12 May 2020 Military News
Defense Policy / Programs
- Pushed to the Brink Again, Islamic State's Afghan Affiliate Claims Deadly Attacks VOA 12 May 2020 -- As mourners gathered for the funeral of an influential police commander in Afghanistan's eastern Nangarhar province, a suicide bomber detonated his explosive vest, killing at least 20 people.
- Condemning Heinous Terrorist Attacks in Afghanistan Today US Dept. of State 12 May 2020 -- "The United States condemns in the strongest terms the two horrific terrorist attacks in Afghanistan today."
- Afghan Troops 'Go On Offensive' After Deadly Attacks RFE/RL 12 May 2020 -- President Ashraf Ghani says Afghanistan's security forces will go on the offensive against the Taliban and other militant groups, following a violent day in which gunmen stormed a maternity hospital in Kabul and a suicide bomber targeted a funeral in the eastern province of Nangarhar.
- Afghanistan: UN shocked and outraged over deadly attacks on maternity hospital and funeral UN News 12 May 2020 -- Perpetrators behind two separate deadly attacks in Afghanistan on Tuesday must be brought to justice, top UN officials have said.
- Afghan Funeral Bombing, Hospital Raid Kill Dozens VOA 12 May 2020 -- The suicide bombing of a funeral in an eastern province, claimed by Islamic State, and a militant raid on a hospital in the capital, Kabul, have killed around 40 people and injured scores of others, officials in Afghanistan say.
- Fifteen People Killed, 56 Injured in Bomb Blast at Funeral in Afghanistan's East - Official Sputnik 12 May 2020 -- Fifteen people were killed and 56 others were injured in the bomb blast that took place at a police chief funeral in Afghanistan's eastern Nangarhar province, Attaullah Khogyani, the provincial governor's spokesman, said on Tuesday.
- Hospital run by intl. medical NGO attacked in Afghan capital Press TV 12 May 2020 -- A hospital in Afghanistan's capital of Kabul operated by the Geneva-based Doctors Without Borders has come under attack by gunmen.
- Violent attacks in Afghanistan kill, wound dozens, including at maternity hospital Press TV 12 May 2020 -- At least 16 people have been killed in an attack in which three militants stormed a maternity hospital in the Afghan capital, Kabul, and set off an hours-long shootout with police, officials say.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Blue Grass Plant Completes First Munitions Destruction Campaign PEO ACWA 12 May 2020 -- The Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant (BGCAPP) destroyed all 8-inch projectiles containing GB nerve agent May 11. This marks the completion of the first munitions campaign for the project.
- Readout of Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper's Call With Romania Minister of National Defense Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă DoD 12 May 2020
- U.S. Navy Maintains Persistent Presence Near West Capella NNS 12 May 2020 -- A U.S. Navy ship conducted presence operations near Panamanian flagged drillship, West Capella, May 12.
- US Navy Warship Spills Nearly 4,000 Gallons of Diesel Into Virginia River, Prompts Probe Sputnik 12 May 2020 -- The US Navy has launched an investigation to identify what led the service's Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea (CG-58) to spill thousands of gallons of fuel into Virginia's York River on May 7.
- Army's anti-terrorism technology chasing COVID-19 Army News 12 May 2020 -- The Army's technology used to root out terrorism threats is also monitoring the spread of COVID-19, and in the process giving Army leaders a leg up to make real-time, force protection decisions, says the Army's top criminal investigator.
- DOD Awards $138 Million Contract, Enabling Prefilled Syringes for Future COVID-19 Vaccine DoD 12 May 2020 -- "Today the Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, announce a $138 million contract with ApiJect Systems America for "Project Jumpstart" and "RAPID USA," which together will dramatically expand U.S. production capability for domestically manufactured, medical-grade injection devices starting by October 2020."
- Air Force update for COVID-19 USAF 12 May 2020
- In-port Preparations Propel Ford Toward Another Post-Delivery Milestone NNS 12 May 2020 -- USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) recently progressed toward another major milestone during the ship's 10th window of opportunity for maintenance (WOO) 10, ensuring mission readiness for its upcoming independent steaming event (ISE).
- Naval War College Faculty Steps Up to Assist U.S. Northern Command Planning Effort During COVID-19 NNS 12 May 2020 -- A group of U.S. Naval War College faculty members has answered a call from U.S. Northern Command for help with contingency planning related to the COVID-19 virus outbreak.
