08 April 2021 Military News
- RAF clears Daesh stronghold in Iraq in support of an Iraqi Security Force operation UK MOD 08 Apr 2021 -- A Daesh stronghold in northern Iraq has been cleared as part of Operation Shader, the Ministry of Defence has announced today. The RAF has carried out a series of air strikes working in support of the Iraqi Security Forces ground operations. Operation Shader remains essential to dismantling Daesh's networks and reducing the terrorist group's global ambitions.
- Update: air strikes against Daesh UK MOD 08 Apr 2021 -- The RAF are continuing to take the fight to Daesh in Iraq and Syria.
- Iraqi Adviser Says Over Half of US Personnel Already Left, No Combat Units Remain Sputnik 08 Apr 2021 -- Some 2,700 military advisers out of 5,200 have left Iraq amid the ongoing US pullout, and any foreign troops remaining in the Middle Eastern state are there to advise Iraqi troops and not conduct any fighting, Hussein Allawi, adviser for security sector reform to the Iraqi Prime Minister's Office, told Sputnik on Thursday.e
- U.S., Iraq agree to redeploy U.S.-led coalition forces outside Iraq People's Daily 08 Apr 2021 -- The United States and Iraq agreed on Wednesday to redeploy the remaining U.S.-led coalition combat troops outside Iraq in light of the increasing capacity of the Iraqi security forces in fighting against the extremist Islamic State (IS) group, said a joint statement on the U.S.-Iraq Strategic Dialogue.
- Existence of US bases violation of Iraq's sovereignty, says Asa'ib leader Press TV 08 Apr 2021 -- A faction of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), also known as Hashd al-Sha'abi, has rejected as offensive the presence of foreign forces in Iraq with the professed aim of "protecting" the Arab country, calling the existence of US bases in Iraq a violation of the country's sovereignty.
- 'Security Threat' Prompts Afghans to Turn Back Plane Carrying Pakistan Lawmakers VOA 08 Apr 2021 -- Officials in Afghanistan said a plane carrying a high-profile Pakistan parliamentary delegation was turned back Thursday as it was about to land in Kabul after explosives were found at the airport.
- Just Before Landing In Kabul, Pakistani Delegation Trip Canceled RFE/RL Gandhara 08 Apr 2021 -- The visit of a Pakistani parliamentary delegation to Afghanistan has been scrapped just as the plane carrying the officials was about to land in Kabul.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Bahrain, U.S. Forces Complete Exercise Neon Defender 21 CENTCOM 08 Apr 2021 -- The Bahrain Defense Force (BDF) and U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) conducted bi-lateral maritime exercise Neon Defender (ND) 21 at sea in the Arabian Gulf and on land in the Kingdom of Bahrain, April 3-7.
- Readout of Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III's Phone Call With Swiss Minister of Defence Viola Amherd DoD 08 Apr 2021
- Arctic Littoral Strike: Marines, Norwegian Military Conduct Exercise in Northern Norway USMC News 08 Apr 2021 -- U.S. Marines and Sailors with Marine Rotational Force-Europe 21.1 enhanced their warfighting ability above the Arctic Circle during exercise Arctic Littoral Strike in Northern Norway from March 11-31.e
- Air Force unveils new mission statement US Air Force 08 Apr 2021 -- The Air Force released its new mission statement: To fly, fight, and win … airpower anytime, anywhere. This change emphasizes the primary competitive advantage and capabilities airpower provides to the nation and joint operations.
- Bahrain, U.S. Forces Complete Exercise Neon Defender 21 US Navy 08 Apr 2021 -- The Bahrain Defense Force (BDF) and U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) conducted bi-lateral maritime exercise Neon Defender (ND) 21 at sea in the Arabian Gulf and on land in the Kingdom of Bahrain, April 3-7.
- South Korea, US formally sign cost-sharing deal on American military presence Press TV 08 Apr 2021 -- The United States and South Korea have officially signed a cost-sharing agreement to maintain the presence of American troops in the East Asian country.
- Russia Received No Official Notification From US Regarding Open Skies Treaty, FM Lavrov Says Sputnik 08 Apr 2021 -- Russia has not received any official notifications from the United States regarding its position on the Open Skies Treaty, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday.
- Taiwan to take delivery of advanced Block 1B Phalanx gun system CNA 08 Apr 2021 -- The Navy is expected to begin taking delivery of the MK15 Block 1B Phalanx advanced radar-controlled gun system from the United States within the first half of this year, military sources said Thursday.
