23 August 2020 Military News
- US hands over base to Iraqi troops amid calls for withdrawal Press TV 23 Aug 2020 -- US troops and their allies have withdrawn from the Taji base north of Iraq's capital Baghdad and handed it over to Iraqi security forces.
- Kabul police chief fired amid surge in Afghan attacks Press TV 23 Aug 2020 -- Kabul's police chief has been fired following a rise in violence and bombings in the Afghan capital in recent weeks, the Interior Ministry says.
Defense Policy / Programs
- USS Carl Vinson Conducts Change of Homeport US Navy 23 Aug 2020 -- The Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) departed Bremerton, Washington, Aug. 23, to commence sea trials as the final phase in completing a 17-month docking planned incremental availability (DPIA) at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility.
- USS Chung-Hoon Conducts GUNEX with HMAS Stuart US Navy 23 Aug 2020 -- U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) conducted a gunnery exercise with the Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Stuart (FFH 153) August 19 during Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2020.
- Russia's Foreign Minister Calls Washington's Conditions for Preserving New START Treaty Unrealistic Sputnik 23 Aug 2020 -- The United States put forward unrealistic conditions for preserving the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a youth forum in the Moscow region on Sunday, calling talks with the US on the treaty exhausting.
- First-Ever Footage of Modernised Tu-95MSM 'Bear' Bomber Taking Maiden Flight Released Sputnik 23 Aug 2020 -- The Tupolev Tu-95 has been part of the air-based component of Russia's strategic deterrent for decades, and has proven to be a tried-and-true workhorse for the military since its introduction all the way back in 1956.
- PLA holds concentrated military drills to deter Taiwan secessionists, US Global Times 23 Aug 2020 -- The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) has announced four concentrated military drills across three major Chinese sea regions in the coming days, following a recent announcement of consecutive, realistic drills in the Taiwan Straits and at its north and south ends aimed at deterring Taiwan secessionists and the US.
- Iraq Interested in Russian Infantry Vehicles, Su-57s, Army Inspector Says Sputnik 23 Aug 2020 -- Iraq is interested in purchasing infantry vehicles from Russia and in boosting Baghdad-Moscow military ties, Imad Al-Zuhairi, the military inspector for the Iraqi Ministry of Defence, said on Sunday.
- China Launches Advanced Warship for Pakistan Navy VOA 23 Aug 2020 -- China has launched the first of four "most advanced" warships it is building for Pakistan amid deepening defense and economic ties between the two allied nations.
- Russia, Turkey 'agree in principle' on 2nd batch of S-400 delivery despite US opposition Press TV 23 Aug 2020 -- A senior Russian official says his country and Turkey have agreed in principle on the second shipment of Russian advanced S-400 missile defense systems despite strong opposition from the United States.
- Turkey Holds War Games Involving F-16 Jets in Aegean Sea Amid Tensions With Neighbouring Greece Sputnik 23 Aug 2020 -- The announcement by the Turkish defence ministry came as Ankara and Athens continue to argue over gas and oil exploration rights in the eastern Mediterranean.
- Land border pact shows China, Vietnam can 'solve maritime issues without external intervention' Global Times 23 Aug 2020 -- China and Vietnam celebrated the 20th anniversary of delimitation their territorial boundaries, a historic border land treaty between the two countries which sends a clear message that neighboring countries can solve disputes without being influenced by external forces, as the US has recently increased the provocation in the South China Sea, Chinese experts said.
- Yemen warns Saudi-led coalition of 'great pain' amid escalation in bombardments Press TV 23 Aug 2020 -- Yemen has warned the Saudi-led coalition waging war on the country of "great [impending] pain," as the aggressor countries ramp up their strikes.
- Joint Forces Command of the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen: Interception. Destruction of A Bomb-Laden (UAV) in Yemeni Airspace SPA 23 Aug 2020 -- Statement by the Official Spokesman of the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen COL Turki Al-Malki said that the "Joint Coalition forces intercepted and destroyed this morning (Sunday) a bomb-laden UAV, while in Yemeni airspace, which was launched by the terrorist, Iran-backed Houthi militia to target the Kingdom."
- Saudi-Led Coalition Says Intercepts Houthi Drone, Missile in Yemen Sputnik 23 Aug 2020 -- Yemen's Houthi militia has launched dozens of drone and missile strikes against military bases, airports, and cities inside Saudi Arabia in recent years.
- Gunmen kill, wound several US-backed SDF militants across northern Syria Press TV 23 Aug 2020 -- Unidentified armed men have shot dead and wounded several US-sponsored militants affiliated with the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) across the northern sector of Syria as public outrage boils in areas held by the Takfiris amid worsening security conditions.
- Turkish military holds coordinated drills in Aegean Sea amid tensions Press TV 23 Aug 2020 -- Turkish air and naval forces have carried out joint training exercises in the Aegean Sea, amid escalating tensions between Turkey and Greece in the eastern Mediterranean Sea over gas and oil exploration.