- Lebanon and Jordan partner with U.S. civil affairs amid global pandemic CENTCOM 12 May 2020 -- COVID-19 has created a radically different set of problems for U.S. Special Operations Forces and their host nation partners across the globe. Already under considerable strain from hosting large numbers of refugees from Syria and facing mounting economic trouble, Lebanon and Jordan are confronting an invisible and insidious enemy - COVID-19.
- Coronavirus response: NATO Secretary General discusses pandemic with EU defence ministers NATO 12 May 2020 -- NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg joined a video conference of European Union Defence Ministers along with the United Nations Under-Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix on Tuesday (12 May 2020), to discuss the security implications of the COVID-19 pandemic and the efforts of both organisations to respond to this challenge.
- China reveals large destroyer's replenishment training for 1st time Global Times 12 May 2020 -- The Nanchang, the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy's first Type 055 large destroyer, recently completed its first known maritime replenishment training, an operation that military experts said is crucial for the newly commissioned warship's combat capability.
- Military exercises to be held in Bohai Bay for two and a half months PLA Daily 12 May 2020 -- The official website of the Maritime Safety Administration of the People's Republic of China on May 11 released a notice on military exercises to be held in the waters of the Jingtang Harbour District, Tangshan Port, north China's Hebei Province.
- Iran Army Video Says Missile Homing Device Or 'Enemy' Responsible For Naval Incident Radio Farda 12 May 2020 -- A website affiliated with Iran's army released a video Monday evening acknowledging that a missile hit one of its navy ships on Sunday in a friendly-fire incident that killed 19 sailors and injured 15.
- Supreme Leader condoles martyrdom of Iranian Navy forces IRNA 12 May 2020 -- Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei in a message to Army Commander Abdelrahim Mousavi on Tuesday extended condolences on martyrdom of brave naval forces on Konarak vessel and wished the bereaved families strength and recovery for the wounded.
- Ayatollah Khamenei urges investigation into deadly naval accident off Iran's southern coast Press TV 12 May 2020 -- Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei calls for an investigation into a recent deadly incident involving the Iranian Navy's Konarak logistical and support vessel in the country's southern waters.
- Iran's President condoles martyrdom of a number of navy sailors ISNA 12 May 2020 -- Iran's President sent a letter to express condolences over the martyrdom of a number of brave sailors of the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy in a tragic accident for a naval vessel, praying of those who have lost their lives and wishing swift recovery for the injured.
- Iran holds funeral procession for 19 victims of naval exercise incident Press TV 12 May 2020 -- A funeral procession has been held for 19 Iranian Navy personnel who lost their lives in a recent incident involving the Navy's Konarak logistical and support vessel in the country's southern waters.
- Iran Holds Funeral For Victims Of Naval Accident, No Explanation About Cause Radio Farda 12 May 2020 -- Iran on Tuesday buried the victims of an apparent friendly-fire incident during a naval exercise that killed nineteen sailors and wounded 15 others, without offering any explanations about the cause of the accident.
- 6037 Indians return from abroad in 31 flights under Vande Bharat Mission since 7th May 2020 India PIB 12 May 2020 -- 6037 Indians have been flown back to India in 31 inbound flights operated by Air India and Air India Express under Vande Bharat Mission in 5 days beginning from 7th May 2020.
- Mission Sagar : INS Kesari Hands Over Food Provisions to Maldives India PIB 12 May 2020 -- As part of 'Mission Sagar', Indian Naval Ship Kesari entered Port of Male, Maldives on 12 May 2020.
- Press Briefing by Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany The White House 12 May 2020
- 12 May 2020 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 12 May 2020
- Vietnam Encourages Fishermen to Defy China South China Sea Ban Radio Free Asia 12 May 2020 -- Vietnam's government on Tuesday encouraged the nation's fishermen to keep operating around the disputed Paracel Islands despite China's unilaterally-imposed fishing ban in the South China Sea, and directed provincial authorities to support Vietnamese fishermen at sea.
- Contingency plans in place for Chinese drills in South China Sea CNA 12 May 2020 -- Taiwan said Tuesday that contingency plans are in place for its outlying islands in the South China Sea, following a Japanese media report that the Chinese military is planning to conduct drills in the area to simulate the seizure of one of the islands.
- Saudi-backed Hadi regime threatens to 'confront' UAE-aligned separatists in S Yemen Press TV 12 May 2020 -- The government of former Saudi-backed Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi has threatened to "confront every armed rebellion" by once-allied UAE-aligned separatists, urging them to abandon a recent "self-rule" declaration in the war-torn country's southern regions.
