launched missiles recently, following the launch of two unidentified projectiles into the Sea of Japan on 2 March.
- British Typhoon Fighters Escort Russian Tu-142 ASW Aircraft Sputnik 08 Mar 2020 -- Earlier, the Northern Fleet press service reported that two Russian Tu-142 anti-submarine aircraft had flown over the neutral waters of the Barents Sea, Norwegian Sea and North Sea, as well as the Atlantic Ocean, in anticipation of the start of NATO exercises in Norway.
- Saudi-led coalition launches air raids in Yemen's Hudaydah Press TV 08 Mar 2020 -- The Saudi-led coalition has carried out fresh airstrikes in Yemen's western province of Hudaydah in violation of the 2018 Stockholm Agreement.
- Syrian army, residents block US military convoy, force it to retreat in Hasakah Press TV 08 Mar 2020 -- A US military convoy has been forced to retreat from an area in Syria's northeastern province of Hasakah after government forces blocked its way and groups of angry local residents, upset with its presence in the region, throw stones at the US convoy.
- Erdogan Threatens Unilateral Action in Idlib if Russia-Brokered Ceasefire Goes Awry Sputnik 08 Mar 2020 -- Russia brokered a ceasefire between Turkey and Syria on Thursday, which wrapped up weeks of fighting in Syria's last rebel-held province that caused dozens of casualties on both sides.
- Russian Military Police Continue Patrols of Syria's Northern Provinces Sputnik 08 Mar 2020 -- Russian military police are continuing to patrol the Syrian-Turkish border in the north Syrian provinces of Aleppo, Raqqah and Hasakah, the head of the Russian Defen?e Ministry's cent?? for Syria reconciliation, Rear Admiral Oleg Zhuravlev said on Sunday.
- Russian Military Deliver Humanitarian Aid to Settlement Near Syria's Aleppo Sputnik 08 Mar 2020 -- The Russian Defence Ministry's Reconciliation Center in Syria has delivered humanitarian aid to residents of the Syrian Amiria village near the city of Aleppo.
- Cease-Fire Pact Remains in Effect in Syria's Idlib VOA 08 Mar 2020 -- The cease-fire deal in Syria's northwestern province of Idlib remains in effect Sunday.
- Four army soldiers, 13 rebels killed in DR Congo clashes Press TV 08 Mar 2020 -- Heavy clashes between government forces and armed rebels in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have left four soldiers and at least 13 militia gunmen dead in the country's troubled east.
- UN: Nearly 1 Million DRC Refugees in Urgent Need of Support VOA 08 Mar 2020 -- The U.N. refugee agency Friday launched an appeal for $621 million to assist nearly 1 million refugees who have fled violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo seeking safety in neighboring countries. Lisa Schlein reports for VOA from Geneva.
- Ahead Of MH17 Trial, Russians Appear Skeptical But Open To Its Findings RFE/RL 08 Mar 2020 -- For almost six years, Russia's most respected pollster has tracked public opinion about the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, which killed all 298 people on board and further damaged Russia's badly frayed relations with the West months into the war in eastern Ukraine.
- Trial of Four Suspects in MH17 Case US Dept. of State 08 Mar 2020 -- "The United States welcomes tomorrow's commencement of the criminal trial in the Netherlands of four individuals indicted for the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17."
- Chinese Activist Who Called on Xi to Resign Detained on State Security Charges VOA 08 Mar 2020 -- Prominent Chinese activist and legal academic Xu Zhiyong, who has urged President Xi Jinping to step down over the coronavirus epidemic and other crises, has been held by authorities in secret detention on a state security charge that carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in jail, his friends said Sunday.
- North Korea Rush Orders Medical Supplies from China to Battle Coronavirus Radio Free Asia 08 Mar 2020 -- Authorities in North Korea have put in a rush order for medical supplies necessary to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus from China, sources within the isolated country told RFA's Korean Service.
- 4th prince arrested in Saudi royal purge over alleged coup plot: NY Times Press TV 08 Mar 2020 -- Saudi Arabia has detained a fourth prince in a new purge of royal family members over an alleged coup attempt to unseat King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and his son Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS).
- Southern Indian State Moves To Contain Bird Flu Outbreak VOA 08 Mar 2020 -- A southern Indian state has begun a three-day bird culling process to contain an outbreak of avian influenza, also known as bird flu.
- Hezbollah backs Lebanon government's decision not to repay $1bn in foreign currency debt Press TV 08 Mar 2020 -- The Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah has expressed its support for the government's decision not to pay looming Eurobond maturities due on Monday, emphasizing that the measure secures liquidity and prevents bankruptcy in the heavily indebted state.
- Uzbek President Orders Abolition Of State Cotton Quotas RFE/RL 08 Mar 2020 -- President Shavkat Mirziyoev has ordered the abolition of a decades-old state quota system for cotton crops, a major change that rights activists said should help end the Uzbekistan's longtime problem with forced labor.
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