15 February 2021 Military News
- US-led coalition building new base in Syria's Hasakah near Iraq, Turkey borders: Report Press TV 15 Feb 2021 -- The so-called US-led military coalition is reportedly building a new base in Syria's northeastern province of Hasakah near the border with Iraq and Turkey.
- Rocket attack in Erbil kills one, injures US trooper among others Press TV 15 Feb 2021 -- At least three rockets have landed in the city of Erbil in the Iraqi Kurdistan, killing a civilian contractor and wounding several others including an American service member, according to a US-led coalition spokesman.
- Roadside bomb hits US-led coalition trucks south of Iraq's Baghdad, officer injured Press TV 15 Feb 2021 -- A roadside bomb has exploded near a convoy of trucks carrying logistics and military equipment belonging to the US-led military coalition purportedly formed to fight the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group south of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.
- Rocket Attacks in Erbil US Dept. of State 15 Feb 2021 -- "We are outraged by today's rocket attack in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region. Initial reports indicate that the attacks killed one civilian contractor and injured several members of the Coalition, including one American service member and several American contractors."
- Afghanistan: 65 media workers, rights defenders killed since 2018 UN News 15 Feb 2021 -- Sixty-five journalists, media professionals and human rights defenders were killed in Afghanistan between 1 January 2018 and 31 January 2021, with 11 losing their lives since the start of peace negotiations last September, the UN Mission in the country said on Monday.
- Targeted Killing of Journalists, Activists Spike After Afghan Peace Talks Begin, UN Says VOA 15 Feb 2021 -- A United Nations report published Monday points to a sharp increase in targeted killings of human rights defenders and journalists in Afghanistan since peace talks started between the Taliban and Afghan government last September. At least 11 rights activists and journalists have been killed in the period starting September 12.
- In Afghanistan's Pashtun Heartland, Tribal Rule Supersedes State Law RFE/RL Gandhara 15 Feb 2021 -- Mohammad Ayaz lost two family members last summer in a clash with a rival family over an irrigation channel in southeastern Afghanistan.
- UN: 65 Journalists, Rights Workers Killed In Afghanistan Since 2018 RFE/RL Gandhara 15 Feb 2021 -- The United Nations said at least 65 journalists and human rights activists have been killed in Afghanistan in the past three years in a series of targeted killings.
- NATO Chief: No Troop Withdrawal from Afghanistan 'Before the Time Is Right' VOA 15 Feb 2021 -- NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Monday Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan need to do more to meet the terms of a 2020 peace deal with the United States to allow for all international forces to leave the country by a May deadline.
- Nato Says Afghanistan Withdrawal Contingent On Reduction Of Violence RFE/RL Gandhara 15 Feb 2021 -- NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg called on the Taliban on February 15 to reduce violence in Afghanistan and said any withdrawal of allied troops would be based on the situation on the ground.
- NATO says will not pull forces out of Afghanistan 'before time is right' Press TV 15 Feb 2021 -- NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says the military alliance will not pull its forces out of Afghanistan "before the time is right," two decades after it invaded the country on the pretext of fighting terror.
Defense Policy / Programs
- NATO Defense Ministers to Discuss Future of Alliance During Ministerial DoD News 15 Feb 2021 -- NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg outlined proposals for alliance leaders to discuss that will capitalize on NATO's ability to adapt and change to changing security conditions. He spoke during a virtual press conference in advance of the virtual Defense Ministerial starting Wednesday.
- Defence Ministers meet to address NATO 2030, burden-sharing, and missions in Afghanistan and Iraq NATO 15 Feb 2021 -- NATO defence ministers will meet via secure teleconference on Wednesday and Thursday (17-18 February 2021) to address NATO's missions in Afghanistan and Iraq, review progress toward fairer burden-sharing, and discuss the NATO 2030 initiative. Ministers will also meet with NATO partners Finland, Sweden, and the European Union to address shared security challenges.
- Press conference by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg ahead of the meetings of NATO Defence Ministers on 17 and 18 February at NATO Headquarters NATO 15 Feb 2021
- Iran, Russia to hold joint naval drills on Tuesday ISNA 15 Feb 2021 -- Iran and Russia will hold joint naval drills at North Indian Ocean on Tuesday.
