20 March 2020 Military News
- US Admits Taliban Offensive Is Whittling IS's Grip on Afghanistan VOA 20 Mar 2020 -- Almost a week since the Afghan Taliban trumpeted the defeat of the Islamic State in Afghanistan's Kunar province, U.S. officials remain wary, though they concede the terror group's grip on territory in rural areas appears to be slipping.
- Taliban 'infiltrators' kill dozens of Afghan troops, policemen in attack on army base Press TV 20 Mar 2020 -- At least two dozen Afghan security forces and policemen have been killed and several others are missing after "Taliban infiltrators" attacked them in an army base in southern Afghanistan.
- At Least 24 Afghan Security Forces Killed In Insider Attack RFE/RL 20 Mar 2020 -- At least 24 Afghan security forces were killed early on March 20 in an insider attack on their base in southern Zabul Province, officials say.
- US Urges End to Afghan Political Rift to Advance Peace, COVID Fight VOA 20 Mar 2020 -- The United States on Friday urged Afghan leaders to end a lingering political dispute and work together to advance peace-building efforts, with officials stressing the emerging coronavirus threat required a "coordinated, proactive response."
- AFRICOM Tells VOA: US Kills 15 al-Shabab Terrorists in Latest Somalia Airstrikes VOA 20 Mar 2020 -- U.S. airstrikes in Somalia this week killed more than 15 al-Shabab terrorists who were battling African Union and Somali forces, U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) spokesman Major Karl Wiest told VOA on Friday.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Department of Defense Tests Hypersonic Glide Body DoD 20 Mar 2020 -- The Department of Defense successfully tested a hypersonic glide body in a flight experiment conducted from the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Kauai, Hawaii, March 19 at approximately 10:30 p.m. local time (HST).
- Department of Defense Tests Hypersonic Glide Body NNS 20 Mar 2020 -- The Department of Defense successfully tested a hypersonic glide body in a flight experiment conducted from the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Kauai, Hawaii, March 19 at approximately 10:30 p.m. local time (HST).
- Readout of Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper's Phone Call With Indian Minister of Defense Rajnath Singh DoD 20 Mar 2020
- Coronavirus Slows Eucom Exercise but Fails to Affect Readiness DoD News 20 Mar 2020 -- In the U.S. European Command area of responsibility, where approximately 35 cases of COVID-19 have been reported among the 72,000 service members assigned there, some participation in Exercise Defender-Europe 20 has slowed – but readiness to participate in the defense of the continent hasn't changed at all, said the Eucom commander.
- NATO Boosted Aerial Surveillance Near Russian Borders by 20 Percent in 2019 - Shoigu Sputnik 20 Mar 2020 -- Sergei Shoigu has pointed out that "a number of countries use any pretext to build up a military presence near Russia's borders".
- Russian Defence Ministry Sets Up Operational HQs to Prevent Spread of COVID-19 in Armed Forces Sputnik 20 Mar 2020 -- The number of patients infected with COVID-19 in Russia has increased by 52 people over the past 24 hours, the country's operational headquarters for preventing the spread of coronavirus said earlier in the day.
- Tsirkon Missile to Be Test-Fired for First Time in 2020 From Admiral Gorshkov Frigate – Source Sputnik 20 Mar 2020 -- The Tsirkon hypersonic missile will be test-fired for the first time this year in spring from the Admiral Gorshkov frigate, a source in the Russian defence industry said.
- Combined arms battalion becomes PLA Army's basic deployable unit PLA Daily 20 Mar 2020 -- Recently, a PLA Army brigade conducted an offensive exercise by a combined arms battalion in the south of Fujian Province. Wu Min, commander of the 3rd combined arms battalion, together with the other four staff officers, mapped out ad hoc combat scheme on-site. They proposed various striking methods correspondingly to different battlefield targets and coordinated over 10 different arms units to launch rapid and fierce attacks against mock enemy positions.
- China-made military aircraft FTC-2000G makes key progress PLA Daily 20 Mar 2020 -- According to domestic news reports, recently, Guizhou Aviation Industry Corporation (GAIC) under the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) recently launched a massive internal campaign for high-quality FTC-2000G multi-role aircraft. Comprehensive schemes for the development and production work of the FTC-2000G aircraft were formulated in details, in a bid to improve scientific research and production in an all-round manner and deliver high-quality aircraft to the users.
- Briefing With Senior State Department Official On the Global Oil Market US Dept. of State 20 Mar 2020
- Briefing With Assistant Secretary of State David Schenker On Updates on Developments in the Middle East and North Africa US Dept. of State 20 Mar 2020
- 20 March 2020 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 20 Mar 2020
- Research stations established in South China Sea PLA Daily 20 Mar 2020 -- The Chinese Academy of Sciences has established two research stations on Yongshu and Zhubi islands in the South China Sea to allow scientists to live and conduct field studies on ecology, geology and environment.
