18 April 2020 Military News
- US may scale back CIA presence in Afghanistan to save peace deal Press TV 18 Apr 2020 -- The United States is considering the withdrawal of CIA operatives from bases in Afghanistan, as part of an effort to further reduce violence in the war-ravaged Asian country, according to The New York Times.
- CIA Mulls Slimming Down Afghanistan Presence as Violence Threatens US-Taliban Peace Deal Sputnik 18 Apr 2020 -- In late February, the United States and the Taliban signed a historic agreement aimed at ending America's 18-year-long occupation of Afghanistan and finally stopping the generations-long conflict which has devastated the country for over 40 years. Last week, the Taliban warned that the peace deal is in jeopardy amid ongoing clashes with Kabul.
- Afghans Among Unaccompanied Children Evacuated From Greek Refugee Camps To Germany RFE/RL 18 Apr 2020 -- A group of 47 unaccompanied children evacuated from refugee camps in Greece arrived in Germany on April 18, German officials said.
- Taliban Militants Kill 5 Police Officers, Capture 7 in Afghan Kunduz Province - Source Sputnik 18 Apr 2020 -- Five police officers and servicemen were killed in the Imam Saheb district of the Afghan northeastern Kunduz province in an attack by militants, a source said adding that seven more officers had been captured by the Taliban.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Provides Update to Department Stop-Move Policy DoD 18 Apr 2020 -- Matthew P. Donovan, Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness
- Space Force welcomes first academy graduates to its ranks US Air Force 18 Apr 2020 -- Eighty-six graduates from the United States Air Force Academy celebrated receiving their diplomas April 18 and moved directly into the U.S. Space Force, marking the first infusion of commissioned personnel into the new service since its creation last year.
- USS Vermont Becomes Latest Virginia-Class Fast-Attack Submarine in Service NNS 18 Apr 2020 -- The U.S. Navy commissioned USS Vermont (SSN 792), the 19th Virginia-class attack submarine, April 18.
- VAW-120 Achieves Significant Milestone: 1,000th Aerial Refueling Contact NNS 18 Apr 2020 -- The "Greyhawks" of Airborne Command & Control Squadron (VAW) 120 achieved a significant milestone by achieving its 1,000th Aerial Refueling (AR) contact for the squadron, April 16.
- Xi honors military personnel fighting COVID-19 People's Daily 18 Apr 2020 -- Xi Jinping, chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC) of the People's Republic of China, has signed an order of commendation to honor all the military personnel undertaking the mission of COVID-19 epidemic prevention and control.
- Combat drones join Iran's Army IRNA 18 Apr 2020 -- Multirole combat unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) were delivered to the Iranian Army today at the presence of Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami.
- Iran's defense ministry makes mass delivery of new drones to army Press TV 18 Apr 2020 -- Iran's defense ministry has made mass delivery of new combat and surveillance drones, including a jet-powered multipurpose UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) to Army's Air force and Air Defense Force.
- Three Types of Home-Grown UAVs Delivered To Iran Army, Defense Minister Says Radio Farda 18 Apr 2020 -- Yasin, Balaban and a new series of Qaem) – which the Defense Minister said could be installed on various kinds of drones.
- Iran's Military Says It Has 3 Bomb-Carrying Drones VOA 18 Apr 2020 -- Iran's military said Saturday it has three new bomb-carrying drones.
- Iraqi parliament demands Baghdad's procurement of Russia's S-400 missile system Press TV 18 Apr 2020 -- The Iraqi parliament's security and defense committee has submitted an in-depth study to the country's caretaker prime minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi, requesting the procurement of the Russian-built long-range, surface-to-air S-400 missile defense system.
- 21 Indian Navy personnel test positive for COVID-19 Global Times 18 Apr 2020 -- As many as 21 Indian Navy (IN) personnel at "INS Angre", a shore establishment at Mumbai city in southwestern state of Maharashtra, have tested positive for novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), confirmed a senior IN official in New Delhi to Xinhua on Saturday.
- Indian Navy Continues to be Mission Deployed and Combat Ready India PIB 18 Apr 2020 -- The twenty six sailors who were placed in isolation after testing positive for Covid-19 at Mumbai, belong to INS Angre, a shore establishment. There has so far not been a single case of Covid-19 onboard any ship, submarine or air station of the Indian Navy.
