15 March 2020 Military News
- 3 U.S. Service Members Wounded in Iraq Attack DoD News 15 Mar 2020 -- Three U.S. service members were injured in a Katuyusha rocket attack on U.S., coalition and Iraqi forces at Camp Taji, Iraq, March 13, Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Rath Hoffman said in a briefing.
- US Navy surface forces and AC-130W gunships conduct joint operations in Arabian Gulf CENTCOM 15 Mar 2020 -- U.S. Navy Cyclone-class patrol coastal ships (PC) and P-8A Poseidon aircraft assigned to U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) conducted a first of its kind joint exercise with AC-130W Stinger II gunships assigned to Special Operations Command Central (SOCCENT), March 8 and 9.
- Afghan Government Postpones Plan To Release Taliban Prisoners RFE/RL 15 Mar 2020 -- Afghan authorities say they have delayed the release of 1,500 Taliban prisoners, throwing a precarious peace process into deeper crisis.
- Presidential Rift, Coronavirus Eclipse Afghan Peace Deal VOA 15 Mar 2020 -- A lingering dispute over Afghanistan's presidential election and an outbreak of coronavirus in the country appear to have complicated further an already troubled effort the United States is making to help find a negotiated end to nearly 19 years of war.
Defense Policy / Programs
- US commander vows to keep two aircraft carriers in Persian Gulf to deter Iran Press TV 15 Mar 2020 -- The US military plans to keep two aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf region, the commander of US Central Command (CENTCOM) has announced, claiming the move is aimed at deterring Iran from taking retaliatory action for what he described as "defensive" air strikes against Iraqi installations days ago.
- Cambodia, China launch joint military exercise on anti-terrorism, humanitarian rescue PLA Daily 15 Mar 2020 -- Cambodia and China launched the fourth joint drill on counter-terrorism and humanitarian rescue at the Techo Sen Chumkiri live-fire field in Cambodia's southwestern Kampot province on Sunday.
- Iran's Army launches drills to prevent, monitor coronavirus spread Press TV 15 Mar 2020 -- The Iranian Army has begun drills to prevent and monitor the outbreak of a new coronavirus as the country steps up its battle against the flu-like virus originating from China.
- Iraq will adopt different approach in case US troops refuse to withdraw: Badr bloc Press TV 15 Mar 2020 -- Iraq will adopt a different position on the presence of US and foreign military personnel on its soil if the troops refuse to withdraw despite demands by Baghdad as well as a related parliamentary resolution and a million-man demonstration to that end, the head of an Iraqi parliamentary bloc says.
- Japan Unveils Plans for Domestically-Made Hypersonic Weapons – Report Sputnik 15 Mar 2020 -- The blueprint reportedly stipulates the development of the Hypersonic Cruise Missile (HCM) and the Hyper Velocity Gliding Projectile (HVGP) which are expected to enter service in the early 2030s.
- Joint Statement on the Ninth Anniversary of the Syrian Uprising US Dept. of State 15 Mar 2020 -- The text of the following statement was released by the Governments of France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
- Nearly 5 million children born in war-hit Syria since 2011: UN Press TV 15 Mar 2020 -- Nearly five million children have been born since Syria plunged into foreign-sponsored militancy in 2011, while thousands of others were killed or wounded in the conflict, the UN children's agency says.
- US military dispatches over 60 trucks to oil-rich northeastern Syria: Report Press TV 15 Mar 2020 -- The United States has reportedly dispatched truckloads of military and logistical equipment to Syria's northeastern province of Hasakah as Washington and some of its regional allies keep vying with one another to seize oil reserves and plunder natural resources in the war-battered country.
- Russia, Turkey launch patrol mission in Syria's Idlib Press TV 15 Mar 2020 -- Russia and Turkey have begun jointly patrolling the strategic M4 highway in Syria's embattled northwestern province of Idlib as part of a ceasefire reached earlier this month.
- Russia, Turkey Carry Out First Joint Patrol In Syria RFE/RL 15 Mar 2020 -- Russia and Turkey carried out their first joint patrol along an east-west highway in northwest Syria on March 15, although the route was reportedly cut short due to militant activity.
- Syrian Civil War Enters 10th Year As Russia, Turkey Struggle To Maintain Truce RFE/RL 15 Mar 2020 -- Syria's bloody civil war enters its 10th year with the government of President Bashar al-Assad appearing to be consolidating his hold on power, backed by crucial military and political support from Russia and Iran.
- Russian Military Police Arrive for Holding Joint Patrol With Turkey in Syria's Idlib Sputnik 15 Mar 2020 -- The situation in northern Syria recently calmed down, as Moscow and Ankara reached a ceasefire, suspending clashes between Syrian forces on the one side, and Turkish troops and Turkey-backed militants on the other.
- Libya's UN-Backed GNA Forces Building Getaway Base Near Tunisia – LNA Sputnik 15 Mar 2020 -- The UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) in Libya is building a base near Tunisia to escape to if the Libyan National Army (LNA) seizes the capital, a spokesman for the eastern-based administration said Sunday.
- Libyan National Army Claims It Hit Tripoli's Mitiga Airport Killing Turkish Servicemen Sputnik 15 Mar 2020 -- Turkey has been sending troops to war-torn Libya to support the UN-backed Government of National Accord. According to Turkish President Erdogan, Ankara seeks to protect the GNA from being overthrown by the Libyan National Army, which supports the eastern-based interim government in the port city of Tobruk.
- Release of Canadian report on foreign meddling puts pressure on UK government to follow suit Press TV 15 Mar 2020 -- The imminent publication of a Canadian parliamentary report into foreign interference in Canadian public life has placed renewed pressure on the British government to release a similar report on Russian interference in British politics.
- 'A Whole New Ecosystem': Independent Journalism Learns To Survive In Putin's Russia RFE/RL 15 Mar 2020 -- MOSCOW -- The decades of President Vladimir Putin's rule in Russia have been unkind to the country's independent media.
- Russia's Putin approves constitutional changes, asks court for opinion Press TV 15 Mar 2020 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed off on legislation containing constitutional reforms, including an amendment that would enable the incumbent to potentially remain in office until 2036.
- China strengthens fiscal support for poor people hit by epidemic People's Daily 15 Mar 2020 -- China will boost fiscal support to secure guarantees for the basic life of impoverished people affected by the novel coronavirus epidemic, a senior official said Saturday.
- Netanyahu Rival Gantz Gets First Chance at Forming a New Israeli Government VOA 15 Mar 2020 -- Israeli opposition leader Benny Gantz will be given the first opportunity to form a new government, Israel's president said Sunday.
- Saudi Aramco reports strong 2019 results despite difficult macro environment SPA 15 Mar 2020 -- The Saudi Arabian Oil Company ("Saudi Aramco" or "the Company") today announced its full-year 2019 financial results, delivering strong profits and dividends despite a lower price environment and challenging margins in refining and chemicals.
- Analysis: Do Oil Price Cuts Signal Bad Economic Times Will Return To Central Asia? RFE/RL 15 Mar 2020 -- It's looking like deja vu of the worst kind in Central Asia as a new economic jolt is coming to the region, only this time with some added bad news.
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