12 March 2020 Military News
- US Hits Back in Iraq, Targeting Militia Behind Deadly Rocket Attack VOA 12 Mar 2020 -- U.S. warplanes soaring through the skies of Iraq hit a series of sites belonging to an Iranian-backed militia, exacting revenge for a deadly attack on American and coalition troops just 24 hours earlier.
- Statement by the Department of Defense DoD 12 Mar 2020 -- Earlier this evening, the United States conducted defensive precision strikes against Kata'ib Hizbollah (KH) facilities across Iraq. These strikes targeted five weapon storage facilities to significantly degrade their ability to conduct future attacks against Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) coalition forces. These weapons storage facilities include facilities that housed weapons used to target U.S. and coalition troops.
- U.S. Officials Say Retaliatory Strikes Under Way On Iran-Backed Militia In Iraq RFE/RL 12 Mar 2020 -- U.S. officials say retaliatory air strikes are under way against an Iran-backed militia group operating in Iraq following a deadly attack a day earlier against a base hosting Western forces near Baghdad.
- Iranian-Backed Group Kills 3 Coalition Force Members in Iraq DoD News 12 Mar 2020 -- Two U.S. service members and a British soldier were killed and 14 others were wounded when an Iranian-backed Shia militia group in Iraq launched an attack against Camp Taji yesterday, DOD officials said today.
- Pentagon Chief: All Options on Table After Attack in Iraq VOA 12 Mar 2020 -- Secretary of Defense Mark Esper says "all options are on the table" to respond to the deadly rocket attack on an Iraqi base housing U.S. and coalition troops, which the United States says was carried out by Iranian-backed forces.
- U.S. Envoy Calls On Afghan Leaders To End Election Standoff, Seize 'Historic Opportunity' For Peace RFE/RL 12 Mar 2020 -- U.S. envoy to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad has called on Afghan leaders to end their standoff over a disputed presidential election and seize a "historic opportunity" for peace.
- Top US Commander Doubts Afghan Taliban Commitment to Peace VOA 12 Mar 2020 -- The United States is not ready to abandon its agreement with the Taliban in Afghanistan, but the general in charge of U.S. forces in the region says there are signs the deal ultimately may be doomed.
- US, British troops in Aden, more to arrive in Yemen strategic areas: Reports Press TV 12 Mar 2020 -- The Emirati-backed separatists in southern Yemen say hundreds of US and British forces have arrived in the port city of Aden as the first batch of a large military force that Washington and London seek to deploy to the Arab country's resource-rich areas under the guise of fighting terrorism.
Defense Policy / Programs
- U.S. Congress Votes To Limit Trump Military Action Against Iran; Veto A Certainty RFE/RL 12 Mar 2020 -- In a sharp rebuke to President Donald Trump, the U.S. Congress has given final approval to a measure to limit Trump's authority to order a military attack on Iran -- a resolution sure to be vetoed by the U.S. leader.
- Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark A. Milley Media Availability DoD 12 Mar 2020 -- Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper; Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Mark Milley
- Right-Sizing, Not Reduction at Guantanamo, Southcom Commander Says DoD News 12 Mar 2020 -- Since the Guantanamo Bay detention camp stood up in 2002, nearly 780 prisoners have been housed there. Today, the facility holds just 40 men, one who has been convicted and 39 others who are detainees, said Navy Adm. Craig S. Faller, commander of U.S. Southern Command. Now, there are plans to adjust operations at the facility to reflect this new reality.
- DOD Halts Travel To, From COVID-19 Affected Countries DoD News 12 Mar 2020 -- In response to the growing coronavirus epidemic, Defense Department officials are looking to safeguard the health and safety of military and civilian personnel and their families.
- 6th annual Bersama Warrior exercise underway in Malaysia Army News 12 Mar 2020 -- The sixth annual Bersama Warrior multinational exercise began March 11 with an opening ceremony officiated by Malaysian Armed Forces Joint Force Headquarters Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Abd Malik bin Jiran and U.S. Army 25th Infantry Division Commander Maj. Gen. James B. Jarrard.
- Low Supply, Old Ships Put Sealift at Risk, DOD Officials Say DoD News 12 Mar 2020 -- The mission of U.S. Transportation Command is to move people and materiel globally over land, sea and air.