- Hezbollah Says Downs Israeli Drone After It Violated Lebanon's Airspace Sputnik 23 Aug 2020 -- The Hezbollah militant group says it has downed an Israeli drone on the border between Lebanon and Israel.
- Can Regional Powers Help Combat Insurgency in Northern Mozambique? VOA 23 Aug 2020 -- Regional powers in southern Africa could play an important role in helping Mozambique combat a growing Islamist insurgency in the northern part of the country, experts say.
- 3 Attacks in Colombia Kill at Least 17 VOA 23 Aug 2020 -- At least 17 people were killed in three attacks across Colombia in regions contested by criminal groups, drug traffickers, and dissidents of the demobilized Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas.
- U.S. Senate report on Russian election meddling fails to present evidence: Russian Foreign Ministry People's Daily 23 Aug 2020 -- The whole story about Russian interference was "from the very beginning invented in the course of the internal political struggle between various forces in the United States," Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson said.
- Kremlin Critic Navalny Was Under Surveillance During Trip To Siberia, Says Report RFE/RL 23 Aug 2020 -- Kremlin critic Aleksei Navalny, who is being treated in a German hospital after a suspected poisoning, was under surveillance by Russian federal security agents during his recent trip to Siberia, according to a Russian newspaper report.
- Comatose Russian Dissident Visited by Wife in Berlin Hospital VOA 23 Aug 2020 -- The wife of Russian dissident Alexei Navalny, who is being treated for suspected poisoning at a Berlin hospital, visited her husband Sunday, according to the Associated Press.
- Hezbollah ready to make sacrifices to defend Lebanon: Nasrallah Press TV 23 Aug 2020 -- Hezbollah's secretary general has expressed the resistance movement's readiness to make sacrifices in order to defend Lebanon and protect its national interests, blasting the United States for warmongering against countries across the world.
- Corruption Threatens Beirut Revival VOA 23 Aug 2020 -- The U.N. Development Program warns widespread systematic corruption and lack of accountability in Lebanon will impede Beirut's efforts to recover from the August 4 blast that has devastated the lives and livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people.
- Anti-corruption campaign in political and legal systems, heavier blows on way: experts Global Times 23 Aug 2020 -- A series of anti-corruption moves have been taken in recent days as multiple cases involving the political and legal systems were put under investigation across China, highlighting the central government's zero tolerance toward corrupt behaviors. Stricter measures will be introduced to deal with the recent spike of corruption cases, experts predicted.
- China lowers flood emergency-response level People's Daily 23 Aug 2020 -- China's State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters on Saturday lowered its emergency response for flood control from Level II to Level IV, as the risks of flooding have been easing.
- Carrie Lam expects Hong Kong residents to cherish Basic Law, "one country, two systems" People's Daily 23 Aug 2020 -- The Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) has provided Hong Kong residents with a better life and every resident should cherish the Basic Law and "one country, two systems," HKSAR Chief Executive Carrie Lam said in a video series released on Saturday.
- China launches new optical remote-sensing satellite PLA Daily 23 Aug 2020 -- China successfully launched a new optical remote-sensing satellite from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China at 10:27 a.m. Sunday (Beijing Time).
- Former Taiwan regional leader defends criticism of DPP's US-leaning policy following pledge to prevent war with mainland Global Times 23 Aug 2020 -- The former leader of Taiwan island, Ma Ying-jeou, said his Saturday criticism toward the current Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration that the latter is pushing the island toward the verge of war was spot on, after its current leader, Tsai Ying-wen, fired criticism at him for his earlier remarks.
- US official joins Taiwan's president in marking controversial anniversary Press TV 23 Aug 2020 -- The United States' top representative in Taiwan has for the first time joined the self-ruled island's leader in a controversial ceremony commemorating the anniversary of Taiwan's last major battle with China.
- Kamalvandi: IAEA chief's visit to Iran to focus on Safeguards issues IRNA 23 Aug 2020 -- Spokesman for Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Behruz Kamalvandi said the visit of the Secretary-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Mariano Grossi is taking place within the framework of Safeguards Agreements.
- Iran envoy: IAEA chief visit to Tehran nothing to do with US bid with UNSC IRNA 23 Aug 2020 -- Iran's Ambassador to the Vienna-based international organizations Kazem Gharibabadi has said that the upcoming visit to Tehran of Director General of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi has nothing to do with US bid with the UN Security Council.
- IAEA chief's visit to Iran nothing to do with trigger mechanism ISNA 23 Aug 2020 -- Ambassador and permanent representative of Iran to the International Organizations in Vienna, Kazem Gharib-Abadi stressed that the upcoming visit to Tehran by Director General of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi has nothing to do with a U.S. push to impose so-called "snapback" sanctions on Iran.
