25 December 2020 Military News
- Afghanistan Expresses Concern Over Videos Of Taliban Leaders Visiting Members in Pakistan RFE/RL Gandhara 25 Dec 2020 -- The Afghan government has expressed "great concern" over video footage released in which Taliban leaders are apparently meeting their members in Pakistan.
- Videos Show Taliban Leaders in Pakistan With Followers, Fighters VOA 25 Dec 2020 -- Afghanistan's foreign ministry issued a statement Friday expressing regret and concern about videos showing senior Taliban leaders meeting their followers and Taliban fighters in Pakistan.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Iraq Insists on Blackwater Case Transfer to Int'l Courts, UN, Urges States to Back Baghdad Sputnik 25 Dec 2020 -- Iraqi legislators intend to transfer to international courts and the UN the case of four former Blackwater contractors convicted of killing innocent Iraqi civilians and recently pardoned by US President Donald Trump for further consideration, a member of the Iraqi parliament's security and defense committee told Sputnik.
- US Army Long-Range Cannon Hits Target 43 Miles Away Sputnik 25 Dec 2020 -- Although long-range artillery has not been given much attention from military strategists since the 1960s, as their focus has switched to rocket missiles and precision air-propped bombs, it appears that cannons have recently been getting a second look in the race to dominate the battlefield.
- Russia revives Soviet-era lab to test weapons in Arctic climate Press TV 25 Dec 2020 -- Russia has revived a Soviet-era research facility to test weapons in severe Arctic conditions amid a drive by the Kremlin to boost its defenses in the resource-rich region in the face of growing military provocations along its western borders.
- China Coast Guard conducts joint Beibu Gulf patrol with Vietnamese counterpart People's Daily 25 Dec 2020 -- The China Coast Guard (CCG) and its Vietnamese counterpart carried out a joint patrol in the Beibu Gulf from Monday to Wednesday.
- 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.
- Trump rushes thru 'smart bombs' sale to Saudi Arabia before term ends Press TV 25 Dec 2020 -- The United States is moving forward with approving the sale of thousands of precision-guided "smart" bombs to Saudi Arabia, during the final days of President Donald Trump in the office.
- Syria repels Israeli warplanes' missile barrage targeting Hama Press TV 25 Dec 2020 -- Syria's air defenses repel a missile attack launched by Israeli warplanes from the Lebanese airspace against the western Syrian city of Hama's countryside.
- At Least Six Fighters Reported Killed In Israeli Strikes In Syria RFE/RL 25 Dec 2020 -- A British-based group monitoring the Syrian conflict says least six Iran-backed fighters have been killed in an Israeli rocket attack in central Syria.
- Israeli Attacks on Syria Undermine Regional Stability, Damascus Says Sputnik 25 Dec 2020 -- Israel's repetitive attacks against Syria undermine regional stability, violate UN Security Council resolutions and will not be left without an appropriate response, the Syrian Foreign Ministry said on Friday.
- Khalifa Haftar threatens to target Turkish forces in Libya Press TV 25 Dec 2020 -- Libya's strongman Khalifa Haftar has threatened to target Turkish forces, who have been deployed to Libya to support the UN-recognized government in the face of foreign actors like France, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
- Turkey's Erdogan says Israel's policies toward Palestinians 'unacceptable' Press TV 25 Dec 2020 -- Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Israel's policies toward Palestinians are "unacceptable" and are hindering better ties between Turkey and the Tel Aviv regime.
- 11 killed in Boko Haram Christmas Eve attack in Nigeria Press TV 25 Dec 2020 -- Members of the Takfiri Boko Haram terrorist group have killed at least 11 people in a Christmas Eve assault on a village in the volatile northeastern Nigerian state of Borno.
- US begins work to set up consulate in disputed Western Sahara, Pompeo says Press TV 25 Dec 2020 -- US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says Washington has started the process to set up a consulate in Western Sahara, just weeks after the outgoing administration of President Donald Trump recognized Morocco's sovereignty over the disputed desert region in the wake of the African country's normalization of ties with Israel.
- Microsoft Reseller Compromised In Newly Revealed Attempted Intrusion Blamed On Russian Hackers RFE/RL 25 Dec 2020 -- Suspected Russian hackers have compromised a customer of software giant Microsoft through a reseller of Microsoft products, according to news reports on December 24, raising more questions about a massive cyberattack on U.S. government computer networks that came to light earlier this month.
- UN Rights Office Alarmed at Uptick in Violence Ahead of Central African Republic Elections VOA 25 Dec 2020 -- The United Nations human rights office warns the increase in violence ahead of Sunday's elections in the Central African Republic presents serious risks to the civilian population and threatens to disrupt the electoral process.
- UN chief condemns attacks against peacekeepers in the Central African Republic UN News 25 Dec 2020 -- The United Nations Secretary-General has strongly condemned Friday's attacks that killed three Burundian peacekeepers in the Central African Republic (CAR) and left another two wounded.
- Russia Opens Criminal Probe Into Navalny Lawyer Who Tried To Meet With FSB Agent RFE/RL 25 Dec 2020 -- Russian law enforcement agencies have opened a criminal case against Lyubov Sobol, a lawyer for the outspoken Kremlin critic Aleksei Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) and took her in for questioning, the head of the foundation said on December 25.
