20 April 2020 Military News
- Unidentified assailants attack US military vehicle in Syria's Hasakah: Report Press TV 20 Apr 2020 -- Unidentified armed men have attacked a military vehicle of the US forces in Syria's easternmost province of Hasakah, a report by Syria's official news agency says.
- Unidentified Forces Attack, Destroy US Hummer in Northeast Syria – Reports Sputnik 20 Apr 2020 -- US occupation forces, Syrian troops and local residents have been engaged in a tense standoff in the country's northeast for several months now, with locals attempting to block US convoys zipping along local highways to fulfill President Trump's orders to "keep" the region's oil resources.
- Russian fighter jet shadows US reconnaissance aircraft off Syrian coast Press TV 20 Apr 2020 -- A Russian fighter jet has intercepted a US Navy surveillance aircraft flying over the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Syria, after the latter sought to break through Russia's air defense.
- 26 Pro-Government Afghans Killed in Fighting VOA 20 Apr 2020 -- As many as 26 members of Afghan local forces or pro-government militias were killed over the past two days in northern Afghanistan in fighting with the Taliban, according to the Ministry of Defense and local officials.
- About two dozen soldiers, 9 civilians killed in Taliban attacks across Afghanistan Press TV 20 Apr 2020 -- Nearly two dozen Afghan government forces and nine civilians have been killed by the Taliban militant group in separate attacks across the country, officials say.
- Nineteen Pro-Government Forces Killed In Afghan Attacks RFE/RL 20 Apr 2020 -- Afghan officials say 19 pro-government forces have been killed in Taliban attacks in the northern province of Takhar.
- Nearly 37,000 US National Guard Troops Support Efforts to Fight COVID-19 - Pentagon Sputnik 20 Apr 2020 -- Some 37,000 US National Guardsmen are providing support in the response efforts to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic throughout the United States, the Department of Defense said in a press release on Monday.
- Comfort Admits Patients From New Jersey NNS 20 Apr 2020 -- The hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) began admitting patients from hospitals in New Jersey April 17 in an effort to expand its support of the nation's COVID-19 response efforts.
- Surface Warfare Center Designs Portable Oxygen Manifolds for Camp Pendleton COVID-19 Response NNS 20 Apr 2020 -- Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC), Corona Division recently designed a low-cost, mass-producible portable medical oxygen manifold for Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton COVID-19 response.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Second Unsafe Intercept by Russia in U.S. Sixth Fleet NNS 20 Apr 2020 -- For the second time in four days, Russian pilots flew in an unsafe and unprofessional manner while intercepting a U.S. Navy P-8A Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft in U.S. Sixth Fleet, 19 April, 2020.
- US Navy Says Russian Su-35 Intercepts Its Surveillance Jet Within 25 Feet for 2nd Time in 4 Days Sputnik 20 Apr 2020 -- A Russian Su-35 has conducted a second "unsafe" intercept of a US surveillance jet in the Mediterranean in four days, flying once again within just 25 feet of a P-8A Poseidon, the US Navy said in a statement.
- U.S. Navy Complains Of Second 'Unsafe' Russian Jet Interception In Four Days RFE/RL 20 Apr 2020 -- U.S. military officials have complained that a Russian fighter jet came dangerously close to a U.S. surveillance plane in the Mediterranean Sea, the second such encounter in four days in the region.
- DOD Announces New Allied Prototyping Initiative Effort with Norway to Continue Partnership in Advancing Solid Fuel Ramjet Technologies DoD 20 Apr 2020 -- The U.S. Department of Defense and the Norwegian Ministry of Defence announced their intent to continue a bilateral effort to explore advanced solid fuel ramjet technologies. The Tactical High-speed Offensive Ramjet for Extended Range, or THOR-ER, is an Allied Prototyping Initiative (API) effort under the Directorate for Advanced Capabilities within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering.
