19 March 2020 Military News
- US Presses for Afghan Prisoner Swap Amid Coronavirus Fears VOA 19 Mar 2020 -- The United States is calling on warring sides in Afghanistan to start a prisoner swap without further delay, citing urgency in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
- U.S. Urges Afghan Government, Taliban To Move Forward With Prisoner Releases RFE/RL 19 Mar 2020 -- The United States says the government of Afghanistan and the Taliban should begin prisoner releases "as soon as possible," adding that the global coronavirus pandemic is making this a matter of even greater urgency.
- Federal Government of Somalia, AMISOM, AFRICOM conduct operations against al-Shabaab AFRICOM 19 Mar 2020 -- As part of an African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Somali National Army operation, and in coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted five airstrikes against al-Shabaab terrorists near Janaale, Somalia, March 16-17.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Ike, Truman Conduct Dual Carrier, Joint Air Wing Ops in Arabian Sea NNS 19 Mar 2020 -- USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) and USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) began dual carrier strike group and joint air wing operations with a B-52 Bomber from U.S. Air Forces Central Command in the Arabian Sea March 18, 2020.
- Readout of Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper's Telephone Call with Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa DoD 19 Mar 2020
- Pentagon Cancels Deployment of 20,000 Troops to Poland for Anti-Russia War Games Sputnik 19 Mar 2020 -- With much of its top brass in self-quarantine and the US State Department recommending against travel, US Army Europe has canceled the deployment of thousands of US troops to Poland for massive war games aimed at Russia.
- Secretary General presents Annual Report for 2019, addresses NATO's response to COVID-19 pandemic NATO 19 Mar 2020 -- NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg presented his Annual Report for 2019 and outlined the Alliance's response to the COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday (19 March 2020). In light of measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus, the Secretary General launched his report for the first time with a virtual press conference.
- Chinese major homemade aircraft conducts test flights despite epidemic People's Daily 19 Mar 2020 -- Major Chinese home-grown aircraft, including the C919 large passenger jet, AG600 large amphibious aircraft and Y-20 large transport aircraft, have managed to conduct test flights and operations despite the novel coronavirus epidemic.
- Chinese female pilot cadets conduct landing training with runway lighting system PLA Daily 19 Mar 2020 -- For the first time, the 11th batch of 11 female pilot cadets of the Chinese PLA Air Force carried out the night landing training with runway end identifier lights (REILs) at the airport of a training base under the PLA Air Force Aviation University on March 13, 2020.
- UK personnel to drawdown from Iraq UK MOD 19 Mar 2020 -- Following a pause in the coalition training mission in Iraq, some service personnel will be redeploying back to the UK.
- Ministry of Defence signs Rs 880 crore contract for Light Machine Guns with Israeli firm India PIB 19 Mar 2020 -- The Indian Armed Forces' long-standing requirement of a modern state-of-the-art Light Machine Gun (LMG) has finally fructified. The Acquisition Wing of Ministry of Defence has signed the capital acquisition contract with Israel Weapons Industries for procurement of 16,479 LMGs at a cost of Rs 880 crore with the approval of Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh.
- Taiwanese Air Force Intercepts PLA Jets in Nighttime Drill Over International Waters Sputnik 19 Mar 2020 -- Jets from Taiwan's air force recently rushed to intercept Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) fighters flying over international waters in the Taiwan Strait.
- Two Turkish soldiers killed in Syria's Idlib despite truce agreement Press TV 19 Mar 2020 -- Two Turkish soldiers have been killed in Syria's embattled northwestern province of Idlib, officials say.
- Two Turkish Soldiers Killed in Rocket Attack by 'Radical Groups' in Syria's Idlib Sputnik 19 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.
- Russia denies US claim it 'killed dozens of Turkish soldiers' in Syria Press TV 19 Mar 2020 -- A source at the Russian Foreign Ministry has dismissed as "plain lies" claims made by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that Russia has killed dozens of Turkish military forces in Syria.
