30 August 2020 Military News
- US to Reduce Troop Levels in Iraq VOA 30 Aug 2020 -- The United States is planning to reduce its troop levels in Iraq, President Donald Trump and other U.S. officials said.
- Afghan President Names Reconciliation Council Members To Push Talks With Taliban RFE/RL 30 Aug 2020 -- Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has revealed the names of the appointed members and leaders of the country's High Council for National Reconciliation, a body tasked with leading peace negotiations with the Taliban.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Top US general says military won't play role in 2020 election Global Times 30 Aug 2020 -- The US military will not play a role in this year's election, according to the country's top general.
- Readout of Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper's Phone Call With President Gotabaya Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka DoD 30 Aug 2020
- Readout of Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper's Virtual Meeting With the Singapore Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen DoD 30 Aug 2020
- US defense chief urges nuclear force upgrade citing China's stockpile Press TV 30 Aug 2020 -- US Defense Secretary Mark Esper has called for the modernization of American nuclear force and "maintain readiness" to ensure the safety of the Indo-Pacific region, accusing China of doubling its nuclear arsenal amid persisting tensions between the two countries regarding their military operations in the region.
- PLA launches new Type 055, Type 052D destroyers after decommissioning all Type 051 destroyers: reports Global Times 30 Aug 2020 -- China reportedly launched its eighth Type 055 and 25th Type 052D destroyers on Sunday, only two days after the decommissioning of two Type 051 destroyers attached to the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy, which marked the retirement of China's all first generation of indigenous destroyers.
- Greek F-16s Intercept and Escort Out Several Turkish Fighters Invading Country's Airspace Sputnik 30 Aug 2020 -- This is not the first time over the past four weeks that the air forces of the two countries have scrambled jets to intercept each other's fighters for breaching borders. The incidents have intensified amid Ankara's recent decision to renew geological surveys in Cyprus offshore waters, despite protests from Athens.
- Joint Forces Command of the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen: Interception, Destruction of Bomb-Laden UAV Launched by Terrorist, Iran-Backed Houthi Militia Toward the Kingdom SPA 30 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 afternoon (Sunday) a bomb-laden UAV launched systematically and deliberately by the terrorist Houthi militia to target civilians and civilian objects in the Southern Region."
- Syria's Assad issues decree on forming new government Press TV 30 Aug 2020 -- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has issued a decree on forming the new government, days after confirming Hussein Arnous as the Arab country's prime minister.
- Syria's Assad Confirms New Cabinet Lineup Sputnik 30 Aug 2020 -- Syrian President Bashar Assad issued a decree on Sunday that will see Hussein Arnous head a new national government, the presidency said.
- UAE intelligence agents training YPG militants in northern, eastern Syria: Report Press TV 30 Aug 2020 -- The United Arab Emirates (UAE)'s spy agency has reportedly been training Kurdish militants affiliated with the anti-Damascus People's Protection Units (YPG) in areas under their occupation in northern and eastern Syria over the past few years.
- US pressuring Saudi Arabia to join Israel-UAE meeting in Abu Dhabi: Report Press TV 30 Aug 2020 -- A new report has revealed that the Americans are mounting pressure on Saudi Arabia to join a trilateral summit of Israel, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the US, which is due to be held in Abu Dhabi on Monday.
- Israel holding secret talks with 'many more Arab leaders': Netanyahu claims Press TV 30 Aug 2020 -- Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Tel Aviv is currently engaged in "secret talks" with many more Arab leaders for normalizing bilateral relations, days after a much-condemned agreement on normalization between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was publicized.
- Israel Engaged in 'Many More' Secret Talks With Arab Leaders on Establishing Ties, Netanyahu Says Sputnik 30 Aug 2020 -- Earlier this month, Israel signed a landmark agreement brokered by the United States that paved the way for establishing diplomatic relations with the United Arab Emirates, making the Gulf monarchy the third Arab country to forge ties with Israel.
- Hamas vows to end all forms of Israeli siege on Gaza Press TV 30 Aug 2020 -- The head of the political bureau of the Gaza-based Palestinian resistance movement Hamas has called for an end to more than 12 years of Israeli all-out siege on the coastal enclave, promising that it will spare no effort to achieve this goal.
