24 December 2020 Military News
- Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. struck al-Shabaab compound AFRICOM 24 Dec 2020 -- In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted one (1) airstrike targeting an al-Shabaab compound in the vicinity of Saakow, Somalia, Dec. 24.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Trump vetoes annual defense bill despite passage in Congress by veto-proof majority People's Daily 24 Dec 2020 -- U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday vetoed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2021, despite the bill's passage in Congress by a veto-proof majority.
- Trump vetoes defense bill, setting up congressional override Press TV 24 Dec 2020 -- US President Donald Trump has vetoed the National Defense Authorization Act, a $741 billion national security package, paving the way for what could be the only veto override of his presidency.
- Trump Vetoes Defense Spending Bill VOA 24 Dec 2020 -- U.S. President Donald Trump Wednesday vetoed the annual defense policy bill, objecting to the package, which had broad bipartisan support in Congress, and calling the measure a "gift" to China and Russia.
- JB Charleston delivers aid to Belize during holidays US Air Force 24 Dec 2020 -- As Christmas approaches, the people of Belize received a much-needed gift in the form of nearly 7,200 lbs. of medical aid delivered via C-17 Globemaster III.
- UN 'concerned' over Trump's pardons for guards who massacred Iraqi civilians Press TV 24 Dec 2020 -- The UN Human Rights Office has voiced deep concern over US President Donald Trump's decision to pardon four former American security contractors convicted of killing Iraqi civilians in the capital Baghdad in 2007.
- Russia Reopens Secret Soviet-Era Lab for Testing of Equipment for Use in the Arctic Sputnik 24 Dec 2020 -- Competition for the Arctic has heated up in recent years, with Russia allocating vast resources to shore up control over its northern territories as they promise to become a major driver for economic growth, both through the exploration of untapped natural wealth, and as a new major transportation route to ease trade between Europe and Asia.
- Russia's Kalashnikov Completes Tests of Surface-to-Air Missile for Strela-10M System Sputnik 24 Dec 2020 -- Russian arms manufacturer Kalashnikov has completed tests of a surface-to-air missile for the Strela-10M anti-aircraft missile system.
- Improved J-11B fighter jet variant enters batch production: reports Global Times 24 Dec 2020 -- An improved variant of China's J-11B aircraft has reportedly entered batch production, and experts said on Thursday that this type of heavy fighter jet has possibly received upgrades on its radar system that can increase its situational awareness and combat range.
- MISSION SAGAR III - INS KILTAN ARRIVES AT HO CHI MINH CITY India PIB 24 Dec 2020 -- Indian Naval Ship Kiltan arrived at NhaRong Port, Ho Chi Minh City on 24 December 2020 as part of Mission Sagar-III. This Mission is part of India's Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) assistance to Friendly Foreign Countries during the ongoing pandemic.
- Qatar protests to UN over Bahraini fighter jets violation of airspace Press TV 24 Dec 2020 -- Qatar has protested to the United Nations Security Council and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres over violation of its airspace by four Bahraini fighter jets earlier this month.
- 24 December 2020 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 24 Dec 2020
- US Warship Performs Second FONOP in South China Sea This Week, Near Vietnam's Con Dao Islands Sputnik 24 Dec 2020 -- Although the United States has cast itself as the global enforcer of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), Washington has never been a signatory to the treaty.
- Saudi-led aggression kills over 3,800 Yemeni children, as half of minors suffer from malnutrition: Health minister Press TV 24 Dec 2020 -- The Yemeni minister of health says the military onslaught by Saudi Arabia and its regional allies has claimed the lives of over 3,800 children in the crisis-hit Arab country, while more than 400,000 minors are acutely malnourished and require urgent care.
- Netanyahu Says Israel Not to Allow Pro-Iranian Armed Groups to Gain Foothold in Syria Sputnik 24 Dec 2020 -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the graduation ceremony of the Israeli Air Force Flight Academy that the Jewish state would not allow Iran and pro-Iranian armed groups to gain a foothold in Syria.
- Iran refutes Trump's allegation of Iran behind U.S. embassy attack in Baghdad People's Daily 24 Dec 2020 -- The Iranian Foreign Ministry on Thursday dismissed as "baseless" U.S. President Donald Trump's allegation that Iran was behind a recent attack on the U.S. Embassy in Iraq.
- Ethiopian government forces kill 42 armed men accused of committing village massacre Press TV 24 Dec 2020 -- Ethiopian military forces have killed 42 armed men accused of carrying out an appalling massacre during a raid on a village in the western Benishangul-Gumuz region.