- War thrust back Yemen development 21 years: UNDP Press TV 12 May 2020 -- The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) says a Saudi-led military campaign underway against Yemen has pushed back the country's development more than two decades, and is now complicating the war-torn nation's efforts to rein in the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
- Yemen's Southern Transitional Council Accuses Government of Violating Peace Treaty Sputnik 12 May 2020 -- The president of Yemen's Southern Transitional Council (STC), Aidaroos Qassem Zubaidi, on Monday accused the country's internationally recognized government of not following the peace agreement and attacking the council's forces.
- Syrian Village Residents Block Road, Thwart US Convoy's Attempt to Use Local Highway Sputnik 12 May 2020 -- The incident comes amid the ongoing standoff between US troops, Syrian Army units, local residents and Kurdish militia in northeast Syria, home to the majority of Damascus's oil and gas reserves.
- Russia, Turkey Carry Out 10th Joint Patrolling in Syria's Idlib – MoD Sputnik 12 May 2020 -- The Russian and Turkish military on Tuesday conducted the tenth joint patrol along the M4 highway in Syria's northern Idlib de-escalation zone, the Russian Defence Ministry's centre for the reconciliation of the warring parties in Syria said in a statement on Tuesday.
- Rival Libyan Forces Square Off in Tripoli VOA 12 May 2020 -- Forces loyal to Libya's two rival governments continue to square off in and around the capital, Tripoli, as each side tries to wrest strategic positions and territory from the other.
- State Department Must Fill Long-Vacant Post on Tibetan Affairs: Religious Freedoms Group Radio Free Asia 12 May 2020 -- The Trump administration must move quickly to fill a long-vacant State Department position focused on Tibetan issues, a bipartisan U.S. commission monitoring religious freedoms said on Tuesday, calling the Special Coordinator post crucial to mobilizing government resources to address deteriorating religious freedom in the Himalayan region ruled by China.
- Tibetan Families Absent From Their Villages Are Removed From Resettlement Lists, Left Without Homes Radio Free Asia 12 May 2020 -- Hundreds of Tibetan families temporarily absent from their homes in Tibet's Chamdo prefecture have been left without permanent places to live after being struck from the lists of residents now ordered by Chinese authorities to relocate from their ancestral land, Tibetan sources say.
- India Worries China may be Constructing South China Sea-Like Artificial Island in Maldives Sputnik 12 May 2020 -- China and India, which have faced off along the border between the two countries for past few days, remain locked in a silent confrontation despite the COVID-19 pandemic; Beijing's attempts to expand its political influence among the island nations of the Indian Ocean have angered New Delhi.
- Stand-off Between Indian, Chinese Troops Escalates as Fighter Jet, Helicopters Scramble in Ladakh Sputnik 12 May 2020 -- The current stand-off in eastern Ladakh is the second such instance since India and China disengaged in Doklam after a 73-day stand-off in 2017. The Indian Air Force (IAF) scrambled its Su-30MKI after it spotted the movement of military helicopters on the Chinese side of the border last week.
- Fifteen Killed in Armed Attack on Village in Northern Nigeria Sputnik 12 May 2020 -- A group of armed assailants attacked a village in Nigeria's northern state of Kaduna in the early hours of Tuesday, killing 15 people and injuring five others, the police said.
- 42,000 flee violence in north Nigeria, south Niger: UN Press TV 12 May 2020 -- The United Nations (UN) says around 42,000 people have fled violence committed by armed groups in border areas in northern Nigeria and the southern parts of neighboring Niger in recent weeks.
- Thousands Flee Violence in NW Nigeria, Seek Safety in Niger VOA 12 May 2020 -- Violence in northwestern Nigeria has taken a dangerous new turn, forcing more people to flee for safety in one month than during the course of most of last year.
- Myanmar Army Acknowledges Unlawful Interrogation Methods After Viral Rakhine Beating Video Radio Free Asia 12 May 2020 -- Myanmar's military said Tuesday that some of its troops used unlawful and improper interrogation techniques while detaining five Rakhine men suspected of having links to the rebel Arakan Army, a rare admission offered a day after a video published by RFA showed soldiers beating the men on board a naval vessel.
- Sources: Ethiopian Forces in Somalia Shot Down Kenyan Plane VOA 12 May 2020 -- An Ethiopian anti-aircraft missile brought down the Kenyan plane that crashed in the Somali town of Bardale last week, killing six people on board, multiple sources have told VOA Somali.