- Iran, Russia set to stage joint naval drill in Indian Ocean on Tuesday: Admiral Press TV 15 Feb 2021 -- Iran and Russia will begin a joint naval exercise on Tuesday in the northern part of the Indian Ocean with the aim of bolstering maritime trade security in the region, said the Iranian Navy's spokesman for the drill.
- Israel holds drill near Lebanon amid fear of Hezbollah reprisal Press TV 15 Feb 2021 -- The Israeli military has launched its second set of wargames near Lebanon's border amid the regime's fear of the Lebanese resistance movement's promised revenge for Tel Aviv's assassination of one of its members last year.
- Israeli Military Conducts Surprise Air Force Exercise in Country's North, IDF Confirms Sputnik 15 Feb 2021 -- The Israeli Air Force has begun unscheduled four-day military drills dubbed the Rose of Galilee (Vered HaGalil) in the country's north to improve combat readiness, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said on Monday.
- Tajik Security Chief Visits Afghanistan To Discuss Regional Issues RFE/RL Gandhara 15 Feb 2021 -- The head of Tajikistan's State Committee for National Security, Saimumin Yatimov, has discussed regional issues and bilateral cooperation with his Afghan counterpart in Kabul.
- Readout of Vice President Kamala Harris Call with President Emmanuel Macron of France The White House 15 Feb 2021
- Secretary Blinken's Call with Irish Minster for Foreign Affairs and Defence Coveney US Dept. of State 15 Feb 2021
- Secretary Blinken's Call with Greek Foreign Minister Dendias US Dept. of State 15 Feb 2021
- 15 February 2021 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 15 Feb 2021
- Wars Trigger Record Levels of Internal Displacement in Middle East, North Africa, Report Finds VOA 15 Feb 2021 -- A new report finds internal displacement in the Middle East and North Africa has reached unprecedented levels a decade after the so-called Arab Spring triggered a political upheaval across the region.
- Yemeni drones target Saudi airports in response to aggression, continued siege Press TV 15 Feb 2021 -- A high-ranking Yemeni military official says the country's army and allied fighters from Popular Committees have separately pounded two airports inside Saudi Arabia's southwestern provinces of Asir and Makkah, in retaliation for the Riyadh regime's military aggression and its continued blockade against their conflict-stricken country.
- The 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 15 Feb 2021 -- Statement by the Official Spokesman of the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen Brigadier General Turki Al-Malki
- Yemen's Houthis Claim to Have Attacked Jeddah and Abha Airports in Saudi Arabia Sputnik 15 Feb 2021 -- Earlier, a military coalition of Arab countries led by Saudi Arabia had intercepted and destroyed an unmanned aerial vehicle launched by the Houthi rebels toward Abha International Airport in southwestern Saudi Arabia.
- Syrian air defenses thwart Israeli attack on Damascus Press TV 15 Feb 2021 -- Syria's air defenses have neutralized the latest Israeli aggression against the western outskirts of Damascus.
- Erdogan Accuses US of Siding with Terrorists After Turks Found Dead in Iraq VOA 15 Feb 2021 -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused fellow NATO ally the United States of supporting terrorists in the wake of the deaths of 13 kidnapped Turks in northern Iraq. He also said a U.S. statement about the killings, which Ankara blamed on Kurdish militants, was a joke.
- US Condemns Killings of Turkish Citizens in Northern Iraq VOA 15 Feb 2021 -- The United States has condemned the killing of 13 Turkish citizens by Kurdish militants in northern Iraq.
- President Erdogan says US supporting terrorists who 'kill' Turkish citizens Press TV 15 Feb 2021 -- Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says the United States is supporting "terrorists" who, according to Ankara, have just recently killed more than a dozen Turkish forces in northern Iraq.
- Turkey blasts West's 'double standard' on terrorism Press TV 15 Feb 2021 -- Turkey's foreign minister says the West continues to maintain a "selective" approach towards terrorism after the US and the Europeans issued either a lukewarm reaction or kept mum on recent killings by anti-Turkey terrorists.