- Ethiopia deploys forces to ethnic region after deadly violence Press TV 24 Dec 2020 -- Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has ordered the deployment of military forces to the country's volatile west, after armed attackers killed scores of people along ethnic border lines in the region.
- Ethiopian Military Reportedly Kills 42 People Involved in Deadly Benishangul-Gumuz Attack Sputnik 24 Dec 2020 -- Earlier, more than 100 civilians were killed as a result of a series of attacks by militants in Benishangul-Gumuz, a state in western Ethiopia.
- Tigray Refugees in Sudan Say it's Not Safe to Return to Ethiopia VOA 24 Dec 2020 -- Sudan is hosting more than 50,000 refugees who have fled the recent fighting in Ethiopia's Tigray region. Despite the Ethiopian government's announcement that fighting in Tigray is over, many of the refugees say it is not safe enough to return home.
- Announcement of New Virtual Presence Post for Western Sahara US Dept. of State 24 Dec 2020 -- "Consistent with President Trump's proclamation on recognizing the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Morocco over the Western Sahara, the State Department announces that it has begun the process to establish a U.S. consulate in the region."
- US Establishes New 'Virtual Presence Post' in Western Sahara, Pompeo Says Sputnik 24 Dec 2020 -- The United States began establishing its virtual diplomatic post in Western Sahara as a first step of creating a consulate in the region, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement on Thursday.
- UN Publishes Greece-Egypt Maritime Deal Disputed by Turkey, Athens Says Sputnik 24 Dec 2020 -- The Greek Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that the United Nations had published the Greek-Egyptian agreement on the delimitation of the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) between the two countries, a deal that Ankara deems "null and void."
- Chad: New law safeguards 480,000 refugees UN News 24 Dec 2020 -- The UN refugee agency commended Chad on Friday for adopting its first-ever asylum law, which will enhance the protection of the nearly 480,000 refugees it is hosting by providing key elements for their socio-economic inclusion.
- Malian Refugees Return to Camp They Fled in Burkina Faso VOA 24 Dec 2020 -- The U.N. refugee agency says improved security has allowed 3,000 refugees from conflict-ridden Mali return to a camp in Burkina Faso they abandoned nine months ago following attacks by armed extremists.
- France sends warplanes to fly over CAR as general elections loom Press TV 24 Dec 2020 -- France has sent warplanes to fly over the Central African Republic (CAR), with French President Emmanuel Macron claiming that the move is aimed at preventing the disruption of the upcoming elections in the former French colony.
- Central African Republic: Pre-election violence 'must stop' – UN envoy UN News 24 Dec 2020 -- Days before Sunday's election, armed clashes in the Central African Republic (CAR) have prompted the "serious concern" of the UN aid coordinator in the country.
- Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, Moscow, December 24, 2020 Russia Ministry of Foreign Affairs 24 Dec 2020
- Russia Criticizes Threatened U.S. Sanctions Against Nord Stream 2 RFE/RL 24 Dec 2020 -- The Kremlin has said it does not rule out delays to the completion of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in light of the threat of new U.S. sanctions.
- Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's remarks and answers to media questions at a joint news conference following his talks with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, Moscow, December 23, 2020 Russia Ministry of Foreign Affairs 23 Dec 2020
- Russian Couple Jailed For Wedding Photo Treason RFE/RL 24 Dec 2020 -- A Russian court has sentenced a married couple in Kaliningrad to lengthy jail terms after finding them guilty of spying for Latvia and state treason.
- Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin's Regular Press Conference on December 24, 2020 PRC MofA 24 Dec 2020
- Trials of Hong Kong 12 Likely Around New Year: Defense Lawyer Radio Free Asia 24 Dec 2020 -- Authorities in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong will likely hold the trials of 12 Hong Kong protesters detained as they fled to the democratic island of Taiwan in the very first days of the New Year, according to a defense lawyer representing one of them.
- Chinese University of Hong Kong to 'Restructure' China Study Center Radio Free Asia 24 Dec 2020 -- Moves are afoot to restructure the Universities Service Center for Chinese Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), RFA has learned.
- China's Economy Looks Ahead to Stronger 2021 Radio Free Asia 24 Dec 2020 -- After a tumultuous year of partial recovery and record lows, China's economy can look forward to a booming rebound in 2021.