- NY force of 3,600 on duty 42 days into COVID-19 response Army News 20 Apr 2020 -- Forty-two days into the COVID-19 pandemic response mission, The New York National Guard has 3,600 troops performing duties ranging from answering public inquiry hotlines to helping New York City retrieve the remains of those who have died at home.
- DOD Humanitarian Assistance to the Italian Republic in Response to COVID-19 DoD 20 Apr 2020 -- The Secretary of Defense, Dr. Mark T. Esper, today authorized the Department of Defense to provide humanitarian support to the Italian Republic as part of its global coronavirus pandemic relief efforts.
- Undersecretary Of Defense (A&S) Provides Update on DOD COVID-19 Response Efforts DoD 20 Apr 2020 -- Ellen M. Lord, Undersecretary Of Defense For Acquisition And Sustainment
- Air Force signs agreement for oral fluid coronavirus testing at Air Force installations US Air Force 20 Apr 2020 -- The Department of the Air Force signed an agreement April 17 with Curative, Inc., to deploy and scale an oral fluid coronavirus test, which recently received a Food and Drug Administration emergency use authorization, across Air Force installations.
- Air Force update for COVID-19 US Air Force 20 Apr 2020
- COVID-19 Plant Closures Affect DOD's Industrial Base DoD News 20 Apr 2020 -- The most serious impacts to the Defense Department from COVID-19-related industrial closures domestically are in the aviation supply chain, shipbuilding and small space launch, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment said.
- Bahrain Fleet Mail Center Steps Up to Support 6th Fleet With Mail Operations NNS 20 Apr 2020 -- With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting missions worldwide, the Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Bahrain Fleet Mail Center (FMC) supported mail operations throughout the U.S. 6th Fleet, while supporting normal operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility, April 6.
- USS Princeton Renders Aid to Distressed Personal Watercraft User NNS 20 Apr 2020 -- The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59) responded to a distress call April 17 and rendered aid to a user of personal watercraft off the coast of Southern California.
- US Army Seeking 20-Millimeter Cannon, Drag Reduction Systems for Future Scout Chopper Sputnik 20 Apr 2020 -- As the US Army enters into the prototyping stage for its Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA), the service has also issued a request to aviation companies in an effort to find out the best way to equip FARA and give its pilots an edge against their foes.
- Vertical wiper blades reduce aircraft drag, tests show US Air Force 20 Apr 2020 -- Aerodynamics testing on the KC-135 Stratotanker confirmed vertically mounted wiper blades reduce aircraft drag by approximately 1% during cruise conditions, potentially saving the Air Force $7 million annually in associated fuel costs.
- AFMC mission operational under 'new norm' US Air Force 20 Apr 2020 -- With a focus on high priority, critical operational needs and ensuring the health and safety of Airmen, the Air Force Materiel Command continues to maintain support to the Air Force across all mission areas in the face of COVID-19.
- Coronavirus response: Slovak assistance to Italy illustrates solidarity within EU and NATO against global pandemic NATO 20 Apr 2020 -- Today (20 April 2020), Slovakia delivered medical supplies to Italy in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Allied and Partners Conduct Live-Fly Air Policing Drills Over Baltic Sea NATO 20 Apr 2020 -- SIAULIAI, Lithuania -- On April 20 and 21, air forces from four Allies and two Partners and a NATO E-3A AWACS plane conduct live-fly training flights in segregated training areas and international airspace over the Baltic Sea.
- Coronavirus response: NATO continues to support Afghan security forces and institutions tackling global pandemic NATO 20 Apr 2020 -- The NATO-led Resolute Support mission is supporting Afghan security forces as they work to mitigate risks against the spread of COVID-19 while ensuring security for the Afghan people.
- Moscow Will Be Able to Sleep Soundly With Its Next-Gen Missile Shield: Here's Why Sputnik 20 Apr 2020 -- The Russian military has been extremely tight-lipped about the development of a successor to the A-135 Amur anti-ballistic missile system, which has guarded the skies of the Russian capital for the past 25 years now. Still, occasionally a bit of information gets through, enabling observers to piece together details about the system's capabilities.
