27 April 2020 Military News
- Two US troops go missing in Syria's Dayr al-Zawr after gunmen attack their vehicle: SANA Press TV 27 Apr 2020 -- At least two US soldiers have gone missing after a group of unknown gunmen attacked their vehicle in Syria's northeastern province of Dauyr al-Zawr, amid a growing antipathy against the presence of American forces in the area.
- More than 500 civilians killed in Afghanistan conflict during first quarter 2020 UNAMA 27 Apr 2020 -- More than 500 civilians, including more than 150 children, were killed due to the fighting in Afghanistan during the first quarter of 2020, according to a United Nations report released today, highlighting the urgent need for all parties to the conflict to do more to protect civilians from harm, especially in view of the looming threat posed to all Afghans by COVID-19.
- 'Disturbing' rise in violence in Afghanistan after US-Taliban deal: UN Press TV 27 Apr 2020 -- The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has expressed alarm at a surge of violence in the country where hundreds of civilians were killed or injured in the first quarter of the year despite a so-called peace deal signed between the United States and the Taliban militant group.
- More Than 500 Afghan Civilians, Including Many Children, Killed In First Quarter, Says UN RFE/RL 27 Apr 2020 -- More than 500 civilians, almost a third of them children, were killed and 760 were wounded due to the fighting in Afghanistan in the first three months of this year, the UN said in a report on April 27, stressing the need to better protect civilians amid the threat posed to all Afghans by the coronavirus outbreak.
- High Civilian Casualties Continue Despite Afghan Deal VOA 27 Apr 2020 -- Afghanistan's civilians continue to die in high numbers, more than 500 in the first quarter of 2020, despite the signing of a deal between the United States and Taliban to end hostilities, said a United Nations report released Monday.
- Initial AFRICOM Civilian Casualty Assessment Quarterly Report AFRICOM 27 Apr 2020 -- As part of the command's fundamental commitment to transparency, U.S. Africa Command is implementing a quarterly report on the status of ongoing and completed civilian casualty allegations and assessments.
- AFRICOM Says 2 Civilians Killed in Somalia Airstrike VOA 27 Apr 2020 -- U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) says an airstrike that was intended to target al-Shabab fighters last February killed two civilians and wounded three others.
- US Navy Announces Discharge of Last COVID19 Patient From USNS Comfort, Leaving NY by End of April Sputnik 27 Apr 2020 -- On 30 March, The 1,000-bed hospital ship arrived to New York, the largest COVID-19 hotspot in the United States and the world, to assist in combating the novel disease after the city's hospitals became overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients.
Defense Policy / Programs
- USS Nimitz Departs for Training NNS 27 Apr 2020 -- USS Nimitz (CVN 68) departed Naval Base Kitsap, Bremerton April 27.
- 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit trains on Saudi Arabian islands USMC News 27 Apr 2020 -- The 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, embarked aboard the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group, conducted routine amphibious assault training on the islands of Karan and Kurayn, Saudi Arabia, April 20-22.
- Fleet Readiness Center East Steps Up to Keep F-18s in the Fight NNS 27 Apr 2020 -- When coronavirus-related workforce shortages impacted Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex at Tinker Air Force Base, Fleet Readiness Center East (FRCE) stepped up to take on a component workload and ensure continued readiness for the F-18 fleet.
- 'Networks That Don't Exist' Expand the Boundaries of Battlefield Communication NNS 27 Apr 2020 -- For the better part of two decades, Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) Professor of Information Sciences Alex Bordetsky and his colleague Eugene Bourakov have been working to develop and improve tactical mesh networks that serve multiple communities of interest at NPS and beyond.
- 'No Plan to Correct': US Navy's F-35s Won't Get Fix for Speed-Limiting Defect Sputnik 27 Apr 2020 -- The Pentagon's F-35 program has verified it won't be fixing a defect in the US Navy's version of the plane, which limits its ability to fly at supersonic speeds for any length of time. The issue could limit the airplane's effectiveness in combat, although that itself may be a rarity, given how the Pentagon seems intent on using it.
- Pentagon Reports Number of COVID-19 Cases Increase to 6,568 With 27 Deaths Sputnik 27 Apr 2020 -- The US Department of Defence on Monday reported that the number of confirmed novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases among service members, contractors and related civilians has increased to 6,568 with a death toll of 27 since the beginning of the pandemic.
