28 August 2020 Military News
- US to slash number of troops in Iraq by about one-third: Report Press TV 28 Aug 2020 -- The Pentagon is planning to decrease the number of American troops in Iraq by about one-third, a report says.
- Pakistan Sees Taliban as Buffer to India in Future Afghanistan, Experts Say VOA 28 Aug 2020 -- As Afghanistan's warring sides prepare to hold long-awaited negotiations next week to establish peace, Pakistan is trying to push the Taliban to come to the table in a move that experts say is an attempt by Islamabad to increase its influence in postwar Afghanistan and counter its rival India.
- NATO and Afghan security forces provide relief to flood victims in Afghanistan NATO 28 Aug 2020 -- NATO and the Afghan security forces recently provided critical assistance to the victims of floods in the eastern province of Parwan. This is part of their efforts to work together for the security of all Afghans.
- At Least 15 Afghan Civilians Killed In Two Separate Attacks RFE/RL 28 Aug 2020 -- Afghan officials say at least 15 civilians have been killed in two separate roadside bomb blasts in the southern province of Kandahar.
- Bomb Blast in Afghanistan's Kandahar Kills 13 Civilians, Source Says Sputnik 28 Aug 2020 -- An explosion in the Kandahar province in southern Afghanistan, close to the border with Pakistan, killed 13 civilians on Friday, a security source said.
- Al-Shabaab Terrorist Network: The Nature of this Enemy AFRICOM 28 Aug 2020 -- U.S. Africa Command continues to train Somali forces and support operations with precision airstrikes. In 2020, U.S. Africa Command has conducted 46 airstrikes to degrade the Al-Shabaab terrorist network
- U.S. assists in rescuing migrants stranded in Mediterranean AFRICOM 28 Aug 2020 -- Migrants stranded in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Libya were rescued after U.S. military personnel heard their distress signal, July 21.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Navy Accepts Delivery of Second Next Generation Landing Craft US Navy 28 Aug 2020 -- The Navy accepted delivery of the next generation landing craft, Ship to Shore Connector (SSC), Landing Craft, Air Cushion (LCAC) 101, Aug. 27. LCAC 101 is the second craft delivered by Textron Systems to the Navy this year.
- USS Philippine Sea Conducts Maneuvering Exercises with Spanish Navy US Navy 28 Aug 2020 -- The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea (CG 58) executed passing exercises with the Spanish Navy in the Mediterranean Sea, Aug. 26, 2020.
- 332nd, 379th AEWs work together to expand agile combat employment in AOR CENTCOM 28 Aug 2020 -- In a joint effort to implement agile combat employment, F-15E Strike Eagle maintainers from the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing conducted hot-pit training and aircraft arresting system certification with deployed members from the 379th AEW, Aug. 23 and 28, 2020, at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar.
- Navy to Christen Littoral Combat Ship Savannah DoD 28 Aug 2020 -- The Navy will christen its newest Independence-variant littoral combat ship (LCS), the future USS Savannah (LCS 28), during a 10 a.m. CDT ceremony Saturday, Aug. 29, in Mobile, Alabama.
- Readout of Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper's Meeting With the President of the Republic of Palau and Other Members of his Cabinet DoD 28 Aug 2020
- USS Hershel "Woody" Williams Supports U.S. SOF Interoperability US Navy 28 Aug 2020 -- The Expeditionary Sea Base USS Hershel "Woody" Williams (ESB 4) is conducting interoperability training with Special Operations Forces (SOF) assigned to Special Operations Command-Africa (SOCAF) in the Mediterranean Sea.
- NATO Secretary General discusses situation in the eastern Mediterranean with President Erdogan NATO 28 Aug 2020 -- NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg spoke by telephone with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Friday (28 August 2020). They discussed recent developments in the eastern Mediterranean.
- US bombers to overfly all 30 NATO Allies in a single day NATO 28 Aug 2020 -- Six US Air Force B-52 Stratofortress bomber aircraft are overflying all 30 NATO Allies on Friday (28 August 2020), training together with Allied air forces. As four US strategic bombers fly over Europe and two over North America for this long-planned event, named "Allied Sky", they will be accompanied by around 80 fighter aircraft from across the Alliance, providing an opportunity to boost Allies' ability to train and operate alongside each other.
- U.S. Military 'Closely Monitoring' Russian Submarine That Surfaced Off Alaska RFE/RL 28 Aug 2020 -- U.S. Northern Command and the North American Aerospace Defense (NORAD) Command are closely monitoring a Russian submarine that surfaced near Alaska on August 27.
