01 April 2020 Military News
- US forces withdraw from strategic airbase in Iraq's Anbar, to officially hand it over next week Press TV 01 Apr 2020 -- An Iraqi security source says a group of American troops, who are part of the US-led military coalition purportedly formed to fight the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group, has pulled out of a strategic airbase in Iraq's western province of Anbar and moved to another military site in the country.
- Trump Warns Iran Of 'Heavy Price' If U.S. Attacked In Iraq RFE/RL 01 Apr 2020 -- President Donald Trump has warned Iran of a "heavy price" if it or its allies in Iraq attack U.S. troops or assets in Iraq.
- Afghan government, Taliban hold face-to-face talks for first time Press TV 01 Apr 2020 -- Afghan government representatives have held face-to-face talks with a Taliban delegation in the capital, Kabul, for the first time to discuss a prisoner exchange, in what would pave the way for peace negotiations between the two sides.
- Taliban team arrives in Afghan capital to begin prisoner exchange process Press TV 01 Apr 2020 -- A Taliban delegation is in Afghanistan's capital to start a prisoner exchange process with the government meant to pave the way for intra-Afghan peace talks, which are envisaged in an agreement reached in February between the militant group and the United States.
- Afghan Government, Taliban Team Discuss Prisoner Swap In Kabul RFE/RL 01 Apr 2020 -- Afghan government representatives have met with a three-member Taliban team in Kabul to discuss a prisoner swap as part of a peace deal signed by the Taliban and the United States in late February.
- At Least Eight Afghan Civilians Killed By Roadside Bomb In Helmand RFE/RL 01 Apr 2020 -- At least eight civilians, mostly children, were killed when their vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan's southern province of Helmand.
- UN Official Urges Afghan Rivals To 'Rally Together' To Help Bring Peace Deal RFE/RL 01 Apr 2020 -- The UN Security Council has called on political rivals in Afghanistan to "rally together" and finalize talks with the Taliban to help end the country's long, costly war.
- AFRICOM Bows to NGO Pressure, Vows Quarterly Reports on Civilian Casualties Sputnik 01 Apr 2020 -- Amid a barrage of damning evidence from Amnesty International, US Africa Command has pledged to begin presenting quarterly reports on civilian casualties resulting from US operations. AFRICOM has long claimed its actions rarely cause civilian deaths, but at present, it doesn't consider the question when authorizing attacks.
- General Compares DOD's COVID-19 Response to All-Out War DoD News 01 Apr 2020 -- The fight against the COVID-19 pandemic is an all-out war that's being approached as a large-scale military campaign, the commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command said.
- Comfort Treats First Patients in New York NNS 01 Apr 2020 -- The hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) treated its first patients Apr. 1 in support of the nation's COVID-19 response efforts.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Top Navy Official Provides Update on Aircraft Carrier COVID-19 Cases DoD News 01 Apr 2020 -- Numerous sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, and the Navy continues to support its subordinate commanders to protect sailors and Marines so they can protect the homeland and maintain their readiness to the best of their ability, Acting Navy Secretary Thomas B. Modly said.
- Air Force update for COVID-19 US Air Force 01 Apr 2020 -- In an effort to minimize the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 and to prioritize the health and safety of Department of the Air Force personnel, the following modifications have been made:
- Corps of Engineers Converts NYC's Javits Center Into Hospital DoD News 01 Apr 2020 -- The New York District of the Army Corps of Engineers has completed its conversion of the 1,800,000-square-foot Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City into an alternate care facility for more than 2,000 non-COVID-19 patients.
- Guam to quarantine US forces in hotel rooms amid covid-19 spread Press TV 01 Apr 2020 -- The US island territory of Guam says it will provide American forces onboard an aircraft carrier battling a covid-19 outbreak with hotel rooms to quarantine as Washington scrambles with the coronavirus pandemic.
- US Navy Evacuates Hundreds From Aircraft Carrier After Virus Outbreak - Secretary Sputnik 01 Apr 2020 -- US Navy began evacuating hundreds of sailors from its coronavirus-hit Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier, but will keep aboard enough personnel to maintain the nuclear-powered ship's safety, Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly told reporters on Wednesday.