- Defence PSUs, OFB ramp up their resources to fight COVID-19 pandemic India PIB 18 Apr 2020 -- Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) and Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) have played their part in assisting civilian administration in fight against COVID-19 pandemic.
- Indian Navy Traces Possible Contacts as 21 Sailors Test Positive for COVID-19 Sputnik 18 Apr 2020 -- The Indian Army has announced a total of eight positive cases of coronavirus so far, General M. M. Naravane confirmed yesterday. However, the Indian Navy reported that almost two dozen servicemen had been infected.
- Germany's Major Shipbuilders Are Reportedly Negotiating Merging Into Naval Conglomerate Sputnik 18 Apr 2020 -- It was earlier reported that two major shipbuilders in the country, ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems and German Naval Yards Kiel, had lost a multi-billion-euro defence contract to the Dutch-led consortium, allegedly calling the competitive potential of the national industry into question.
- Coronavirus, Conflict Threaten Millions Across West and Central Africa VOA 18 Apr 2020 -- The U.N. refugee agency warns millions of people across 21 countries in West and Central Africa are facing a potential humanitarian catastrophe because of armed conflict and the impact of coronavirus as the pandemic spreads throughout the region.
- Sansha city establishes two districts for better management Global Times 18 Apr 2020 -- Following approval of the State Council, the city of Sansha in South China's Hainan Province has announced the establishment of two new districts to administer waters in the South China Sea. Experts said this is normal new city planning for better scientific management and to safeguard territorial sovereignty, and should not be over-interpreted.
- China's Sansha City establishes Xisha, Nansha districts in major administrative move PLA Daily 18 Apr 2020 -- Sansha City, in southernmost China's Hainan Province, has established two districts, Xisha District and Nansha District, following the approval of the State Council.
- US to China: Stop 'bullying behavior' in South China Sea Press TV 18 Apr 2020 -- The United States has accused China of "bullying behavior" in the South China Sea and said it is concerned by the country's "provocative actions" aimed at offshore oil and gas developments in the disputed waters.
- Saudi strikes several regions of Yemen despite ceasefire Press TV 18 Apr 2020 -- The Saudi-led coalition has once again carried out airstrikes in a number of Yemeni provinces despite its earlier announcement of a ceasefire to stem the coronavirus pandemic.
- Bogged down Saudis look for exit from Yemen quagmire using COVID-19 as fig leaf: Report Press TV 18 Apr 2020 -- Saudi Arabia is reportedly using the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as a "fig leaf" for an exit from the quagmire in war-torn Yemen, where fighters from the popular Houthi Ansarullah movement now have the upper hand against Saudi-led invaders.
- The Joint Forces Command of the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen: Launch of a ballistic missile by the terrorist Iran-backed Houthi militia toward civlians and civilian objects in (Ma'rib) SPA 18 Apr 2020 -- Statement by the Official Spokesman of the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen COL Turki Al-Malki
- Two Rockets Land in Vicinity of Chinese Oil Company Site in Iraq – Military Centre Sputnik 18 Apr 2020 -- Two rockets have fallen in the vicinity of a site belonging to a Chinese oil company in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, Iraq's military communications centre said on Saturday.
- U.S. Embassy In Tbilisi Troubled By Reports Of 'Borderization' Activity On South Ossetia Boundary Line RFE/RL 18 Apr 2020 -- The U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi said on April 17 it was "deeply troubled" by reports that Russian-led "security actors" have resumed "borderization" activities along the administrative boundary line of the Georgian-breakaway region of South Ossetia.
- Myanmar Clashes Take Heavy Toll on Ethnic Groups in Rakhine, Chin States VOA 18 Apr 2020 -- The U.N. human rights office is calling for an end to escalating clashes between Myanmar's army and the ethnic armed group known as the Arakan Army in Rakhine and Chin states as civilian casualties rise.
- China Top Office in Hong Kong Declares Itself Not Bound by Basic Law VOA 18 Apr 2020 -- China's top representative office in Hong Kong said Friday it is entitled to get involved in Hong Kong affairs and is not subject to the semi-autonomous city's constitutional restrictions that bar the Chinese government from interfering in local affairs.
- Jimmy Lai and several riot leaders arrested, released on bail later Global Times 18 Apr 2020 -- 15 Hong Kong riot leaders including Apple Daily founder Jimmy Lai Chee-ying and Hong Kong barrister Martin Lee Chu-ming were detained by police on Saturday for alleged organizing and participating in illegal assembly and were later released on bail, Hong Kong media reported.