- Russian military intercepts US B-52 strategic bomber over Black Sea Press TV 28 Aug 2020 -- Russia has intercepted a US B-52 strategic bomber as it was heading toward Russian airspace over the Black Sea, the Russian Defense Ministry says.
- Russian Fighters Scrambled to Intercept US Bomber B-52H Over Black Sea Sputnik 28 Aug 2020 -- Two Russian fighters Su-27 were scrambled to intercept US Air Force strategic bomber B-52H over the Black Sea, the Russian Defence Ministry's National Defense Control Centre said on Friday.
- DOD Releases List of Additional Companies, in Accordance with Section 1237 of FY19 NDAA DoD 28 Aug 2020 -- Today, the Department of Defense released the names of additional "Communist Chinese military companies" operating directly or indirectly in the United States in accordance with the statutory requirement of Section 1237 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1999, as amended.
- Threat claims of China's missile launch 'groundless' Global Times 28 Aug 2020 -- China's Foreign Ministry slammed the US as a "troublemaker" in the South China Sea, and said US' accusations that China fired missiles into the South China Sea which threatened regional peace are groundless and unreasonable.
- China's military 'will not dance to US' tune' People's Daily 28 Aug 2020 -- The Chinese military opposes the United States ramping up its pressure and provocations against China, and promises to take "every measure necessary" to safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests as bilateral relations face an "unusually severe and complicated situation", the Ministry of National Defense said on Thursday.
- China's largest oceanographic research vessel launched 92 years after first scientific expedition to S. China Sea islands Global Times 28 Aug 2020 -- China's largest oceanographic research vessel dubbed the "Sun Yat-sen University," was launched at Jiangnan Shipyard in Shanghai on Friday, about 92 years after China's first scientific expedition to the Xisha Islands in the South China Sea.
- Photos: China Tests Converting Heavy Cargo Ship Into Helicopter Carrier Sputnik 28 Aug 2020 -- In a recent drill, the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) took a page from the US Navy's book and tested its ability to use the deck of a large semi-submersible cargo ship as a temporary helicopter landing pad.
- China's first amphibious assault ship completes maiden sea trial PLA Daily 28 Aug 2020 -- The first Type 075 amphibious assault ship of the People's Liberation Army Navy has finished its first sea trial, Senior Colonel Wu Qian, a spokesman for the Defense Ministry, confirmed on Thursday.
- China urges US military to restrain behaviors to avoid contingency PLA Daily 28 Aug 2020 -- "China urges the US to immediately stop provocations, strictly manage and control its maritime and air military operations, strictly restrain the behaviors of its front-line naval and air forces, so as to avoid any contingency," said Senior Colonel Li Huamin, spokesperson for the Southern Theater Command of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), in a written statement on Friday.
- Taiwan opens F-16 fighter jet maintenance center in Taichung CNA 28 Aug 2020 -- Taiwan on Friday opened a new F-16 fighter jet maintenance center in Taichung, the first such facility in Asia, to upgrade the nation's fleet of 142 F-16 fighters and eventually perform repairs on aircraft from other countries.
- Defiant Taiwan president unveils F-16 hub amid tensions with China Press TV 28 Aug 2020 -- Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen has unveiled a US-backed maintenance hub for upgraded F-16 fighters, saying she will not be "bowing and cringing" to China over the self-ruled island's "sovereignty."
- US Sale of F-16s to Taiwan May Inflame China, But Also Keep Beijing at Bay VOA 28 Aug 2020 -- Taiwan's agreement this month to buy $8 billion worth of advanced F-16 fighter jets from the United States will prompt threats from China against the island and in turn spark more anti-China action by Washington, but eventually help keep Beijing at bay, experts say.
- 28 August 2020 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 28 Aug 2020
- Chinese military expels US destroyer from territorial waters in S.China Sea Global Times 28 Aug 2020 -- The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) on Thursday expelled a US warship that trespassed into China's territorial waters in the Xisha Islands in the South China Sea on Thursday, near an ongoing Chinese military exercise zone that reportedly featured live-fire anti-ship ballistic missile launches.
- Joint Forces Command of the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy, in Yemen: Interception, Destruction of Bomb-Laden UAV Launched Toward the Kingdom SPA 28 Aug 2020 -- Statement by the Official Spokesman of the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy, in Yemen, COL Turki Al-Malki: "Joint Coalition Forces have intercepted and destroyed this evening (Friday) a bomb-laden UAV launched systematically and deliberately by the terrorist Houthi militia to target civilians and civilian objects in (Najran)."