- 'We are Not at War!' Captain of Coronavirus-Stricken US Navy Vessel Calls for Urgent Rescue Measures Sputnik 01 Apr 2020 -- After docking at the Vietnamese port of Da Nang, during which the crew went ashore and interacted with locals, the US Navy aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt pulled into Guam last week amid reports of several cases of COVID-19 registered among the crew.
- Captain Who Raised Alarm on COVID-19-Infected Carrier Could Face Punishment - US Navy Secretary Sputnik 01 Apr 2020 -- Earlier this week, the captain of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, which has reported dozens of COVID-19 cases while at sea, wrote a scathing letter to US Navy leaders demanding support in quarantining his crew. Now, the acting Navy secretary has said he might face a reprimand for it.
- US sailors will die unless virus-hit aircraft carrier evacuated: Captain Press TV 01 Apr 2020 -- American sailors aboard a US aircraft carrier will die unless the coronaviru-hit vessel is evacuated, the ship's captain warns.
- Goldfein says Air Force remains fully capable despite operational adjustments for coronavirus US Air Force 01 Apr 2020 -- Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein said April 1 that the Air Force is constantly assessing and adjusting practices to protect Airmen and families from the coronavirus pandemic while also ensuring that all operations continue worldwide.
- Navy Surface Forces, Army Attack Helicopters Conduct Integration Ops in Arabian Gulf NNS 01 Apr 2020 -- U.S. Navy Expeditionary Landing Base ship USS Lewis B. Puller (ESB 3), assigned to U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (USNAVCENT), has been conducting joint naval and air integration operations with U.S. Army AH-64E Apache attack helicopters assigned to U.S. Army Central Command's (USARCENT) Task Force Saber, throughout the month of March.
- US Space Force Pens $1 Billion in Contracts for Unjammable Modems Sputnik 01 Apr 2020 -- The US Space Force (USSF) has awarded two $500 million contracts to develop and produce satellite communications modems secure from enemy jamming.
- Coronavirus response: NATO Allies cooperate with private sector and academia, making 3D printing an essential contribution in the fight against COVID 19 pandemic NATO 01 Apr 2020 -- NATO Allies have joined efforts with private companies and academic institutions in the fight against the global pandemic of the Corona virus. These efforts include making 3D printing available to produce ventilator masks, which represent a crucial component of the medical equipment required to treat patients hit by the Corona virus.
- Coronavirus response to top NATO Ministerial agenda NATO 01 Apr 2020 -- NATO Foreign Ministers will hold a meeting by secure videoconference on Thursday (2 April 2020) to address the Alliance's response to the coronavirus and other key issues for the Alliance.
- With Eye On Russia, NATO Stresses Readiness During Coronavirus Crisis RFE/RL 01 Apr 2020 -- NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says the military alliance must not allow the coronavirus pandemic to become a security threat, warning that adversaries like Russia and terrorist groups could try to exploit the situation and conduct hostile activities.
- NATO Chief: Pandemic Won't Hamper Alliance's Capabilities VOA 01 Apr 2020 -- NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said Wednesday that the coronavirus pandemic had not diminished the alliance's ability to carry out its missions and keep allies secure.
- China May Have Operational Anti-Satellite Program - Reports Sputnik 01 Apr 2020 -- Recent reports on global space threats suggest that at least one of China's direct-ascent anti-satellite (DA-ASAT) programs may be operational and is expected to soon field launchers.
- PLA garrison in Hong Kong reports helicopter incident PLA Daily 01 Apr 2020 -- The Hong Kong Garrison of the Chinese People's Liberation Army reported a helicopter accident during its training at a park on Monday afternoon, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government said in a statement on Tuesday via its official website.
- China retains long-suspended railway to ensure maneuverability in war PLA Daily 01 Apr 2020 -- The Anhui-Jiangxi Railway connecting line under the Guixi Railway Station of Yingtan District in East China's Jiangxi Province will still be preserved after being suspended for over 10 years, announced the China Railway Nanchang Group on March 30, 2020.
- Cambodia Wraps up Two-Week Military Exercise With China Despite COVID-19 Concerns Radio Free Asia 01 Apr 2020 -- A two-week military exercise with China helped build up Cambodia's military capacity and relationship with the Chinese, the country's defense minister said, rejecting criticism that it was unwise to admit foreign visitors amid the coronavirus epidemic.