- Briefing With Senior State Department Official On the PRC's Military-Civil Fusion Strategy US Dept. of State 12 Mar 2020
- Chinese drones see rapid production despite epidemic, indicating high demand Global Times 12 Mar 2020 -- Production of the CH-4, one of the top selling armed reconnaissance drones in the world developed by China, has now resumed as the novel coronavirus epidemic is being brought under control in the country. A workshop was seen full of drones being assembled, as analysts predicted on Thursday the CH-4 will see great demand in the international market in 2020.
- Remarks by President Trump and Prime Minister Varadkar of Ireland Before Bilateral Meeting The White House 12 Mar 2020
- 12 March 2020 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 12 Mar 2020
- De-escalate now, to steer Yemen off 'precarious path', UN Security Council hears UN News 12 Mar 2020 -- Yemen is at a "critical juncture", the UN Special Envoy for the country told the Security Council on Thursday. Speaking via video-link, Martin Griffiths said that the combatants will either move towards de-escalation or greater violence, which would make "the path to the negotiating table more arduous".
- Turkey says its forces will remain in Syria's Idlib despite truce Press TV 12 Mar 2020 -- Turkey says its military personnel will stay in Idlib Province despite a ceasefire deal with Russia, and that any withdrawal from the embattled Syrian region is "out of the question."
- Warplanes hit Syrian-Iraqi border area, kill 18 Iraqi forces Press TV 12 Mar 2020 -- Warplanes have struck an area in eastern Syria near the Iraqi border, killing at least 18 members of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), hours after a rocket attack against US-led coalition forces in Iraq reportedly left three members of the coalition dead.
- Iran-Backed Fighters 'Killed' In Syria Air Strikes After Iraq Base Attack RFE/RL 12 Mar 2020 -- Air strikes in eastern Syria have killed 26 fighters from an Iran-backed Iraqi paramilitary group following a deadly attack on U.S.-led coalition forces in neighboring Iraq.
- War in Syria: 'Carnage', flouting of rights and international law, must stop: Guterres UN News 12 Mar 2020 -- UN agencies have underscored their commitment to continue supporting civilians affected by the war in Syria, which this month enters its tenth year. The Secretary-General issued a statement on Thursday, declaring that "we cannot allow the tenth year to result in the same carnage, the same flouting of human rights and international humanitarian law."
- PMU group: Humiliating Iraqi nation will not go unpunished Press TV 12 Mar 2020 -- Iraq's Kata'ib Hezbollah, which is part of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), has strongly denounced the illegal US military presence on Iraqi soil, stressing that humiliating the Iraqi nation will not go unpunished.
- Iraqi leaders condemn rocket attack on base housing US troops near Baghdad Press TV 12 Mar 2020 -- Iraqi leaders have condemned a Wednesday rocket attack that hit a military base housing American troop near the capital Baghdad.
- Iraq: UN mission urges 'maximum restraint' following deadly attack on foreign troops UN News 12 Mar 2020 -- The UN mission in Iraq has called for 'maximum restraint' following a deadly attack on foreign forces serving under the United States-led coalition against the militant group ISIL.
- UAE pouring arms, military supplies into Libya despite UN arms embargo: Report Press TV 12 Mar 2020 -- The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is pouring arms and military supplies into Libya despite a United Nations arms embargo against the war-ravaged country, a report says.
- Trump Threatens to Veto House-passed Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Reforms VOA 12 Mar 2020 -- The U.S. House of Representatives voted this week to change the way the FBI and National Security Agency use the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to conduct electronic surveillance of foreign nationals and agents in the United States. But President Donald Trump indicated Thursday that he might veto the bipartisan bill, saying he and his allies wanted more information about how the FBI's investigation of alleged ties between his 2016 presidential campaign and Russia was launched.
- Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova, Moscow, March 12, 2020 Russia Ministry of Foreign Affairs 12 Mar 2020
- Kremlin's Fiscal Strength Put To The Test By Plummeting Oil Prices RFE/RL 12 Mar 2020 -- Earlier this month, Russia's finance minister had this to say about the health of the government's budget and the global benchmark for oil prices, which was trading at around $50 a barrel: Even if prices dropped to $30 a barrel, Anton Siluanov said, the government would be able to operate without difficulty for four years.