- Countdown begins for most decisive battle of Yemen war Press TV 28 Aug 2020 -- The Yemeni army and Ansarullah popular forces have fully prepared for the beginning of the Ma'rib war, the most decisive phase of the five-year aggression imposed by the Saudi-led coalition against Yemen, military sources say.
- Libya's UN-backed gov't accuses eastern-based army of attacking its forces in Sirte People's Daily 28 Aug 2020 -- The UN-backed Libyan government on Thursday accused the rival eastern-based army of attacking its forces in Sirte city.
- Libya Government of National Accord's Prime Minister Fires Interior Minister Amid Protests Sputnik 28 Aug 2020 -- The prime minister of the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA), Fayez Sarraj, has fired Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha amid the ongoing protests in the western part of the country, the GNA said in a statement.
- First Direct Flight Between Israel, Abu Dhabi Set for Monday VOA 28 Aug 2020 -- The first direct flight between Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi is scheduled for August 31, with a return flight the next day. It is the first concrete expression of the normalization agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates signed earlier this month.
- Israel, Hamas trade fire amid flare-up in Gaza tensions Press TV 28 Aug 2020 -- The Israeli military has carried out airstrikes and artillery attacks on various sites across the besieged Gaza Strip over what it cited as a volley of rockets launched from the Palestinian enclave into occupied territories.
- Four Terrorists Killed in Gunfight in Indian-Administered Kashmir Sputnik 28 Aug 2020 -- Terror incidents have witnessed a sharp jump in Indian-administered Kashmir, with over 150 terrorists killed in encounters by security forces in the first seven months of this year. While the Indian government has said youths joining terrorism has declined "remarkably", it admitted a spike in terrorism.
- Myanmar Military to Investigate Troops Accused of Killing Three Ta'ang Villagers Radio Free Asia 28 Aug 2020 -- The Myanmar military has said it will investigate the deaths of three ethnic Ta'ang civilians who died while being detained by soldiers in Myanmar's restive northern Shan state, and hold to account those responsible, a village administrator and local residents said Friday.
- Myanmar Army Restrictions, COVID-19 Border Closure Pose Hunger Threat to Kachin War Refugees Radio Free Asia 28 Aug 2020 -- More than 400 people living in displaced persons camp in a remote border town under the control of a rebel army in northern Myanmar's Kachin state are facing a severe food shortages because government forces have cut off supplies to the insurgent controlled area, a local Kachin humanitarian leader said Friday.
- Complex security, environmental crises worsen conditions for over 360,000 in western Chad UN News 28 Aug 2020 -- More than 360,000 internally displaced persons in Chad's Lake province are facing a "double" crisis, exposed to security and environmental risks, the UN International Organization for Migration (IOM) has reported, highlighting the need to strengthen resilience of affected communities.
- Statement from Attorney General William P. Barr on the Ninth Circuit's Stay in the Case Concerning the Federal Courthouse in Portland US Dept. of Justice 28 Aug 2020 -- Attorney General William P. Barr issued the following statement on the Ninth Circuit's stay in Index Newspapers LLC, et al v. United States Marshals Service, et al:
- Counter ISIS Finance Group Leaders Issue Joint Statement US Treasury 28 Aug 2020 -- On July 29, 2020, the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS hosted the thirteenth meeting of the Counter ISIS Finance Group (CIFG). This meeting was convened via conference call for participants to discuss ongoing global efforts to counter ISIS financing. The CIFG was established in January 2015 as a working group of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS and is co-chaired by Italy, Saudi Arabia, and the United States.
- Germany Mulls Russia Response As Navalny's Condition Remains 'Serious' RFE/RL 28 Aug 2020 -- The Berlin hospital treating Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny after a suspected poisoning says the Kremlin critic is still in an induced coma but his condition is stable and his symptoms are improving.
- Russia expels Norwegian diplomat in tit-for-tat move Press TV 28 Aug 2020 -- Russia has expelled a senior Norwegian diplomat in retaliation for an earlier move by Norway to expel a Russian diplomat on suspicion of having links to an alleged spy case.
- Danish Intelligence May Have Shared Personal Data With US in Developing Spying Scandal Sputnik 28 Aug 2020 -- A major scandal is brewing in Denmark as a watchdog report has uncovered extensive collaboration between the Danish Military Intelligence Service (FE), and America's largest and mightiest intelligence service, the NSA.