- China will carry out bilateral investment agreement negotiations with EU at its own pace: MOFCOM Global Times 24 Dec 2020 -- As more hurdles are reportedly emerging amid the ongoing negotiations on a China-EU bilateral investment treaty (BIT), also called Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI), and concerns arising whether the pact could be inked by the year end, China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) said late Thursday that China will carry out negotiations at its own pace while striving to reach a comprehensive, balanced and high-level BIT with EU.
- Chinese Regulators Open Anti-Monopoly Probe Into E-Commerce Giant Alibaba VOA 24 Dec 2020 -- The Chinese government is opening an anti-monopoly investigation into online retail giant Alibaba, a move that signifies Beijing's increasing efforts to tighten control over the country's dominant technology sector.
- China's top market regulator launches anti-trust probe into Alibaba Global Times 24 Dec 2020 -- China's top market watchdog has launched a probe into e-commerce giant Alibaba's suspected monopolistic acts including forcing merchants to choose one platform between two competitors, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Thursday, in an effort considered to rectify market order and facilitate free, fair and non-discriminative business environment.
- China's financial watchdogs to conduct regulatory talks with Ant Group Global Times 24 Dec 2020 -- China's central bank and three financial watchdogs will conduct regulatory talks with Ant Group within the next few days.
- China to address supply chain bottlenecks during 14th Five-Year Plan: official Global Times 24 Dec 2020 -- During the 14th Five-Plan (2021-25) period, China aims to strengthen innovation, and enhance efforts to deliver more breakthroughs in core technologies to create a more efficient domestic supply chain, while enhance its industrial base, officials said Thursday.
- Jump in Iran's petrochemical production amid sanctions, COVID-19 IRNA 24 Dec 2020 -- Iran's government is going to inaugurate three petrochemical projects on Thursday (Dec. 24), while the country has been suffering from illegal US sanctions and the coronavirus pandemic since the start of the Iranian calendar year (started March 20, 2020).
- Over $1bn worth of Iranian petrochemical plants come on line Press TV 24 Dec 2020 -- The Iranian government has launched three large petrochemical plants with over $1 billion in new investment as the country pushes ahead with plans to diversify the oil and gas sector by manufacturing more valuable products.
- President Rouhani: We're doing all in our power to neutralize, eliminate US sanctions Press TV 24 Dec 2020 -- Iran's President Hassan Rouhani says the Islamic Republic is doing all in its power to neutralize and eliminate unjust and illegal sanctions imposed on the country by the administration of outgoing US President Donald Trump.
- Trump Warns Iran Over Rocket Attacks On Embassy In Iraq RFE/RL 24 Dec 2020 -- U.S. President Donald Trump has warned Iran against any attack on U.S. military or diplomatic personnel in Iraq, days after suspected Iran-backed Iraqi militia launched a barrage of rockets at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone.
- Iran Builds Up Air Defense Systems Near Nuclear Sites Over Possible US Strikes, Reports Claim Sputnik 24 Dec 2020 -- Iran is strengthening air defense systems located near its nuclear facilities as a precaution against possible US missile strikes, the Kuwaiti Al-Qabas newspaper reported on Thursday, citing informed sources from Iran.
- Vietnam Telecoms Ties Help Fund Myanmar Military Abuses — Rights Group Report Radio Free Asia 24 Dec 2020 -- A murky business partnership between the armed forces of Myanmar and Vietnam, with Myanmar's Mytel telecom company as a nexus, helps funds Myanmar military atrocities in Rakhine state and other conflict zones, an investigative report by human rights activists says.
- Moldova's Pro-EU President Sandu Sworn In RFE/RL 24 Dec 2020 -- Maia Sandu has been sworn in as the new president of Moldova after taking the oath of office on December 24 at a ceremony in Chisinau.
- The Ortega Regime's New Authoritarian Law Undermines Democracy US Dept. of State 24 Dec 2020 -- The Western Hemisphere is now a hemisphere of freedom, with the exception of a few remaining tinpot authoritarian regimes, such as Nicaragua.
- Residents of Kenya-Somalia Border Area Fear Conflict Amid Diplomatic Tensions VOA 24 Dec 2020 -- There is growing concern the tensions between Kenya and Somalia may erupt into fighting, due to a military buildup along the two countries' borders.
- Report: Sudan Security Forces Who Killed Kassala Protesters Never Held Accountable VOA 24 Dec 2020 -- Sudanese security forces who killed seven Sudanese protesters in Kassala two months ago were never held accountable, according to a recent report released by Human Rights Watch.
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