- US Military Furloughs Thousands of South Korean Workers VOA 01 Apr 2020 -- Thousands of South Korean workers on U.S. bases were placed on unpaid leave Wednesday, after the United States and South Korea failed to reach a deal on how to split the cost of the U.S. military presence here.
- US, South Korea seek to seal military deal after furloughs Press TV 01 Apr 2020 -- The commander of United States forces in South Korea has urged a prompt resolution of a lingering cost-sharing dispute between the two close allies that has resulted in the furloughing of over 4,000 Korean workers by the US.
- Despite Crisis at Home, US Provides Foreign Coronavirus Aid VOA 01 Apr 2020 -- As the COVID-19 outbreak grows in the United States, officials say they are mobilizing unprecedented resources to help Americans at home, while also continuing to provide health and humanitarian assistance to other countries struggling with the pandemic.
- Secretary Michael R. Pompeo Roundtable Interview With Journalists from East Asian and Pacific Media Outlets US Dept. of State 01 Apr 2020
- 1 April 2020 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 01 Apr 2020
- China Coast Guard Patrols Near Philippine-Occupied Second Thomas Shoal Radio Free Asia 01 Apr 2020 -- A China Coast Guard ship that was deployed during recent pressure campaigns in the South China Sea in Malaysian and Indonesian waters is now patrolling near land features claimed by the Philippines, ship-tracking data shows.
- Syrian air defenses intercept Israeli missiles over Homs: SANA Press TV 01 Apr 2020 -- The Syrian army says the country's air defenses in the central province of Homs have intercepted a number of missiles fired by Israeli warplanes.
- Second Myanmar Media Group Charged Over Interview With Banned Arakan Army Radio Free Asia 01 Apr 2020 -- Police have filed charges under Myanmar's Counter-Terrorism Law against the top editor of a Rakhine-based new agency and three reporters, the second prosecution in as many days of journalists for interviews with the Arakan Army since the ethnic force was declared a terrorist group last week, sources in Myanmar said.
- African Conflict Zones in Need of Cease-Fires for Coronavirus Aid VOA 01 Apr 2020 -- Africa security experts say efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic has been complicated by armed conflicts on the continent. Calls are growing for cease-fires to give health care workers safe access to all those at risk.
- Nigeria: UN and partners acting to avert coronavirus spread in displacement camps UN News 01 Apr 2020 -- The UN system in Nigeria and its partners are working to reduce the spread of the new coronavirus disease in some of the most vulnerable areas in the country: communities and camps housing millions of internally displaced people (IDPs) uprooted by the Boko Haram insurgency in the northeast.
- Text of a Notice on the Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to South Sudan The White House 01 Apr 2020
- Text of a Letter from the President to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate The White House 01 Apr 2020
- US Launches Counter-Narcotics Operations to Halt Flow of Illicit Drugs Amid Pandemic Sputnik 01 Apr 2020 -- US Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced on Wednesday that the US was beginning "enhanced counter-narcotics operations" in the Caribbean Sea and eastern Pacific Ocean, saying "many criminal organizations are attempting to capitalize" on the COVID-19 crisis.
- Lare Cache of Illegal Drugs Seized in Tunnel Stretching Acrozss US-Mexico Border VOA 01 Apr 2020 -- U.S. federal agents seized a large cache of drugs from a long tunnel used by smugglers to move them across the U.S.-Mexico border.
- One Russian Blogger's Effort To Unearth The Secrets Of Putin's Rise To Power RFE/RL 01 Apr 2020 -- Amid the crisis of the global coronavirus pandemic, the 20th anniversary of Vladimir Putin's first election as Russian president on March 26, 2000, passed largely unremarked. A long interview with Putin by the state news agency TASS that was expected to be rolled out in 20 installments running up to the big date was quietly postponed amid poor ratings after 17 segments, hopelessly overtaken by headline-grabbing events.
- Putin Signs Law Enabling Cabinet to Declare State of Emergency Sputnik 01 Apr 2020 -- Last week, Putin addressed the nation to announce a set of measures aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus. Currently, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Europe has exceeded 300,000, while in Russia the total number of registered infections stands at 2,777, according to Johns Hopkins University.