- Secretary Blinken's Call with Turkish Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu US Dept. of State 15 Feb 2021
- Reports: Separatist Leader Targeted In Bomb Attack In Eastern Ukraine RFE/RL 15 Feb 2021 -- News reports say a bomb detonated under a car carrying a militia official with Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine, wounding him.
- Ethiopian forces crossed into Sudanese territory in act of 'aggression': Sudan Press TV 15 Feb 2021 -- Sudan says Ethiopian forces have committed an act of "aggression" by crossing into Sudanese territory, as tensions escalate between the two African neighbors.
- Independent Commission to Be Created to Investigate January 6 Events, US House Speaker Says Sputnik 15 Feb 2021 -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the US Congress will establish a special commission to investigate the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.
- Microsoft President Says Cyberattack Blamed On Russian Hackers Was 'Most Sophisticated' Ever RFE/RL 15 Feb 2021 -- A hacking campaign that U.S. intelligence services have said Russia likely was behind is "probably the largest and most sophisticated attack the world has ever seen," Microsoft President Brad Smith said.
- Myanmar army deploys troops, tanks as UN warns against violence Press TV 15 Feb 2021 -- Anti-coup protests have gained traction in cities across Myanmar despite the junta's efforts to clamp down on protesters, who are demanding a return of ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
- Myanmar Anti-Junta Protesters Appeal to Civil Servants Two Weeks After Coup Radio Free Asia 15 Feb 2021 -- Thousands of protesters in Myanmar's largest cities defied assembly bans and warnings from the military junta to demonstrate for the release of deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi and the restoration of her elected government Monday, two weeks after an army takeover in the fledgling Southeast Asian democracy.
- Riot Control Vehicles Deployed Near Myanmar Central Bank in Yangon Amid Protests, Reports Say Sputnik 15 Feb 2021 -- Detachments of armed police and military officers, armoured vehicles and water cannons have been deployed near the Myanmar Central Bank's office in the city of Yangon where another protest against the military coup is taking place, the Irrawaddy news website reported on Monday.
- WTO Trade Policy Review of Myanmar: UK statement UK FCDO 15 Feb 2021 -- The UK delivered this statement at the WTO Trade Policy Review of Myanmar on 15 February 2021.
- New Report On Alleged Extrajudicial Executions In Chechnya RFE/RL 15 Feb 2021 -- The Moscow-based Novaya gazeta newspaper on February 15 published official documents it says prove that many of the people allegedly killed in extrajudicial executions in Chechnya in 2017 had been detained by local police.
- With Flashlight Protests, Russian Opposition Circumvents Ongoing State Crackdown RFE/RL 15 Feb 2021 -- When Russians took to the streets three times in recent weeks to protest the jailing of Kremlin opponent Aleksei Navalny, police violently dispersed the crowds and detained more than 11,000 people. But the latest nationwide demonstration, on February 14, provoked hardly any clashes or arrests.
- Navalny Was Under German Special Forces Protection During His Treatment in Berlin Sputnik 15 Feb 2021 -- Russian opposition figure Alexei Navlny was under protection of special services in Berlin, where he received medical treatment and recovered after the suspected poisoning, the German cabinet said on Monday, responding to a request by the Alternative for Germany parliamentary faction.
- Lavrov on Potential Russia-EU Break-up: Rift Has Been Growing for Years at Brussels' Initiative Sputnik 15 Feb 2021 -- The foreign minister has previously stated that Moscow is prepared to end the relationship with the European Union if the bloc introduces sanctions that put the Russian economy at risk.
- Russia Launches Unmanned Cargo Ship To Space Station RFE/RL 15 Feb 2021 -- Russia has launched an unmanned cargo ship to resupply the International Space Station (ISS).
- Disbarred Chinese Rights Lawyers 'Have No Regrets' After Losing Licenses Radio Free Asia 15 Feb 2021 -- Two Chinese rights lawyers struck off after speaking out about the cases of 12 Hong Kong activists jailed after trying to escape to democratic Taiwan by speedboat have said they have no regrets about their actions.