- Uighur Diaspora Hails Removal of ETIM From US Terror List VOA 25 Dec 2020 -- Uighur activists and experts alike welcomed the removal of the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) from the U.S. terrorist list, saying the move by Washington last month helps the religious minority fight more effectively for its rights, while making it harder for China to portray its crackdown in Xinjiang as a counterterrorism measure.
- Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin's Regular Press Conference on December 25, 2020 PRC MofA 25 Dec 2020
- Facing 'Warrior Wolf' charge, China's diplomacy must speak up for itself People's Daily 25 Dec 2020 -- After some Chinese "public intellectuals" with a pro-U.S. stance falsely called China's diplomacy "Wolf Warrior diplomacy," this fallacy has fallen into the hands of anti-China politicians and media outlets in the U.S. and other western countries, who immediately jumped on the bandwagon.
- China reiterates 'joint efforts' in concluding China-EU investment treaty: FM Global Times 25 Dec 2020 -- China on Friday has again stressed that "joint efforts" are needed to achieve a China-EU bilateral investment treaty (BIT), also called the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI), calling on each side to meet each other halfway, as the pact will provide more opportunities and good institutional guarantees for bilateral investment.
- EU-China Investment Talks Near Completion, Raising Concerns VOA 25 Dec 2020 -- The European Union agreement with Britain on how to handle affairs post-Brexit has been widely celebrated, yet another of the bloc's tentative deals – that of a comprehensive investment agreement with China – is creating new headaches for European leaders.
- Chinese premier stresses formulating five-year plan to deepen reform, opening-up People's Daily 25 Dec 2020 -- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has stressed adopting a practical approach in formulating the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) for National Economic and Social Development that takes into account the current and long-term situation and will promote the deepening of reform and opening-up.
- China to Tighten Political Security Operations Targeting 'Potential' Dissent Radio Free Asia 25 Dec 2020 -- One year after a nationwide police operation rounded up some of China's most prominent rights activists and lawyers following a gathering in the southeastern port city of Xiamen, the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) looks set to further tighten its grip on public speech with a renewed focus on "political security."
- China Moves Towards Nationalization With Probe Into Alibaba Radio Free Asia 25 Dec 2020 -- The ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has taken further steps to curb e-commerce giant Alibaba with the launch of an antitrust investigation into the tech company headed by tycoon Jack Ma.
- China to launch space station core cabinet by Spring 2021 Global Times 25 Dec 2020 -- China is set to launch the core cabinet of the country's first space station by spring 2021, Zhou Jianping, chief designer of China's manned space program, disclosed on Friday.
- Two Chinese military planes fly into Taiwan's ADIZ CNA 25 Dec 2020 -- A Chinese Shaanxi Y-8 anti-submarine patrol plane and another Y-8 surveillance plane entered Taiwan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Friday but left the area after Taiwan responded to their intrusion.
- Efforts for Using Various Energy Resources Brisk in DPRK KCNA 25 Dec 2020 -- This year, Pyongyang City and each province, city and counties pushed ahead with the work to utilize the energy resources like solar, wind and biomass energies, thus contributing to the country's increased electricity production.
- Iran's Zam And Other Sons Of The Islamic Republic Who Rebelled Against The Clerical Regime RFE/RL 25 Dec 2020 -- Ruhollah Zam's father, a cleric who served as the head of Iran's state propaganda agency in the 1980s, named him after the leader of the 1979 revolution and the founder of the Islamic republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
- Turkey Wants to Improve Ties With Israel But is Against Its Stance on PNA, Erdogan Says Sputnik 25 Dec 2020 -- Turkey is in favor of normalizing relations with Israel, however, its policy on Palestinian National Authiriy is unacceptable for Ankara, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday.
- "We have taken back control" after securing UK-EU trade deal: UK PM Global Times 25 Dec 2020 -- British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Thursday that Britain and the European Union (EU) have reached a deal on their post-Brexit trade relations, saying that "we have taken back control".
- UK, EU clinch Christmas trade deal, yet not a gift for all People's Daily 25 Dec 2020 -- A Christmas cracker was announced Thursday as Britain and the European Union (EU) finally secured a free trade deal following nine months of tortuous negotiations.
- After Months of Haggling, Britain, EU Reach Trade Deal VOA 25 Dec 2020 -- When Britons voted in 2016 to leave the European Union after 47 years of membership, Brexiters said striking a free trade deal with the Eu would be simple and "one of the easiest in human history."
- Moldova's New Pro-EU President Pledges To Be 'Honest And Transparent' RFE/RL 25 Dec 2020 -- Maia Sandu has been sworn in as the new president of Moldova, pledging in her inauguration speech on December 24 to be an "honest and transparent" president of "all Moldovans."
- Grim Choice: Turkmen Warned Of Food Cutoffs Over Unpaid Utility Bills RFE/RL 25 Dec 2020 -- As daily temperatures creep below freezing with the onset of winter, authorities in eastern Turkmenistan have warned families that they risk losing access to subsidized food if they don't catch up on their utilities payments.
- Armenia's Embattled PM Broaches Snap Elections RFE/RL 25 Dec 2020 -- Armenia's beleaguered prime minister has for the first time signaled a willingness to hold early parliamentary elections as opposition groups mount pressure for his resignation over the handling of a six-week war with Azerbaijan.
- Armenian Prime Minister Pashinyan Says Ready to Resign 'by People's Decision' Sputnik 25 Dec 2020 -- Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said on Friday that he was ready to resign "by the people's decision."
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