- Iran Envoy: IAEA chief's Tehran visit not related to so-called snapback mechanism Press TV 23 Aug 2020 -- Iran's permanent representative to Vienna-based international organizations says the forthcoming visit to the Islamic Republic by the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has nothing to do with the United States' latest effort to use the so-called snapback mechanism to restore UN sanctions against Tehran.
- 'It will fail anyway:' Russia on US push to restore Iran sanctions Press TV 23 Aug 2020 -- Russia says the United States' attempt to force the return of all United Nations (UN) sanctions against Iran will fail, but may undermine the world body in the process.
- Explosion at Natanz nuclear facility act of sabotage: AEOI spokesman Press TV 23 Aug 2020 -- The spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) says a recent explosion at Natanz nuclear facility in central Iran has been an act of sabotage, but its details will be announced later.
- Iran Says Downed Ukrainian Passenger Plane Hit By Two Missiles 25 Seconds Apart RFE/RL 23 Aug 2020 -- Iran says analysis from the black boxes of a downed Ukrainian passenger plane shows it was hit by two missiles 25 seconds apart and that those on board were still alive after the first strike.
- First Missile Fired At Ukrainian Plane Did Not Kill Passengers, Iran Civil Aviation Chief Says Radio Farda 23 Aug 2020 -- Iran's Civil Aviation Organization Head Touraj Dehghani-Zanganeh says analysis of the data and cockpit talk from the Ukrainian jet shot down by Revolutionary Guard missiles on January 8, 2020 shows the passengers and the crew were not harmed for at least 19 seconds before the second missile hit the plane.
- Iranian sky safe for foreign flights, aviation official says IRNA 23 Aug 2020 -- Head of Civil Aviation Organization of Iran Touraj Dehqani Zangeneh said that the foreign airlines should be assured that flying from the Iranian sky is safe.
- Iran says analyzable data retrieved from downed Ukraine plane Press TV 23 Aug 2020 -- Head of the Civil Aviation Organization of the Islamic Republic of Iran has announced the retrieval of some "analyzable" data from the black box of a Ukrainian passenger plane that was accidentally downed near Tehran in early January and left more than 170 people dead.
- Rouhani Underestimates Impact of Pandemic On Iran's Economy, Khamenei Demands Economic Reforms Radio Farda 23 Aug 2020 -- President Hassan Rouhani says Iran's economy has shrunk by only 3 percent as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, while the economy of most countries have contracted by up to 20 percent.
- Iran Vice-President Apologizes To Nation For Economic Hardships, Shortcomings Radio Farda 23 Aug 2020 -- Vice-President Mohammad Baqer Nobakht, who is the chairman of Iran's Planning and Budget Organization has apologized to the nation for the shortcomings in the country's economy.
- In Open Letter Attorneys Demand Release Of Political Prisoners Amid Pandemic Radio Farda 23 Aug 2020 -- Forty-four lawyers in Iran have urged a prominent Iranian advocate of human rights, Ms. Nasrin Sotoudeh, and other political prisoners to end their hunger strikes and avoid endangering their own lives. The attorneys also demand the release of inmates amid the COVID pandemic.
- Green Movement Leader's Questionable Silence About 1980s Mass Execution of Prisoners Radio Farda 23 Aug 2020 -- Mir Hossein Mousavi, who has been under house arrest since 2011 as one of the leaders of Iran's proreform Green Movement was Iran's Prime Minister between 1981 and 1989.
- Russia's FM: Belarusian opposition members who left for West seek 'bloodshed' Press TV 23 Aug 2020 -- Russia has accused Belarusian opposition members, who have left the country for West amid violent protests over election results, of seeking "bloodshed."
- Lukashenko orders 'stringent measures' to confront NATO on Belarus border Press TV 23 Aug 2020 -- Belarus's President Alexander Lukashenko has ordered the army to take "stringent measures" against NATO troops, who are "seriously stirring" near the country's borders.
- Belarusians Pack Minsk Streets Calling For Lukashenka's Ouster RFE/RL 23 Aug 2020 -- Tens of thousands of people have packed the streets of the Belarusian capital, Minsk, for a rally against the disputed reelection of President Alyaksandr Lukashenka and a postelection crackdown amid a heavy military presence in the city and a fresh warning from the army.
- Zelenskiy Says Fresh Election In Belarus With Observers Would Calm Political Crisis RFE/RL 23 Aug 2020 -- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy says that, if he were in Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka's place, he would call fresh elections in one month with international observers present.
- Tens of Thousands Rally in Belarus, Call for Lukashenko to Resign VOA 23 Aug 2020 -- Tens of thousands of people rallied in the Belarus capital Sunday and called for President Alexander Lukashenko to resign after disputed election results, a postelection crackdown, and a heavy military presence in the city.
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