- China's Hudong Zhonghua shipyard to launch new ship on Wednesday Global Times 20 Apr 2020 -- China's Hudong Zhonghua shipyard in Shanghai is expected to launch a new ship on Wednesday. Some military observers believe it could be China's second Type 075 amphibious assault ship.
- China hones carrier fighter jet skill amid epidemic Global Times 20 Apr 2020 -- The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy recently held training sessions for aircraft carrier-based fighter jets and helicopters in the Bohai Bay area, and experts said on Monday the training was crucial in boosting the combat capability of aircraft carriers, including China's second one, the recently commissioned Shandong.
- China's FTC-2000G multirole combat aircraft bags first export contract People's Daily 20 Apr 2020 -- With its first export contract for delivery of the FTC-2000G multirole combat aircraft to an undisclosed Southeast Asian country, Guizhou Aviation Industry Corp can expect a surge in interested customers, aviation experts predicted on Sunday.
- China to hold summit on big data application in military equipment PLA Daily 20 Apr 2020 -- It is learnt from the Equipment Development Department (EDD) of China's Central Military Commission (CMC) that the Chinese military is to hold the Equipment Big Data Summit 2020 in the coming September.
- Iran increases range of naval missiles to 700km without foreign help: IRGC commander Press TV 20 Apr 2020 -- The commander of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy says the country has increased the range of its naval missiles to 700 kilometers without any assistance from other countries.
- Report says Iran may have replicated Israeli missile downed in Syria Press TV 20 Apr 2020 -- A Russian aviation news outlet says Iran may have replicated an Israeli missile that was shot down in Syria, citing a video of the test of a new Iranian anti-tank missile.
- Iran Unveils New Class of Radars That Can See Into US Bases Near Its Borders Sputnik 20 Apr 2020 -- The radar systems are expected to radically improve Iran's air defence capability, and to make the country less vulnerable to surprise attack.
- Presence of US forces in region causing insecurity: Iran ISNA 20 Apr 2020 -- Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman, Seyyed Abbas Mousavi stressed that the presence of US forces in the region is illegitimate and causes insecurity.
- Iran urges foreign forces to leave after naval incident Press TV 20 Apr 2020 -- Iran has told foreign forces, who maintain an illegitimate presence in the region, to leave it and avoid provoking the Islamic Republic's warning.
- Illegal presence of US terrorists source of insecurity in West Asia: IRGC Press TV 20 Apr 2020 -- The Navy of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) says the main source of mischief and insecurity in the region is the illegal presence of US terrorist forces, reiterating the call for the full withdrawal of all American forces from the Persian Gulf and West Asia.
- 'Unrealistic': Norway's New Defence Plan Roasted Despite Meeting NATO's Demands Sputnik 20 Apr 2020 -- While Norway is projected to comply with NATO's defence spending goal by parting with two percent of its GDP as early as next year, well ahead of the 2024 deadline, it is only due the country's economy shrivelling amid the coronavirus pandemic.
- 20 April 2020 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 20 Apr 2020
- China Ups Ante in South China Sea With New Place Names, Administrative Districts Radio Free Asia 20 Apr 2020 -- China has upped the ante amid rising tensions in the South China Sea by declaring two new administrative districts for the contested region and releasing a new map naming all the islands and reefs it claims.
- Chinese military rebuffs US accusation and urges it to stop meddling in South China Sea PLA Daily 20 Apr 2020 -- The Chinese military is strongly opposed to the US recent unjustified accusation against China and urges the US to stop meddling in the South China Sea, said Senior Colonel Wu Qian, spokesman for China's Ministry of National Defense, in a written statement on the afternoon of April 20.
- China Steps up Patrols in Disputed Sea; Here's What Malaysia and Vietnam Will do VOA 20 Apr 2020 -- Malaysia and Vietnam, militarily weaker than China, are expected to protest through diplomatic channels over a Chinese survey ship fleet that entered disputed waters this month, inviting a long but nonviolent standoff.