- Air Force update for COVID-19 US Air Force 27 Apr 2020
- Coronavirus response: Lithuania assists Italy and Spain in response to global pandemic NATO 27 Apr 2020 -- On 27 April 2020, a plane from the Spanish Air Force took off from the Lithuanian Air Force Base near Šiauliai (Lithuania) to deliver critical medical supplies to Spain, as part of ongoing Allied efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Coronavirus response: Largest plane in the world brings face masks to Germany NATO 27 Apr 2020 -- The largest plane in the world arrived in Germany on Monday (27 April 2020) from China bringing urgent medical supplies as part of efforts to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
- Coronavirus response: KFOR carries on with its activities and continues to provide assistance to local communities in Kosovo NATO 27 Apr 2020 -- The NATO-led KFOR mission continues its daily activities, ensuring a safe and secure environment for all communities in Kosovo, according to the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 of 1999.
- NATO Deputy Secretary General conversation with Friends of Europe on NATO's response to COVID-19 NATO 27 Apr 2020 -- In a strategic conversation today (27 April 2020) with Friends of Europe senior fellow Jamie Shea, the NATO Deputy Secretary General, Mircea Geoană, argued that now is not the time to cut investments in defence. "This pandemic has not made the security risks to our nearly 1 billion citizens disappear", said Geoană.
- Cold War Foes U.S., Russia, Spark Biggest Military Spending Jump In A Decade RFE/RL 27 Apr 2020 -- Global military spending surged the most in a decade last year, boosted by Cold War foes the United States and Russia, as well as China, Saudi Arabia, and India.
- India Third After China, US in Military Spending Amid Heightened Border Tension Sputnik 27 Apr 2020 -- Arch rivals India and China, who share a 4,057 kilometre border, are among top military spenders in 2019, according the data released by an international think tank. The year 2019 witnessed a 3.6 percent increase in global military spending at $1,917 billion, which is the largest annual growth since 2010.
- China expands Marine Corps' aerial assault capabilities following Type 075 ship launch Global Times 27 Apr 2020 -- In addition to intensive training, the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy is boosting the aerial assault capabilities of its Marine Corps by systematically expanding it with combat-proven former Army units, a timely move to ready personnel in advance to maximize the power of the two recently launched Type 075 amphibious assault ships, analysts said on Monday.
- Latest VT4 battle tanks delivered to foreign buyer: report Global Times 27 Apr 2020 -- China is delivering two customized VT4 main battle tanks to an undisclosed foreign buyer.
- German Military Spending Up by Double Digits as World Total Hits Highest Level Since Cold War Sputnik 27 Apr 2020 -- The Trump administration has repeatedly pressured Berlin to ramp up its military spending, threatening to pull troops out of the country and station them in Poland if the country doesn't meet NATO's 2 percent of GDP spending guidelines.
- Contracts For April 27, 2020
- Chinese private aircraft company develops first general-purpose aircraft Global Times 27 Apr 2020 -- The GA20, the first self-developed general-purpose aircraft made by a Chinese private company, completed the maiden test flight to trial out its systems, and it also started supply chain procurement, according to a report by thepaper.com.
- Philippines: Retired Judge Calls for Joint Sea Patrols with Vietnam, Malaysia Radio Free Asia 27 Apr 2020 -- The Philippines should seek joint patrols with Vietnam and Malaysia in the South China Sea to deter Chinese aggression in the disputed region, a former Supreme Court justice told reporters in Manila on Monday.
- State of emergency in Yemen: Minister for the Middle East's statement UK FCO 27 Apr 2020 -- The UK urges the parties to resume their efforts to implement the Riyadh Agreement and restore security and stability to southern Yemen.
- Saudi-led coalition calls on UAE-backed separatists to return to Riyadh deal Press TV 27 Apr 2020 -- A Saudi Arabia coalition that has been attacking Yemen since 2015 has called on Emirati-backed separatists that used to ally themselves with the invading force to return to a so-called de-confliction deal after they declared "self-rule" in the impoverished country's south.
- The Coalition: We stress the need to restore conditions to their previous state in the interim capital Aden SPA 27 Apr 2020 -- The Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen, forefront of which is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, stresses the need to restore conditions to their previous state following the announcement of a state of emergency by the Southern Transitional Council and the consequential development of affairs in the interim capital (Aden) and some Southern governorates in the Republic of Yemen. The Coalition urges for an immediate end to any steps contrary to the Riyadh Agreement, and work rapidly toward its implementation, citing the wide support for the agreement by the international community and the United Nations.
- Saudi-Led Coalition Calls on Parties to Yemeni Conflict to Stop Escalation Sputnik 27 Apr 2020 -- The Saudi-led Arab coalition, fighting in Yemen against the Houthi rebels, called on Monday on the parties to the Yemeni conflict to stop any actions resulting in escalating tensions, and to resume compliance with the 2019 peace deal, signed in Riyadh.