- 'Israeli tanks shell southern Gaza on 24th day of attacks' Press TV 30 Aug 2020 -- Israeli tanks have reportedly shelled the southern part of the Gaza Strip for a 24th straight day of incessant attacks by the occupying regime against the besieged territory.
- Xi's speech sets policy direction for Tibet Global Times 30 Aug 2020 -- Fifty-five years since the establishment of the Tibet Autonomous Region and with earth-shaking changes to its economic and social developments, China has more mature and complete policies in this southwestern region and is capable of forging what the country's top leader calls "an ironclad shield to safeguard stability," analysts said.
- China's President Xi calls for 'impregnable fortress' in Tibet Press TV 30 Aug 2020 -- Chinese President Xi Jinping has called on senior leaders to build an "impregnable fortress" to maintain stability and national unity in Tibet, in an effort to build a "united, prosperous" community in the remote Himalayan region.
- Forcibly Displaced in Chad Facing Twin Security and Environmental Crises VOA 30 Aug 2020 -- The U.N. migration agency reports Insecurity and flash flooding is upending the lives of hundreds of thousands of internally displaced people in the Lake Chad Basin.
- Greece plan to extend territorial waters could cause war: Turkey Press TV 30 Aug 2020 -- Turkey has warned against Greece's controversial plans to extend its territorial waters, saying the move could cause a war between the two nations, which already remain locked up in a dispute over energy resources in the Mediterranean sea.
- Trump administration halts election security briefings, Democrats complain Press TV 30 Aug 2020 -- The US' top intelligence office has announced that it would bring to a halt in-person briefings on election security citing leaks from congressional committees.
- Top US Intelligence Official Ends In-Person Election Security Briefings for Congress VOA 30 Aug 2020 -- U.S. counterintelligence officials will no longer brief lawmakers on threats to the upcoming presidential election in November, telling them such in-person briefings have led to leaks of "sensitive intelligence" and the politicization of information.
- Remarks by President Trump in an Emergency Operations Briefing | Lake Charles, LA (August 29, 2020) The White House 30 Aug 2020
- Remarks by President Trump in an Emergency Operations Briefing | Orange, TX (August 29, 2020) The White House 30 Aug 2020
- Hezbollah Under Pressure Says Will Support Reformist Government Radio Farda 30 Aug 2020 -- The leader of Lebanon's Hezbollah said Sunday his group will facilitate the formation of a government that would be able to improve economic conditions in the crisis-stricken country and undertake major reforms.
- UN says over half of Lebanon's population risk facing food crisis following colossal blast Press TV 30 Aug 2020 -- The United Nations has warned that more than half of Lebanon's population risk facing a food crisis in the wake of a cataclysmic explosion that ripped through the Port of Beirut earlier in August.
- France probing senior officer with NATO for suspected espionage for Russia Press TV 30 Aug 2020 -- France has confirmed that it has placed a senior officer under investigation over an unidentified breach of security, amid reports that the officer had been engaged in espionage for Russia.
- Senior French Military Officer Detained Over Reported Ties With Russian Secret Services RFE/RL 30 Aug 2020 -- A senior French military officer is under investigation for "security breaches," the country's defense minister has said.
- French Army Officer Accused of Security Breach Amid Reports of Espionage in Favour of Russia Sputnik 30 Aug 2020 -- Europe 1 Radio reported that a French Army officer, whose identity was not disclosed, had transferred classified documents to Russia.
- China Says Czech Senate Speaker's Trip to Taiwan Breaches Sovereignty Sputnik 30 Aug 2020 -- The Chinese embassy in Prague said on Sunday it saw the trip to Taiwan by Milos Vystrcil, the speaker of the Czech parliament's upper house, as a violation of the one-China policy.
- China's 'Coercive Diplomacy' Backfires as Czech Senate Delegation Visits Taiwan VOA 30 Aug 2020 -- In defiance of China, a delegation, led by Czech Senate President Miloš Vystrčil, Sunday arrived in Taiwan on a six-day visit – the highest-level exchange between the two countries to cement economic and cultural ties.