- Chinese National Charged with Destroying Hard Drive During FBI Investigation into the Possible Transfer of Sensitive Software to China US Dept. of Justice 28 Aug 2020 -- A Chinese national and researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles has been arrested on federal charges of destroying evidence to obstruct an FBI investigation after he was observed throwing a damaged hard drive into a dumpster outside his apartment, the Justice Department announced today.
- Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian's Regular Press Conference on August 28, 2020 PRC MofA 28 Aug 2020
- China Makes Plans to Import More US Oil Radio Free Asia 28 Aug 2020 -- China is stocking up on oil from the United States in an apparent effort to ease tensions with Washington, analysts say.
- China Confirms Holding 12 Hong Kong Residents From Boat Seizure Radio Free Asia 28 Aug 2020 -- Hong Kong authorities on Friday confirmed that 12 of the city's residents are being held by the China Coast Guard in the southern province of Guangdong, after their boat was seized outside Hong Kong waters on Sunday.
- Ethnic Mongolian Parents Strike Over China's New Language Policy in Schools Radio Free Asia 28 Aug 2020 -- Parents in China's northern region of Inner Mongolia are refusing to send their children to school this semester in protest over changes to the curriculum by the ruling Chinese Communist Party.
- Xinjiang dispels rumors about 'detained' Uygur model Global Times 28 Aug 2020 -- A model who posted a video of himself being handcuffed in a room and has been used by Western media as "proof" to accuse Xinjiang, was under compulsory measures for violating COVID-19 prevention rules, a spokesperson of China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region told a press conference on Thursday.
- Xinjiang Authorities Jail Family Members of Two Uyghurs in Exile For Travel, Overseas Ties Radio Free Asia 28 Aug 2020 -- Authorities in northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) have imprisoned the family members of two Uyghur women living in exile for their travels abroad and overseas connections, according to the women.
- Rodong Sinmun Calls for Positively Turning out in Eradicating Typhoon Damage KCNA 28 Aug 2020 -- Rodong Sinmun says in an editorial on Friday calls upon all the people to positively turn out in the work to eradicate the damage by typhoon, bearing in mind the Workers' Party of Korea's noble loving care for the people.
- Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un Inspects Typhoon-Stricken Area in South Hwanghae Province KCNA 28 Aug 2020 -- Kim Jong Un, chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea, chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and supreme commander of the armed forces of the DPRK, inspected typhoon-stricken area in South Hwanghae Province and learned about damage.
- This Week in Iran Policy US Dept. of State 28 Aug 2020
- U.S. Seizure of Three Websites Used by Iranian Front Company that Was Shipping Fuel on Four Tankers to Venezuela US Dept. of Justice 28 Aug 2020 -- The Justice Department today announced the seizure of three websites used by three front companies: Mobin International, Sohar Fuel, and Oman Fuel, who arranged a multimillion dollar fuel shipment by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a designated foreign terrorist organization, that was bound for Venezuela.
- Four Men Indicted By US Attorneys For Conspiring To Sell Iranian Oil To China Radio Farda 28 Aug 2020 -- Federal prosecutors in Pennsylvania indicted four American men August 27 allegedly conspiring to buy Iranian crude oil for a Chinese refinery as part of a scheme to circumvent U.S. sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
- US Seizes Websites of Iranian Companies Involved in Brokering Fuel Shipments to Venezuela Sputnik 28 Aug 2020 -- The United States has seized three websites of Iranian companies involved in fuel shipments to Venezuela, the US Department of Justice said in a statement on Friday.
- US obviously does not understand law or UN after thrice being defeated: Iran FM Press TV 28 Aug 2020 -- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the United States has once again threatened to impose restrictions on 'anyone and any entity' dealing with the Islamic Republic despite being dismissed by the United Nations Security Council three times.
- US mulls pressure on European allies for siding with Iran: Report Press TV 28 Aug 2020 -- The administration of US President Donald Trump is reportedly considering options to pressure European members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) following their refusal to support the United States in its efforts to extend an illegal arms embargo on Iran.
- Pompeo Says UN Sanctions Against Iran Will Return On September 20 Radio Farda 28 Aug 2020 -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reiterated Thursday, August 27, that the United Nations sanctions against the Islamic Republic will return on September 20.
- Families Of Victims Of Ukrainian Plane Crash Urge Those With Evidence To Come Forth Radio Farda 28 Aug 2020 -- The Association of the Families of the Victims of Flight P752 issued a video message on Friday urging anyone who has information or evidence about the downing of the plane to come forward.