- Syrian air defenses intercept Israeli missiles over Palmyra: SANA Press TV 20 Apr 2020 -- The Syrian air defenses have intercepted a number of Israeli missiles over the ancient city of Palmyra in the central province of Homs.
- Top South Sudan Opposition Members Ditch Machar, Jump to Ruling Party VOA 20 Apr 2020 -- More members of South Sudan's main opposition party have defected to the ruling party led by President Salva Kiir, with one former member accusing First Vice President Riek Machar of running the opposition like a family dynasty.
- Pakistani Soldier, 5 Militants Killed in Firefight Near Afghan Border VOA 20 Apr 2020 -- Authorities in Pakistan said Monday at least one soldier and five "terrorists" were killed in clashes in a volatile district that borders Afghanistan.
- Myanmar ships 800 freed Rohingya prisoners back to Rakhine Press TV 20 Apr 2020 -- Myanmar shipped hundreds of recently released Rohingya inmates back to the country's restive western borderlands on Monday, after fears that its overcrowded prisons could become hotbeds for runaway coronavirus outbreaks.
- Myanmar Army Grills Dozens of Rakhine Villagers Over Alleged Rebel Ties Radio Free Asia 20 Apr 2020 -- Myanmar soldiers detained nearly 40 villagers on Sunday, but later released most of them, about a week after government forces hit their community with artillery shells amid the larger armed conflict with rebel Arakan Army troops in war-torn Rakhine state, a local lawmaker and a resident said.
- Myanmar ships Rohingya prisoners back to Rakhine amid pandemic Press TV 20 Apr 2020 -- Myanmar has shipped more than 800 recently released Rohingya prisoners back to the restive western state of Rakhine, where most members of the persecuted Muslim minority live under tight movement restrictions.
- Could Virus See Rohingya 'Floating Coffins' Crisis Return to ASEAN? VOA 20 Apr 2020 -- Malaysia is using COVID-19 as an excuse to reject Rohingya Muslim refugees, human rights groups say, bringing flashbacks of 2015 when boat refugees died after escaping Myanmar in what the United Nations called "floating coffins."
- Price Of Oil Futures Plummet Below Zero For First Time RFE/RL 20 Apr 2020 -- Oil futures on April 20 dipped into negative territory for the first time ever as the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic left traders desperate to avoid taking delivery of physical crude.
- US Oil Prices Plunge to Less Than Zero VOA 20 Apr 2020 -- An historic crash in U.S. oil prices to less than zero sent Wall Street tumbling Monday.
- China's vice public security minister under probe Global Times 20 Apr 2020 -- Vice minister of public security, Sun Lijun, is under investigation for suspected severe violations of discipline and law, the top anti-graft body said Sunday.
- China's Vice Minister of Public Security Arrested in Corruption Probe VOA 20 Apr 2020 -- China's vice minister of public security, Sun Lijun, has been arrested for alleged "severe violations of party discipline and law," the Communist Party's top anti-graft body said late Sunday in what observers say is an indication of corruption.
- China condemns US, UK criticism of arrests in Hong Kong Press TV 20 Apr 2020 -- China's Foreign Ministry has condemned recent remarks by Western officials who criticized the arrest of several protest organizers in the Chinese territory of Hong Kong.
- Hong Kong Lawyers Say China's Liaison Office Is Subject to Ban on Interference Radio Free Asia 20 Apr 2020 -- Hong Kong's Bar Association on Monday hit out at claims by Chinese officials that Beijing's liaison office in the city were authorized to play a "supervisory" role in its daily political life, and the running of its government.
- Chinese FM urges US to stop conspiracy theories on COVID-19, as 'make China pay' campaign makes no sense Global Times 20 Apr 2020 -- US officials like Peter Navarro should stop confusing right and wrong while Washington should realize that the novel coronavirus is the enemy, not China, Chinese foreign ministry said in response to the US considering sending investigators to China to look into the outbreaks and some even insisted on making China pay for the losses caused by the pandemic.