- Militant attack kills 29 Malian soldiers: Army Press TV 19 Mar 2020 -- An attack by militants on a base in Mali's northeastern part has left 29 soldiers dead, the Malian army says.
- Troika Statement: South Sudanese Government Forms Cabinet US Dept. of State 19 Mar 2020 -- The following statement was issued jointly by the Governments of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, and the Kingdom of Norway.
- UN official applauds move by Central African Republic to prevent child recruitment UN News 19 Mar 2020 -- A senior United Nations official has welcomed the move by lawmakers in the Central African Republic (CAR) to criminalize child recruitment.
- Top Secret No Longer: MI5 Confirms Existence of Previously Unheard of CounterIntelligence Unit Sputnik 19 Mar 2020 -- The unit is said to be based at Thames House in London, home to the UK's domestic counterintelligence and security agency, MI5.
- Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova, Moscow, March 19, 2020 Russia Ministry of Foreign Affairs 19 Mar 2020
- Date Set For Trial Of U.S. Citizen Charged With 'Espionage' In Russia RFE/RL 19 Mar 2020 -- The trial of a former U.S. Marine who is being held in a Moscow prison on espionage charges will start on March 23, his lawyers say.
- Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang's Regular Press Conference on March 19, 2020 PRC MofA 19 Mar 2020
- Tit-for-tat media spat decays ties Global Times 19 Mar 2020 -- China's latest measures against several US publications in the country have been billed as a tit-for-tat move against similar restrictions on Chinese media outlets in the US, but it also signals that Beijing has taken a more direct approach against Washington's constant ideological attacks and serves as a warning to anti-China forces in the US that their words and deeds will no longer go unanswered, Chinese sources and analysts said on Wednesday.
- China to firmly support its media to safeguard reputation, interests: Chinese FM Global Times 19 Mar 2020 -- China supports its media in safeguarding their reputation and interests, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Thursday, adding that China is forced to take relevant countermeasures against American media reporters in China, based on the principle of reciprocity.
- Zarif: Coronavirus outbreak in Iran exposed reality of cruel sanctions to world IRNA 19 Mar 2020 -- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the Iranians celebrate Nowruz concurrent with the arrival of Spring while the country is faced with multiple and historic challenges and stressed the coronavirus outbreak in Iran exposed the reality of the US sanctions to the world.
- US imposes new anti-Iran sanctions on UAE companies Press TV 19 Mar 2020 -- The United States has imposed new anti-Iran sanctions on five companies based in the United Arab Emirates, accusing them of having purchased petroleum products from Iran in 2019.
- Treasury Targets Companies Facilitating Iran's Petroleum Sales US Treasury 19 Mar 2020 -- The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today took action against five United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based companies that facilitate the Iranian regime's petroleum and petrochemical sales. In 2019, these five companies collectively purchased hundreds of thousands of metric tons of petroleum products from the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC).
- Bumpy Road for New Iraqi Prime Minister-Designate VOA 19 Mar 2020 -- Iraqi President Barham Salih's choice of former Najaf Governor Adnan Zurfi to form a new government is meeting opposition from the country's divided Shiite political camp, along with the country's main power broker, Iran.
- Pakistani Doctor Charged with Attempting to Provide Material Support to ISIS US Dept. of Justice 19 Mar 2020 -- Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers and U.S. Attorney Erica H. MacDonald for the District of Minnesota today announced a federal criminal complaint against Muhammad Masood, 28, charging him with attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization.
- Kosovo Coalition Partner To Seek No-Confidence Vote After Interior Minister Is Fired RFE/RL 19 Mar 2020 -- A partner in Kosovo's ruling coalition says it will seek a no-confidence vote in parliament against the government, potentially engulfing the small Balkan nation into a political crisis even as it battles along with the rest of the world to curtail the coronavirus pandemic.
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