- Officials of WPK Central Committee Engage in Recovery of Typhoon-Damaged Farmland and Crops KCNA 30 Aug 2020 -- Officials of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea engaged in the campaign with agricultural workers to recover from damage done to cropland and crops in the typhoon-stricken areas in South Hwanghae Province.
- Kim Tok Hun Inspects Recovery from Typhoon Damage in South Hwanghae Province KCNA 30 Aug 2020 -- Kim Tok Hun, member of the Presidium of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea and premier of the DPRK, inspected South Hwanghae Province where the work for recovery from typhoon damage is underway.
- Pak Pong Ju Inspects Recovery from Typhoon Damage in South Hwanghae Province KCNA 30 Aug 2020 -- Pak Pong Ju, member of the Presidium of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea, vice-chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the DPRK and vice-chairman of the C.C., WPK, made field survey of the recovery from typhoon damage in South Hwanghae Province.
- Iran's quarterly investment in ports tops $715 mln despite lower activity Press TV 30 Aug 2020 -- Iranian authorities say investment has been flowing into the country's ports despite the spread of the coronavirus pandemic which has resulted in lower activity in trade hubs.
- Iran FM: 'All options on table' means law of jungle, should wake Americans up Press TV 30 Aug 2020 -- Iran's foreign minister says the "all options on the table" threat, which has been a hallmark of the US policy toward other countries, is now being used against citizens of the US itself, expressing hope that this would serve as a "wake-up call" for the Americans.
- China, France should safeguard JCPOA, other intl. agreements against unilateralism: FM Press TV 30 Aug 2020 -- In an implied rebuke of US' unilateral policies, China's foreign minister says Beijing and Paris should work to promote multilateralism and safeguard major international agreements, such as the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, in the face of unilateralism.
- Iranians Deserve Freedom Not Bullets, State Department Says Radio Farda 30 Aug 2020 -- In response to a tweet by Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei accusing the United States government of "murdering" young American protesters, State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said on Saturday that Iranians deserve "freedom and a future, not the Basij's bullets."
- Iran's Efforts To Deny People Information And Entertainment Are Futile Radio Farda 30 Aug 2020 -- Iranian society has been fighting systematic censorship for over four decades; from the ban on videotapes in 1980s, jamming satellite television, blocking news websites in 2000s and social media in recent years.
- Putin says West looks as if prepared response to Belarus election in advance Press TV 30 Aug 2020 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin says there is reason to suspect that Western countries prepared their rejection of Belarus' recent presidential election result before the vote was even held.
- Continued Protests in Minsk as Putin Wishes Lukashenko a Happy Birthday VOA 30 Aug 2020 -- Tens of thousands protested in the Belarusian capital of Minsk Sunday, the president's birthday, demanding he resign.
- Arrests Made As Tens Of Thousands Of Protesters Rally In Minsk RFE/RL 30 Aug 2020 -- Tens of thousands of Belarusians have streamed into the center of the capital for the latest mass demonstration against longtime authoritarian ruler Alyaksandr Lukashenka.
- Enforced disappearances 'rife across the world' – UN chief UN News 30 Aug 2020 -- More than a human rights violation against an individual, enforced disappearances have frequently been used as a strategy to spread terror within the whole of society, the United Nations said on Sunday, the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearance.
- Pompeo Raises U.S. Concern About Chinese Investment In Ukraine In Call With Zelenskiy RFE/RL 30 Aug 2020 -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has spoken with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy about U.S. concerns over China's attempt to purchase a Ukrainian engine manufacturer, the State Department said on August 29.
- Montenegro Awaits Results In Elections Testing Pro-Western Government RFE/RL 30 Aug 2020 -- Montenegro's citizens cast their votes on August 30 for a host of coalitions and parties competing in parliamentary elections, with the outcome too close to call.
- Montenegro Voting for New Parliament; Election to Determine Path Forward VOA 30 Aug 2020 -- Montenegrins vote Sunday in parliamentary elections, choosing between the path toward EU membership, led by the long-ruling pro-Western party, or closer ties with Serbia and Russia advocated by a coalition of opposition groups.
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