- The United States Calls for Wang Quanzhang's Freedom of Movement and Release of Activists US Dept. of State 20 Apr 2020 -- "The United States calls on the People's Republic of China (PRC) to allow human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang's freedom of movement, including the ability to join his family in Beijing, now that he has been released after five years of unjust detention."
- Taiwan's chances of attending WHA in May slim: MOFA CNA 20 Apr 2020 -- Taiwan's chances of receiving an invitation to attend the World Health Assembly (WHA) in May are slim, but it will continue to do its best to rally international support, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) official said Monday.
- South Korean Officials Deny Rumors Kim Jong Un is Seriously Ill VOA 20 Apr 2020 -- South Korea's government is disputing reports that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is seriously ill after undergoing heart surgery.
- Spox: Alien forces should not make Iran to warn IRNA 20 Apr 2020 -- Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyyed Abbas Mousavi described US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's claim that the Iranian troops were deployed in the region, stressing the presence of foreign forces as a source of tension, instability, and insecurity.
- Official: 95% of South Pars field basic repair materialized IRNA 20 Apr 2020 -- The supervisor of the second refinery of South Pars gas field referred to a suitable schedule for repairing the refinery, saying 95% of the planned activities with regard to basic repairs were materialized during the last Iranian calendar year (ended on March 19, 2020).
- Iran Responds To Trump: No Talks Under Economic Sanctions, Even With Biden Radio Farda 20 Apr 2020 -- Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokesman on Monday said despite President Donald Trump's claims, Iran will not engage in any negotiations with the United States as long as economic pressures and sanctions continue.
- Iran's Interior Minister Highlights Khamenei's Role In November Protests Radio Farda 20 Apr 2020 -- Iran's Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli has reiterated Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's responsibility in increasing the price of gasoline in mid-November 2019 when Iranian security forces are said to have killed around 1,500 protesters during unrest in reaction to a gasoline price hike.
- Rouhani Aide Attacks Watchdog Saying No Money Disappeared From Iran's Budget Radio Farda 20 Apr 2020 -- President Hassan Rouhani's Chief of Staff Mahmoud Vaezi has joined voices with other members of the cabinet to slam Iran's Supreme Audit Court (SAC) for a report last week that said $4.8 billion provided to importers disappeared.
- Iran, Syria Criticize U.S. For Keeping Sanctions During Coronavirus Pandemic RFE/RL 20 Apr 2020 -- Iran's foreign minister has held talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as both countries grapple with the coronavirus outbreak.
- Kosovo's Kurti Accuses U.S. Envoy Of 'Direct Involvement' In His Government Collapse RFE/RL 20 Apr 2020 -- Kosovo's acting prime minister, Albin Kurti, has accused a U.S. envoy of being "directly involved" in the overthrow of his government less than two months after he took office as premier.
- Netanyahu and Gantz Agree to Form Emergency Coalition Government Sputnik 20 Apr 2020 -- According to a joint statement from Netanyahu's Likud party and Gantz's Blue and White party, the two politicians are expected to meet later in the day.
- Prime Minister Netanyahu, Rival Gantz Agree to Joint Government System VOA 20 Apr 2020 -- After three deadlocked elections between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former military chief Benny Gantz, the two men agreed late Monday to establish a unity government.
- Rights Defenders Accuse Kazakh Authorities Of Using Coronavirus Restrictions To Stifle Dissent RFE/RL 20 Apr 2020 -- Rights defenders in Kazakhstan say the government is using restrictions imposed to slow the coronavirus outbreak to crack down on dissent.
- Cambodia Arrests Former Opposition Official Over 'Debt to Microfinance Institution' Radio Free Asia 20 Apr 2020 -- Authorities in Cambodia arrested a former official of the banned Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) on Monday over what they claimed was a "debt to a microfinance institution," according to his wife, amid an ongoing government crackdown on the opposition.
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