- Foreign Minister Of Saudi Arabia, Iran's Chief Rival, Visits Iraq To Expand Ties Radio Farda 28 Aug 2020 -- Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan visited Iraq on Thursday, August 27, for the first time since he was appointed the kingdom's foreign minister last year.
- Japan's Abe to step down as leader owing to health concerns People's Daily 28 Aug 2020 -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to step down from his post owing to concerns over his health, a Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) source said Friday.
- Japan's Abe Announces Resignation for Health Reasons VOA 28 Aug 2020 -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has announced he is stepping down due to chronic health concerns. His departure ends a historic tenure in office, but the conservative leader's resignation underscores his mixed accomplishments in regional relations.
- Russia ready to intervene if Belarus situation out of control: Putin Global Times 28 Aug 2020 -- Russia is ready to intervene if the situation in Belarus gets out of control, although only as a last resort, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday.
- Lukashenko: Belarus, Russia Could Unite Troops in Case of Threat on Western Border Sputnik 28 Aug 2020 -- Late last week, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko pledged that Minsk would "react without warning" to any attempt aimed at violating the country's western borders.
- Even 'Proud Friend' Serbia Is Silent As EU's Balkan Aspirants Cautious About Belarus RFE/RL 28 Aug 2020 -- As Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has tried to beat back a wave of public anger over the mishandling of what critics say is his latest rigged election, voices have been raised all over Europe against the violence against protesters.
- Belarusian Authorities' Crime 'Will Not Be Erased From Memory,' Says Opposition Leader Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya RFE/RL 28 Aug 2020 -- Now in its 19th day, Belarus's political crisis has slipped toward a potentially more dangerous phase with President Vladimir Putin signaling the possibility of deploying a Russian security force to help buttress Alyaksandr Lukashenka's grip on power.
- EU Ministers Agree On Belarus Sanctions, OSCE Offers To Mediate RFE/RL 28 Aug 2020 -- European Union foreign ministers have agreed to impose sanctions on up to 20 senior Belarusian officials suspected of involvement in election fraud and a brutal crackdown against protesters since the country's disputed August 9 presidential election.
- Dozens Of Journalists Detained Covering Protests In Belarus RFE/RL 28 Aug 2020 -- Around 50 journalists, including six from RFE/RL, were detained while covering postelection protests in Minsk on August 27, in the latest intimidation of the press in Belarus as authorities widen a crackdown.
- Indian refiners stop buying crude oil from Chinese companies Press TV 28 Aug 2020 -- India has stopped purchasing crude oil from China-linked companies, as part of New Delhi's recent move to restrict imports from neighboring countries in the wake of an escalating border dispute.
- Myanmar: Upcoming elections an opportunity to take a new inclusive democratic path UN News 28 Aug 2020 -- The Government of Myanmar should embrace upcoming national elections, scheduled for November, as an opportunity to take a new and fully inclusive democratic path, and to address the root of causes of abuses suffered by ethnic minorities, the UN human rights office (OHCHR) has urged.
- Former Mali President Returns Home after Being Released by Junta VOA 28 Aug 2020 -- Former Mali President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita is back home in the capital of Bamako Friday, a day after being released from a military base in Kita.
- NGOs Demand Cambodia Scrap Draft Law Citing Potential Abuse of Women's Rights Radio Free Asia 28 Aug 2020 -- Three dozen organizations working to promote gender equality in Cambodia have called on the country's government to scrap its Draft Law on Public Order (DLPO), expressing concern that dress codes for females and other provisions within the bill violate women's human rights.
- Montenegro's Elections Bring Old, New Challenges Into Sharp Focus RFE/RL 28 Aug 2020 -- Hitting adult milestones. Making relationships work. Settling into the anxieties of independence. And getting your own house in order.
- UNICEF: Time is of the essence, as water shortages compound desperate situation in Beirut UN News 28 Aug 2020 -- Risk of water-borne diseases is rising in Beirut, in the aftermath of the devastating explosion in early August, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) has warned, calling for urgent action to ensure families and responders have access to safe water and sanitation.
- UN rights chief urges DR Congo to protect Nobel laureate Mukwege amid death threats UN News 28 Aug 2020 -- UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet has condemned death threats made against Congolese Nobel Prize laureate Dr. Denis Mukwege and called for his protection.
- Analysis: Will Uzbekistan's Champion of Reform Stay the Course? VOA 28 Aug 2020 -- The international community, human rights advocates, and Uzbeks themselves were agreeably surprised when, after a quarter century of then-Uzbek president Islam Karimov's iron-fisted rule, his successor launched the nation in 2016 on a series of often bold reforms.
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