- Yemen needs cooperation between parties more than ever, says top UN negotiator UN News 27 Apr 2020 -- The needs of Yemen's people should be put first, ahead of actions that risk escalating the already dire situation inside the war-shattered country, UN Special Envoy for the war-weary country, Martin Griffiths, said on Monday.
- OPCW report on Syria chemical attacks one-sided, biased: Iran Press TV 27 Apr 2020 -- The Iranian Foreign Ministry has denounced as "one-sided" a recent report by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) about a series of suspected gas attacks in Syria's western region of Hama in 2017.
- Turkish forces gun down two protesters in northwest Syria Press TV 27 Apr 2020 -- Turkish forces have reportedly opened live fire on people protesting their patrolling of a key highway in northwestern Syria, killing two people and wounding three more.
- Syria air defenses down Israeli missiles over Damascus Press TV 27 Apr 2020 -- Syrian air defenses have thwarted an Israeli aggression, and shot down a number of "hostile" missiles in the skies over the capital, Damascus, before reaching their targets.
- US Reportedly Slams Turkey's Plans for Natural Resource Exploration Off Cyprus' Coast Sputnik 27 Apr 2020 -- US Ambassador to Cyprus Judith Garber insisted that the development of natural resources in the eastern Mediterranean "should promote cooperation" and help foster energy security and economic prosperity in the region.
- One Killed, Another Injured as India, Pakistan Engage in Massive Firefight at Border Sputnik 27 Apr 2020 -- India and Pakistan have long been loggerheads over the disputed territory of Kashmir with numerous instances of firefights and shelling, but the situation escalated in 2019 after dozens of Indian soldiers were killed in a vehicle-borne suicide bombing attack in Pulwama district.
- Seven Suspected 'Terrorists' Killed as Second Gunfight Breaks Out Within 24 Hours in Kashmir Sputnik 27 Apr 2020 -- On Sunday evening, four alleged terrorists were killed by the security forces in an encounter which broke out in Jammu and Kashmir's Kulgam district. According to the officials, this is the fourth encounter in the area in a span of one week.
- In Malaysia, A Haven for Refugees, Anger Grows against Rohingya Radio Free Asia 27 Apr 2020 -- A senior Malaysian official called for calm Monday amid growing "public anger" toward Rohingya people in the country, whose government has been criticized for turning away refugees due to COVID-19 contagion fears.
- UN rights chief warns of 'human tragedy of terrible proportions' in Bangladesh Press TV 27 Apr 2020 -- The United Nations' top human rights official has called on the Bangladeshi authorities to allow the disembarking of two stranded boatloads of starving Rohingya Muslim refugees who have fled Myanmar by boats.
- China denies spreading coronavirus disinformation following EU report Press TV 27 Apr 2020 -- China has rejected claims that it is spreading disinformation about the new coronavirus pandemic that continues to spread rapidly across the globe.
- NATO's Stoltenberg Blasts Chinese, Russian Disinformation About Coronavirus RFE/RL 27 Apr 2020 -- NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has accused China and Russia of spreading disinformation regarding the organization's response to the coronavirus pandemic.
- China's Mars exploration mission makes new progress PLA Daily 27 Apr 2020 -- China unveiled the name "Tianwen-1" for its first Mars exploration mission, which means exploring the secrets of the space. It was announced by China National Space Administration (CNSA) in an online ceremony celebrating China's fifth Space Day on April 24.
- China opposes US forces' 'attack China' plan to win votes: FM Global Times 27 Apr 2020 -- China firmly opposes certain US individuals and forces using China to garner votes or smearing China using the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang said Monday at a press conference, amid reports of the US Republican's "Attack China" campaign.
- China threatens Australia with boycott of goods over virus probe Press TV 27 Apr 2020 -- China's ambassador to Australia has warned that Canberra's insistence on a politically motivated investigation into Beijing's handling of the coronavirus outbreak could result in a boycott of Australian products.
- Kim Jong Un's Sister Seen as Likely Successor VOA 27 Apr 2020 -- As the United States assesses reports on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's health, officials and experts say Washington will continue its sanctions and pressure campaign against Pyongyang.
- Rampant Rumors But Few Facts About Kim Jong Un's Health VOA 27 Apr 2020 -- Where is North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and why has he been absent from public view for more than two weeks? It's the question everyone seems to be asking. The problem is, everyone has a different answer.
- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un 'alive and well:' South Korea Press TV 27 Apr 2020 -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is "alive and well," according to a top security adviser to South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
- Russia slams US 'hypocrisy' for condemning IRGC satellite with 2231 UNSC resolution Press TV 27 Apr 2020 -- Russia's Permanent Representative to the United Nations has slammed Washington's "hypocrisy" for condemning Iran's recent launch of an Islamic Revolution Guards Corps satellite citing UN Security Council resolution 2231.
- US interventions undermine regional peace, stability: President Rouhani Press TV 27 Apr 2020 -- Iran's President Hassan Rouhani says US' interventionist moves undermine security and stability in the West Asia region, especially in the Persian Gulf.
- Any US provocation, illegal move against Iran will be dealt with firmly: Armed Forces Press TV 27 Apr 2020 -- The General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces says the presence of the United States and its allies in the West Asia region has been the source of insecurity for regional countries, warning that any provocative move by US forces will be met with Iranian Armed Forces' categorical response.
- Zarif to Pompeo: Iranians decide their destiny, US 'max pressure' policy failed Press TV 27 Apr 2020 -- Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif has reacted to recent reports that his American counterpart is preparing a legal argument that the US is still a participant to the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, warning the American side that the Iranian nation is the sole party that can decide the country's fate.
- US sanctions jar with fundamental human rights: Rouhani Press TV 27 Apr 2020 -- President Hassan Rouhani says the United States' illegal sanctions against Iran are at odds with the fundamental principles of human rights.
- US May Be Prepared To Rethink Stance On Sanctions, Nuclear Accord with Tehran Radio Farda 27 Apr 2020 -- Reports in international media on Sunday indicated that the United States is likely to re-think the sanctions on Iran as well as its stance on the nuclear deal with Tehran, which it abandoned in May 2018.
- Zarif Tells Pompeo to Stop Dreaming About Return to JCPOA After Failing to Bring Iran to Its Knees Sputnik 27 Apr 2020 -- The Trump administration unilaterally withdrew from the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action Iran nuclear deal in 2018, forcing the deal's remaining signatories to scramble to try to save it. On Sunday, US media reported that Secretary of State Pompeo was preparing to argue that Washington was actually still a party to the agreement.
- U.S. Extends Waiver For Iranian Energy To Baghdad, But Pressure Mounts RFE/RL 27 Apr 2020 -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has reportedly granted a fresh extension on a waiver to let Iraq import electricity from neighboring Iran as efforts continue to form a lasting government in Baghdad, but possibly for a shorter period to press the Iraqi administration into greater action.
- Oil dispute between Iraqi government, Kurdish rulers flares again Press TV 27 Apr 2020 -- Iraq has ordered the finance ministry to stop funding to the country's semi-autonomous Kurdistan region amid an oil spat between the two sides, media reports say.
- Pakistan's Anti-Graft Body Issues Arrest Warrant For Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Sputnik 27 Apr 2020 -- Former Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif has been in London since November 2019 for medical treatment. Sharif was given bail in the Al-Azizia Mills corruption case in which he was serving seven-years in Lahore's Kot Lakhpat jail.
- Saudi Arabia Scraps Death Penalty for Minors, Flogging in Bid to Modernize Penal Code Sputnik 27 Apr 2020 -- The kingdom of Saudi Arabia will no longer impose the death penalty on individuals who were minors at the time that they committed a crime, a Sunday statment issued by the state-backed Human Rights Commission (HRC) revealed.
- Ukraine Continues Fighting Fires Near Defunct Chernobyl Nuclear Plant RFE/RL 27 Apr 2020 -- Firefighters in Ukraine continue to battle a series of fires near the defunct Chernobyl nuclear power plant nearly a month after they broke out.
- Secretary Pompeo's Call with Interim President of Venezuela Guaidó US Dept. of State 27 Apr 2020
- Venezuelan President Maduro Appoints New Heads of PDVSA and Oil Ministry - Report Sputnik 27 Apr 2020 -- Amid the global COVID-19 pandemic and volatility in the oil market, Venezuela has also experienced an over 60 percent fall in oil production.
- Lebanese Protesters Back on Streets Despite COVID-19 Lockdown VOA 27 Apr 2020 -- Lebanese have taken to the streets again, both in cars and on foot, to protest the country's deteriorating economic situation, despite a lockdown and curfew imposed because of the coronavirus. The demonstrators say they're forced to choose between dying of hunger or disease. Analysts predict a "full-fledged catastrophe" as huge pressure builds on the working- and middle classes and refugees who are the most vulnerable.
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