- Judge Expects Outside Parties to Speak on Ex-National Adviser Michael Flynn's Case Sputnik 12 May 2020 -- The order follows the recent announcement of the US Justice Department on 7 May that it was dropping Flynn's case after a comprehensive review of all the facts and circumstances.
- Venezuela renegade figure's advisers resign after botched op to kidnap Maduro Press TV 12 May 2020 -- Two US-based advisers to Venezuela's opposition figure Juan Guaido have resigned after a failed attack by an American "security" firm to kidnap the Latin American country's elected president.
- US Mercenaries Went Ahead With Venezuela Invasion Despite Being Outed on TV Weeks Earlier – Video Sputnik 12 May 2020 -- The fallout continues from 'Operation Gideon', the brazen May 3-4 attempt by a US security contractor to invade Venezuela, kidnap its president and take him back to the United States. The White House remains in damage control mode, denying any responsibility for the plot while seeking to bring the captured US mercenaries involved back home.
- Despite A Mass COVID-19 Outbreak, Workers In Russia's Arctic Labor On RFE/RL 12 May 2020 -- Until recently, the massive Kola Yard project in the town of Belokamenka on the western shore of the Kola Bay was best known as a flagship of Russia's effort to develop the Far North and open the Arctic region for economic exploitation.
- Is Russia's State Oil Giant Pulling The Strings At An Influential Business Newspaper? RFE/RL 12 May 2020 -- A specter is haunting Vedomosti, threatening to undermine the independence of one of Russia's most respected business newspapers, at a time when Russian media is under pressure from the Kremlin.
- Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian's Regular Press Conference on May 12, 2020 PRC MofA 12 May 2020
- Two sessions to have fewer attendees, closed-loop management Global Times 12 May 2020 -- Many provinces and cities in China have held their local two sessions with enhanced measures to prevent and control the COVID-19 epidemic, including reducing the number of attendees and providing online interviews, and observers wonder whether these measures could be used for the upcoming national two sessions scheduled next week.
- Hong Kong Journalists Say Police Violence Against Them 'Overwhelming' Radio Free Asia 12 May 2020 -- Journalists in Hong Kong have strongly condemned repeated attacks on media workers by the police during a wave of recent pro-democracy protests in the city.
- Hong Kong Lawmakers Poised to Approve Bill Criminalizing Disrespect of Chinese National Anthem VOA 12 May 2020 -- Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam says the legislature will prioritize a bill that will make it a criminal offense to disrespect China's national anthem.
- Report: Chinese Investment in US Drops to Lowest Level Since 2009 VOA 12 May 2020 -- Chinese investment in the U.S. in 2019 dropped to its lowest level in a decade, a new report estimates, reflecting trade tensions between the world's top two economies even before the coronavirus pandemic took hold.
- China launches first satellites for new generation space-borne IoT project Global Times 12 May 2020 -- China has successfully launched the first two communication satellites for its new space-based Internet-of-Things (IoT) project into designated orbit on Tuesday, with the first one named after its birthplace Wuhan, a city once hit hard by the COVID-19, according to China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC), the developer.
- U.S. Senate passes bill to help Taiwan regain WHA observer status CNA 12 May 2020 -- The United States Senate on Monday passed a bill that asks Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to come up with a strategy to help Taiwan regain observer status at the World Health Assembly (WHA) to be held later this month.
- Taiwan decries WHO's statement of 'no mandate' for invitation CNA 12 May 2020 -- Taiwan on Tuesday took issue with a statement by the World Health Organization (WHO) the previous day, which said that it had "no mandate" from its members to invite Taiwan to the annual meeting of its decision-making body this year.
- WHO chief 'has no mandate' to invite Taiwan to World Health Assembly Press TV 12 May 2020 -- The World Health Organization (WHO)'s chief has "no mandate" to invite self-ruled Taiwan to participate in this month's World Health Assembly (WHA), the body's lawyer has announced, amid the differing viewpoints of member states about the matter.
- Beijing 'Deplores and Opposes' New Zealand's Move to Back Taiwanese Membership of WHO Sputnik 12 May 2020 -- Wellington joined the United States, Australia and Canada in backing Taiwan's bid to join the World Health Organization (WHO) as an observer, with the People's Republic calling the move a violation of the One-China policy which has governed relations between Beijing and many Western nations for decades.