- Ukraine Says It Uncovered Spy Channel Between Naval Officer, Russia's FSB RFE/RL 01 Apr 2020 -- Ukraine's Security Service (SBU) says it has breached an espionage communication channel between a high-ranking Ukrainian naval officer and staff from Russia's main spy agency, the FSB, in the Russian-occupied Crimean Peninsula.
- EU Monitor: Russia, China Sow Distrust In West Through Coronavirus Disinformation RFE/RL 01 Apr 2020 -- Russia and China continue to deploy a campaign of disinformation around the coronavirus outbreak that could have "harmful consequences" for public health around the world, according to a report published by the EU's foreign-policy arm.
- Trump Ally Accuses WHO of 'Spreading Chinese Propaganda' as Beijing Blasts West's Cover-Up Claims Sputnik 01 Apr 2020 -- China has dismissed as 'nonsense' recent media reports about its alleged attempts to cover up the true scale of fatalities in Hubei – the province where the COVID-19 outbreak began late last year.
- Classified White House Intel Briefing Claims China Underreported COVID-19 Lethality – Report Sputnik 01 Apr 2020 -- US and Chinese officials began hurling accusations at one another over the genesis of the new coronavirus last month, with Western media and some officials now accusing the People's Republic of attempting to "cover up" the pandemic. China has rejected the suggestion, accusing the US and its allies of spouting "utter nonsense."
- British, Other Western Leaders Talk of Coronavirus 'Reckoning' With Beijing VOA 01 Apr 2020 -- The coronavirus pandemic may prompt Britain to abandon an already contentious deal with the Chinese telecom giant Huawei – retaliation, officials say, for the spread of disinformation by Beijing about the origins of the virus and for its evasiveness about the scale and infectiousness of the disease.
- China has no intention to compare with other countries on COVID-19 aid Global Times 01 Apr 2020 -- China has been offering assistance to other countries while combating COVID-19 at home, and China has no intention to compare with other countries in doing this, China's Foreign Ministry said following US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's claim that the US' contribution to the World Health Organization (WHO) is 10 times that of China.
- China willing to share virus experience, equipment with India: FM Global Times 01 Apr 2020 -- China said it is willing to share with India its own experience on fighting COVID-19 and to provide possible aid in its fight against the virus, a spokesperson of China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said on Wednesday, which marked the 70th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries.
- Uyghur Health Workers Forced to Treat Virus Patients in Xinjiang's Makeshift Quarantine Centers Radio Free Asia 01 Apr 2020 -- Uyghur health workers from throughout one prefecture in northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) are being forced to live in hotels in Ghulja (in Chinese, Yining) city set up as quarantine centers to treat patients infected with the coronavirus, according to sources.
- Iran fighting two viruses of corona, sanctions IRNA 01 Apr 2020 -- Tehran Mayor Pirouz Hanachi said that the purpose of video mapping on the Azadi Tower was to express solidarity with the people of the world who are now fighting coronavirus, adding that Iran is fighting both the coronavirus and the virus of sanctions.
- Rouhani terms US sanctions as false, cruel, illegal IRNA 01 Apr 2020 -- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani referred to the US' everlasting malignity, saying their sanctions are false, cruel and illegal.
- 'Working round the clock' to aid Venezuelan refugees and migrants during COVID-19 pandemic: UN agencies UN News 01 Apr 2020 -- Two United Nations agencies came together Tuesday to urge the international community not to overlook the on-going plight of millions of refugees and migrants from Venezuela, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread around the world.
- Trump Says He May Join Possible Saudi-Russia Talks On Oil's Slump RFE/RL 01 Apr 2020 -- U.S. President Donald Trump said Russia and Saudi Arabia are discussing holding talks about the sharp fall in oil prices and that he would consider joining them.
- Kosovo Lifts 100 Percent Tariff On Serbia; Belgrade Calls It 'Fake News' RFE/RL 01 Apr 2020 -- Kosovo says it is lifting a 100 percent tariff on goods from neighboring Serbia, but Belgrade called it "fake news" and claims Pristina has actually increased punitive measures.
- Cambodia Halts Hydropower Construction on Mekong River Until 2030 VOA 01 Apr 2020 -- Experts in Cambodia have welcomed the government's recent halt on hydropower development on the Mekong River until 2030, but called on the government to focus on renewable energies.
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