- About 30 Malian Servicemen Killed in Terrorist Attack in Country's Northeast Sputnik 20 Mar 2020 -- The Malian army has lost 29 servicemen as a result of a terrorist attack in the northeastern region of Mali, the military command said.
- UNHCR delivers much-needed aid to Sudanese refugees in Chad UN News 20 Mar 2020 -- Nearly 94 tonnes of emergency aid has been airlifted into Chad to support thousands of people who have fled ongoing violence in Sudan's West Darfur state, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, reported on Friday.
- UN rights chief urges South Sudan authorities to address inter-communal violence UN News 20 Mar 2020 -- Authorities in South Sudan must address intercommunal violence if the nation is to achieve lasting peace, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said on Friday, in response to a recent escalation in fighting in the east and central parts of the country.
- Cameroon's Military Raids Separatist Camps Ahead of Election Rerun VOA 20 Mar 2020 -- Cameroon's military says it has killed 24 separatists who vowed to disrupt Sunday's election rerun in the country's English-speaking regions. The anglophone rebels say the casualties were on the military's side, but witnesses say a number of those killed were civilians caught up in the fighting.
- Breakaway Abkhazia Set To Hold Election Under Cloud Of Controversy, Coronavirus RFE/RL 20 Mar 2020 -- Just weeks ago, the leading contender in this election was lying in a Russian hospital bed recovering from the second mysterious bout of the flu to derail his bid to lead Abkhazia, prompting all candidates to suspend their campaigns.
- The Week In Russia: COVID-19, The Constitution, And A Bitter Anniversary For Crimean Tatars RFE/RL 20 Mar 2020 -- The Constitutional Court jumped through hoops to give an amendment that could keep President Vladimir Putin in power until 2036 a clean bill of health, while the coronavirus could hand a real-life test to a Kremlin often focused on imagery and optics. And the anniversary of Russia's takeover of their homeland shone a grim spotlight on Moscow's treatment of Crimean Tatars.
- Russia, Saudi Arabia Not Engaged in Price Wars - Kremlin Sputnik 20 Mar 2020 -- Russia and Saudi Arabia are not engaged in any price war on the oil market, the global situation is unfortunate for oil prices, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Friday.
- China Stalls Gas Imports as Demand Slides Radio Free Asia 20 Mar 2020 -- Frictions are rising between China and its energy suppliers as the world's leading importer tries to cancel natural gas deliveries due to slumping demand.
- Another gas rig comes on line at Iranian offshore reserve in Persian Gulf Press TV 20 Mar 2020 -- Iran has started pumping natural gas from a new offshore drilling rig in the Persian Gulf while a local contractor finishes installation for a separate platform in the region as development efforts continue in Iran's giant energy sector despite a series of tough sanctions imposed by the United States.
- Iranians Mark Somber Norouz Amid Coronavirus Mayhem RFE/RL 20 Mar 2020 -- Iranians are marking a somber Norouz amid one of the world's worst coronavirus outbreaks that has officially killed over 1,400 and spread to all of the country's 31 provinces.
- Leader: Increasing production continues to be key point in the new year IRNA 20 Mar 2020 -- Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in a message on Friday morning congratulated the Iranian nation on the New Year and appreciated the work of the Iranian medical staff who are bravely fighting the coronavirus outbreak in the country.
- President Rouhani: Sanctions failed to force Iran to give in to US pressure Press TV 20 Mar 2020 -- Iran's President Hassan Rouhani says US sanctions and pressures have failed to force the Iranian nation to give in to Washington's excessive demands.
- Leaders Highlight Iranians' 'Sacrifices' As Country Celebrates Subdued New Year RFE/RL 20 Mar 2020 -- In messages marking the Persian New Year that falls amid a deadly coronavirus outbreak, Iran's supreme leader and president both acknowledged that the past year had been difficult.
- Lebanon summons US envoy over Israel operative's escape from country Press TV 20 Mar 2020 -- Lebanon's foreign minister has summoned the US ambassador to Beirut over the escape of an Israeli operative from the country with the help of the American embassy despite a travel ban imposed on him.
- US Urges New Iraqi PM to Defend Sovereignty, Protect Coalition Troops VOA 20 Mar 2020 -- The United States said Iraq's newly designated prime minister, Adnan al-Zurfi, would have the support of Washington and the international community if he would defend Iraq's sovereignty and protect U.S.-led coalition troops, while addressing "legitimate demands" from Iraqi protesters.
- Former Allies Challenge Turkey's Erdogan VOA 20 Mar 2020 -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is facing twin challenges from former key allies as discontent grows over a sluggish economy and deteriorating human rights.
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