- Taiwanese have more positive view of U.S. than China: survey CNA 12 May 2020 -- People in Taiwan rate the United States more positively than China, by more than 30 percentage points, a survey released by the nonpartisan American think tank Pew Research Center on Tuesday showed.
- North Korea Bars Access to The Border City of Rason, Harming Business for Traders Radio Free Asia 12 May 2020 -- North Korea has mysteriously shut down access to the border city of Rason, endangering the livelihood of residents who travel there to do business with nearby China and Russia, sources in the isolated country told RFA.
- There is no negotiation with US: Iran FM ISNA 12 May 2020 -- Iran's Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif stressed that there is no negotiation with the US and Washington has shown that no one can trust their negotiations and their results.
- Foreign Minister Zarif: Iran, US not engaged in any negotiations Press TV 12 May 2020 -- Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says there are no talks underway between Iran and the United States, reminding how Washington has proven to be an untrustworthy negotiation partner.
- US must stop acting callously, let Iranian hostages go: Foreign Ministry Press TV 12 May 2020 -- Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman has urged the US to stop acting callously and release the Iranian "hostages" jailed in America and other parts of the world upon Washington's request.
- Why Rouhani Suddenly Fired His Minister Of Industry And Trade Radio Farda 12 May 2020 -- President Hassan Rouhani fired his Minister of Industry, Mining and Trade Reza Rahmani on Monday May 11 without offering any explanation about his abrupt decision.
- Minister: COVID19 did not stop oil production IRNA 12 May 2020 -- Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh elaborated on Petroleum Ministry's measures in fighting COVID19, saying the ministry has put on its agenda making persistent efforts to prevent stopping oil production.
- Falling Demand Has Forced Iran To Stockpile 'Unprecedented' Amount Of Gasoline Radio Farda 12 May 2020 -- Iran's oil minister said Tuesday that stockpiling gasoline in his country has reached an "unprecedented historic level" due to falling demand.
- Food Aid For Iranian Poor At Khomeini's Luxurious Shrine Ignites Controversy RFE/RL 12 May 2020 -- The innumerous, pretty food packages for the poor were carefully set around the shrine of the founder of Iran's Islamic republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, to highlight support for people left in need by the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
- Iran's Top General Calls Upon Pakistan Army to Free Abducted Border Guards Sputnik 12 May 2020 -- Three Iranian border guards were held hostage by the jihadist militant organization Jaish ul-Adl in October 2018 and taken into Pakistan. The terror group operates in southeastern Iran, which has a porous border with Pakistan.
- Political will 'fundamental' to realizing a more just and prosperous Iraq: UN envoy UN News 12 May 2020 -- Despite compounding crises that include the COVID-19 pandemic and plummeting oil revenues, a more prosperous and inclusive Iraq can be achieved provided the political will is there, the top UN official in the country told the Security Council during a virtual meeting held on Tuesday.
- India Announces $265 Billion Package to Revive Battered Economy VOA 12 May 2020 -- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a massive package of more than $265 billion to revive an economy battered by a seven-week lockdown enforced to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
- Myanmar Major Political Parties Chilly Toward Post-2020 Election Coalition Talk Radio Free Asia 12 May 2020 -- Two small political parties in Myanmar are calling for a coalition government following year-end elections, saying such an arrangement is needed to resolve armed conflicts and political deadlocks that have stifled the peace plans and reform pledges of the four-year-old administration of Aung San Suu Kyi.
- Aramco announces first quarter 2020 results SPA 12 May 2020 -- The Saudi Arabian Oil Company ("Aramco" or "the Company") today announced its financial results for the first quarter of 2020, demonstrating financial and operational strength despite a challenging macro environment and lower energy demand caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- U.S., EU Urge Georgian Authorities, Opposition To Uphold March 8 Agreement RFE/RL 12 May 2020 -- The U.S. and European Union ambassadors have called on Georgia's ruling and opposition parties to uphold and implement a foreign-brokered deal on election reforms after more than two months of failing to move forward.
- Serbian Parties Vow Rival Hunger Strikes As Election Drama Escalates RFE/RL 12 May 2020 -- Serbian pro-government and right-wing opposition figures have vowed to stage rival hunger strikes until their competing demands are met as supporters of each side staged protests separated by riot police in front of the parliament in Belgrade.
- Senior Aide to Congo's President Denies Embezzling Millions at Opening of His Trial VOA 12 May 2020 -- The chief of staff to Democratic Republic of Congo President Felix Tshisekedi denied embezzling more than $50 million in public funds at a brief opening of his trial Monday.
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