- Russian Constitutional Amendments Spark Protests, Police Detentions RFE/RL 12 Mar 2020 -- Police in St. Petersburg and several other Russian cities have detained activists during and ahead of protests against sweeping constitutional amendments that open the possibility for President Vladimir Putin to remain in power for another 16 years.
- Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang's Regular Press Conference on March 12, 2020 PRC MofA 12 Mar 2020
- With virus basically curbed, China pushes ahead battle against economic fallout People's Daily 12 Mar 2020 -- After securing an upper hand in its all-out confrontation with the novel coronavirus on home turf, China is warily repositioning itself to fight the economic fallouts of the outbreak already declared as a pandemic.
- Uyghur, Falun Gong Detainees Likely Source For China's Organ Market: Report Radio Free Asia 12 Mar 2020 -- Organs for sale on China's transplant market are most likely illegally sourced from ethnic Uyghur and Falun Gong practitioner prisoners of conscience, according to a new report by a Washington-based rights group.
- U.S. Congress Seeks Import Ban On China's Xinjiang Region Over Forced Labor RFE/RL 12 Mar 2020 -- A bipartisan U.S. Congressional commission has introduced legislation to ban imports from the northwestern Chinese region of Xinjiang, where lawmakers say mostly Muslim indigenous people are being forced to work against their will in detention centers and factories.
- President holds meeting to address economic impact of COVID-19 CNA 12 Mar 2020 -- President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) convened a national security meeting of senior officials Thursday to respond to the economic impact of the coronavirus disease 2019, COVID-19, amid the global spread of the virus.
- U.S. Senate passes TAIPEI Act unanimously CNA 12 Mar 2020 -- The United States Senate passed the Taiwan Allies International Protection and Enhancement Initiative (TAIPEI) Act of 2019 Wednesday with unanimous consent.
- Iran Seeks IMF Loan For Coronavirus Efforts As Aide To Supreme Leader 'Infected' RFE/RL 12 Mar 2020 -- Iran has announced the infection of a top adviser to the country's supreme leader and 75 new deaths from illness caused by the novel coronavirus, raising the death toll in the country to 429, as Tehran said it was seeking a multibillion-dollar emergency loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to combat the outbreak.
- Message to the Congress on the Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to Iran The White House 12 Mar 2020
- Text of a Notice on the Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to Iran The White House 12 Mar 2020
- Treasury Targets Additional Russian Oil Brokerage Firm for Continued Support of Maduro Regime US Treasury 12 Mar 2020 -- The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today designated TNK Trading International S.A. (TTI) for operating in the oil sector of the Venezuelan economy. TTI, incorporated in Switzerland, is a subsidiary of Russian state-controlled Rosneft Oil Company.
- Malawi Opposition Parties Form Alliance Ahead of Fresh Polls VOA 12 Mar 2020 -- Two of Malawi's biggest opposition parties have formed an electoral alliance for the May 19 polls. The two parties were behind the lawsuit that prompted a court to throw out last year's election results and order a rerun of the vote. The ruling party has also formed an alliance, setting up a fierce battle for presidency.
- Myanmar Ruling Party Constitutional Amendments Again Thwarted Radio Free Asia 12 Mar 2020 -- Myanmar lawmakers on Thursday failed to pass constitutional amendments proposed by Myanmar's ruling National League for Democracy party to reduce the power of the country's military chief during states of emergency.
- Sanctions Against Businesses Linked to Mexican Cartels US Dept. of State 12 Mar 2020 -- The United States is committed to preventing and combating narcotics trafficking globally. The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) yesterday designated four Mexican businesses pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act) due to their links to the Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generacion (CJNG) and the Los Cuinis Drug Trafficking Organization (Los Cuinis), two of the most powerful drug trafficking organizations in Mexico.
- US Envoy Rejects Government 'Conspiracy Theories' in Cambodia Opposition Chief Trial Radio Free Asia 12 Mar 2020 -- The U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia issued a rare statement Thursday on the ongoing treason trial of opposition leader Kem Sokha, praising the veteran politician and denouncing what he said were "fabricated conspiracy theories about the United States" introduced by the prosecution.
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