- Iran to stop IAEA additional protocol if other parties to JCPOA fail to adhere their commitments: Khatibzadeh ISNA 15 Feb 2021 -- Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Saeed Khatibzadeh stressed that Iran will stop implementing the IAEA additional protocol if the other participants of the 2015 nuclear deal fail to uphold their commitments under the document.
- Envoy: Iran tells IAEA voluntary implementation Additional Protocol ends next week Press TV 15 Feb 2021 -- Iran's ambassador to international organizations in Vienna says the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has been informed of the country's decision to end voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) next week.
- Tehran to halt Additional Protocol unless other parties return to full JCPOA compliance Press TV 15 Feb 2021 -- Tehran says it will end its voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Safeguards Agreement should the other parties to the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement fail to honor their commitments by the deadline of February 21.
- Iran Will End Certain UN Nuclear Inspections If 'Other Parties' Fail to Meet Terms of JCPOA - Report Sputnik 15 Feb 2021 -- Earlier, Biden had announced his intention to return the US to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the nuclear deal, that was abandoned in 2018 by Donald Trump. According to the deal's terms, in exchange for the lifting of sanctions, Iran agreed to curb its uranium enrichment program.
- Iran will restore JCPOA commitments, if US lifts all 'illegal' sanctions: President Rouhani Press TV 15 Feb 2021 -- Iran's President Hassan Rouhani says the country will return to full implementation of its commitments under a 2015 nuclear deal with world powers if the United States removes all "illegal" sanctions it has unilaterally re-imposed on Tehran after quitting the accord.
- EU responsible for 'sequencing' all parties' compliance with JCPOA: Iran FM Press TV 15 Feb 2021 -- Iran's foreign minister says the European Union is responsible for taking action to 'sequence' compliance of all parties to Iran nuclear deal in a bid to end the current standoff between Tehran and Washington over which party should take the first step and return to its commitments under the accord.
- US should show 'political will', rejoin Iran nuclear deal: Russian diplomat Press TV 15 Feb 2021 -- Russia's deputy foreign minister has called on the United States to show political will and indicate its readiness to rejoin a landmark nuclear deal with Iran from which the administration of former US president unilaterally withdrew in 2018.
- Iran 'Has Not and Will Not' Pursue Nuclear Weapons, Foreign Ministry Says Sputnik 15 Feb 2021 -- Iran resumed high-grade enrichment of uranium more than a year after former US President Donald Trump pulled out of the nuclear energy deal signed in 2015.
- Iran urges Japan to release its assets, persuade US to lift bans Press TV 15 Feb 2021 -- Iran's foreign minister has called on Japan to unfreeze Iran's assets blocked in Japanese banks due to the US sanctions, and also persuade newly inaugurated US President Joe Biden to lift the bans imposed on Iran.
- Iran Denies Citizen Detained In Turkey Is A Consulate Employee RFE/RL 15 Feb 2021 -- Iran's Foreign Ministry has denied Turkish media reports alleging that an Iranian citizen recently arrested in Turkey is a consulate employee linked to the 2019 murder of an Iranian dissident in Istanbul.
- Retired Government Employees Protest In Iran Demanding Higher Pensions RFE/RL 15 Feb 2021 -- Pensioners and retired government employees staged protests on February 14 in more than a dozen cities across Iran to complain over their financial situation and their state pension, which they said is insufficient to cover the rising cost of living, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reported.
- South Africa's ex-president Zuma 'no show' at corruption inquiry Press TV 15 Feb 2021 -- South Africa's former president Jacob Zuma has not shown up at a state inquiry into corruption during his time in office.
- Zuma's Family Says it Will Fight Against Any Prison Term Given to Ex-S.Afican Leader Sputnik 15 Feb 2021 -- The family of former South African President Jacob Zuma on Monday promised to fight against the potential threat of the incarceration of the former South African leader for not presenting himself before the State Capture Commission of Inquiry.
- South Africa's Zuma Fails to Attend Corruption Inquiry VOA 15 Feb 2021 -- Former South African President Jacob Zuma faces time in jail for defying an order to appear Monday before an inquiry into corruption in his government from 2009 to 2018.