- Hong Kong Police Arrest Martin Lee, 13 Other Pro-Democracy Figures Radio Free Asia 18 Apr 2020 -- Police in Hong Kong arrested 14 pro-democracy figures on Saturday, including Democratic Party founder Martin Lee, rights lawyer Albert Ho and media tycoon Jimmy Lai, for "illegal assembly" in connection with mass street protests last year.
- Recent Arrests of Pro-Democracy Activists in Hong Kong US Dept. of State 18 Apr 2020
- Hong Kong Police Arrest 15 Veteran Pro-Democracy Figures VOA 18 Apr 2020 -- Hong Kong police Saturday arrested 15 prominent democracy activists on charges of illegal assembly in the biggest crackdown on the semiautonomous city's pro-democracy movement since mass, sometimes violent anti-government protests rocked the former British colony in June.
- Xi chairs leadership meeting on regular epidemic control, economic work People's Daily 18 Apr 2020 -- Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, on Friday chaired a leadership meeting on regular COVID-19 epidemic prevention and control measures.
- China urges U.S. to stop politicizing COVID-19 pandemic People's Daily 18 Apr 2020 -- The United States should stop politicizing the COVID-19 pandemic and focus on defeating the virus and boosting the economy, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Friday.
- WHO praises Taiwan on COVID-19, but no change on participation issue CNA 18 Apr 2020 -- An official of the World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday openly praised Taiwan for its handling of the novel coronavirus outbreak but reiterated the agency's position on Taiwan's participation.
- Construction of General Hospital Progresses Apace in Pyongyang KCNA 18 Apr 2020 -- The construction of the Pyongyang General Hospital is progressing apace in the DPRK.
- Report Points to North Korea's Illegal Coal Exports in Chinese Waters VOA 18 Apr 2020 -- On September 5, 2019, large bulk carrier ship Lao Chuan Zhang 717 was spotted near the port of Lianyungang in Jiangsu province in eastern China, about 620 kilometers southeast of Beijing.
- North Korean Lecturers Admit to COVID-19 Cases Despite Official Zero Toll - Reports Sputnik 18 Apr 2020 -- North Korean authorities have told citizens at public lectures that cases of COVID-19 infection have been detected in the country as early as March, Radio Free Asia reported citing anonymous sources.
- Experts: Pyongyang's Anti-Virus Measures Put Stability Over Public Health VOA 18 Apr 2020 -- Experts fear North Korea could be using its tough anti-virus measures to gain tighter centralized control over its people by prioritizing regime stability over public health.
- Iran Administration Solicited Furlough For Imprisoned Dual-Citizens, Political Prisoners Radio Farda 18 Apr 2020 -- Iran's Judiciary Spokesman on Friday said the administration of President Hassan Rouhani had appealed to the Judiciary to grant furlough to imprisoned dual-citizens and political prisoners to protect them from coronavirus infection in prison.
- Coronavirus infections among Saudi royals 'exceedingly surpassed' previous figures Press TV 18 Apr 2020 -- A Saudi whistleblower has said that the number of Saudi royals infected with the coronavirus (COVID-19) has "exceedingly surpassed" figures previously revealed by a New York Times report.
- Venezuela slams US over "vulgar" central bank funds seizure Press TV 18 Apr 2020 -- Venezuela has slammed the United States over the seizure of $342 million worth of assets that its central bank had held in an account at Citibank.
- Venezuela Blasts Trump After Central Bank Assets Quietly Transferred to Guaido's Fed Account Sputnik 18 Apr 2020 -- The Trump administration quietly ordered the transfer of some $342 million in funds from a Venezuelan central bank account at Citibank to an account controlled by opposition leader and self-proclaimed Venezuelan 'president' Juan Guaido at the New York branch of the US Federal Reserve.
- NASA To Launch Astronauts To ISS From U.S. For First Time Since 2011 RFE/RL 18 Apr 2020 -- The U.S. space agency NASA and the private company SpaceX have chosen May 27 as the date for the first launch of a crewed flight to the International Space Station (ISS) from the United States since 2011.
- Lesotho Prime Minister Deploys Army to Restore Rule of Law in Country - Reports Sputnik 18 Apr 2020 -- According to the Eyewitness News portal, Prime Minister Thabane has called on military personnel to ensure peace in Lesotho one day after the Constitutional Court ruled that the prime minister's decision to dissolve parliament was irrational.
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