- Official Source: Saudi Arabia Will Stop Contracting with Any Company or Firm That Has Regional Headquarters Outside Saudi Arabia, Starting From 2024 SPA 15 Feb 2021 -- An official source stated that the Kingdom of Saudi of Arabia intends to cease contracting with companies and commercial institutions with regional headquarters not located in the Kingdom. The cessation will include agencies, institutions and funds owned by the government and will take effect January 1st, 2024.
- Turkey arrests 718 suspects nationwide over affiliation to PKK militants after Iraq executions Press TV 15 Feb 2021 -- The Turkish Interior Ministry says hundreds of people have been arrested during nationwide counter-terrorism operations against the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militant group, a day after the militants killed 13 Turkish civilians in Iraq's northern semi-autonomous Kurdistan region.
- Turkish court jails 4 pro-Kurdish newspaper employees over 'terrorism' charges Press TV 15 Feb 2021 -- A court in Turkey has handed down jail sentences to four employees of a now-defunct pro-Kurdish newspaper over links with a 'terrorist' organization.
- Justice Or Commemoration? As Maidan Massacre Anniversary Approaches, Both Appear Elusive RFE/RL 15 Feb 2021 -- Nearly seven years after the Euromaidan protests in the Ukrainian capital reached a bloody climax, the site where protesters clashed with security forces remains a crime scene.
- Vetevendosje Marks Landslide Victory in Kosovo's General Election VOA 15 Feb 2021 -- The main opposition party in Kosovo has marked a landslide victory in an early parliamentary election held Sunday.
- Kosovo's Main Opposition Party On Track To Clear Victory In Parliamentary Vote RFE/RL 15 Feb 2021 -- Election officials say Kosovo's main opposition party has won a clear victory in an early vote held amid frigid temperatures, coronavirus fears, and worries about an economic slowdown.
- Following Protests, Kyrgyz Authorities Mull Reopening Matraimov Probe RFE/RL 15 Feb 2021 -- One day after hundreds protested in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan's State Committee for National Security (UKMK) said a probe into former deputy chief of the Customs Service Raimbek Matraimov could be reopened.
- In Historic Move, WТO Chooses Nigerian Woman to Lead Organization VOA 15 Feb 2021 -- In a historic move, the World Trade Organization has chosen the first woman and first African to lead the organization.
- Somali Leaders at Odds on Election Schedule VOA 15 Feb 2021 -- Members of Somalia's opposition groups say they will hold a peaceful protest later this week against President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo's government over delayed elections.
- Red Cross Urges for Immediate Response Amid Ebola Outbreak in Guinea Sputnik 15 Feb 2021 -- The resurgence of the Ebola disease in Guinea requires a fast response that will allow the country to mitigate the negative impact of the epidemic, which is happening against the backdrop of the global COVID-19 health crisis, the IFRC Regional Director for Africa, Mohammed Mukhier said on Monday.
- Three die as new Ebola outbreak declared in southern Guinea UN News 15 Feb 2021 -- Guinean health authorities have declared an outbreak of Ebola in a rural community in the south of the country, with at least seven people infected, three of whom died, the UN World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed on Sunday.
- With 3 Ebola Cases Confirmed, Guinea Prepares to Welcome MSF Mission VOA 15 Feb 2021 -- After three Ebola cases were confirmed in Guinea, local health authorities declared an outbreak in the rural area of Gouéké in N'Zerekore on January 14.
- Guinea Government Confirms New Ebola Outbreak Near Liberian Border VOA 15 Feb 2021 -- The government of Guinea has confirmed a new Ebola outbreak in the southeastern city of Nzerekore, near the border with Liberia. Nzerekore was ground zero of the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa that killed more than 11,300 people.
- African Union to Deploy Emergency Team to Guinea Battered by New Ebola Outbreak Sputnik 15 Feb 2021 -- The African Union is due to send an emergency team of experts to Guinea as part of efforts aimed to tackle an Ebola outbreak, recently detected by the government of the Western African nation.
- Hungary's Orban Seeks Continued Emergency Powers For COVID-19 Response RFE/RL 15 Feb 2021 -- Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has asked lawmakers for a further extension of emergency powers to help curb the spread of the coronavirus in the country.
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