- Malaysia and Australia replenish relationship Australia DOD 08 Apr 2021 -- HMAS Sirius conducted a series of exercises with the Royal Malaysian Navy corvette KD Lekir in the Andaman Sea, and an Australian connection onboard Lekir helped liaise with the crews.
- Collective skills put to test Australia DOD 08 Apr 2021 -- HMA Ships Anzac and Sirius made an immediate impact with their international counterparts in the French-led Exercise La Perouse in the Bay of Bengal.
- Azerbaijan, Turkey Launch Two Days Of Joint Military Exercises RFE/RL 08 Apr 2021 -- Azerbaijan has launched two days of joint military exercises with Turkish forces, saying the drills were aimed at "improving interaction" between the two countries' armed forces.
- Secretary Blinken's Call with Jordanian King Abdullah II US Dept. of State 08 Apr 2021
- Secretary Blinken's Call with Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs Locsin US Dept. of State 08 Apr 2021
- Department Press Briefing – April 8, 2021 US Dept. of State 08 Apr 2021
- Statement by National Security Council Spokesperson Emily Horne on National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan's Call with Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen The White House 08 Apr 2021
- Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jen Psaki and Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, April 8, 2021 The White House 08 Apr 2021
- 'Inhumane' explosive devices 'crush lives and end livelihoods' – UN chief UN News 08 Apr 2021 -- The "mere presence" of landmines, explosive remnants of war and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) can "stall development and shatter stability", the UN chief told the Security Council on Thursday.
- Philippines Welcomes US Backing to Help Defend Manila in South China Sea Radio Free Asia 08 Apr 2021 -- The Philippines welcomes an American commitment to back it should Beijing become aggressive in the South China Sea, Manila's defense department said Thursday, after Washington warned that an armed attack on the Southeast Asian nation would force the U.S. to aid its ally under a decades-old treaty.
- Saudi warplane hangars targeted in fresh Yemeni retaliation Press TV 08 Apr 2021 -- Yemen's air force successfully targets warplane hangars at an airport located in southwestern Saudi Arabia as the impoverished country's defenders keep up their retaliation against the Saudi-led war.
- Two Turkish soldiers killed in northwest Syria as YPG militants launch attack Press TV 08 Apr 2021 -- The Turkish defense ministry says two of its soldiers have been killed in Syria's northwestern province of Aleppo in an attack by US-sponsored Kurdish militants from the so-called People's Protection Units (YPG).
- Syria urges UNSC to adopt firm, immediate action against Israeli attacks Press TV 08 Apr 2021 -- Syria has renewed its call for the United Nations Security Council to take a "firm and immediate" action against acts of aggression by the Tel Aviv regime, urging the world body to hold to account Israeli authorities over their support for terrorism, crimes against the Syrian and Palestinian nations as well as their backing of Takfiri terror outfits.
- Syria intercepts Israeli missiles near Damascus Press TV 08 Apr 2021 -- Syria intercepts missiles fired by the Israeli regime from the Lebanese airspace towards the capital Damascus' countryside.
- Belfast Riots: Fears of Return to Sectarian Violence as Brexit Stokes Divisions VOA 08 Apr 2021 -- After six consecutive nights of rioting in Belfast, fears are growing of a return to violence in Northern Ireland, nearly 23 years after the Good Friday Agreement brought an end to three decades of sectarian killings and bomb attacks.
- Northern Ireland Leaders Condemn Recent Violence VOA 08 Apr 2021 -- Northern Ireland political leaders from all sides united Thursday to call for calm after at least four nights of street violence prompted by Brexit-induced trade barriers between the region and the rest of Britain.
- Putin accuses Ukraine of provocation, 'purposefully exacerbating' situation in Donbass Press TV 08 Apr 2021 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin says the Ukrainian government is "purposefully exacerbating" the situation in the southeastern parts of its own territory through provocative actions.
- Ukrainian President Visits Eastern Front As Tensions With Russia Rise RFE/RL 08 Apr 2021 -- President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has visited the volatile eastern part of the country as rising tensions with Russia over the conflict moved closer to the boiling point.
- Humanitarian catastrophe in northern Mozambique 'beyond epic proportions' UN News 08 Apr 2021 -- The UN and partners are "following with deep concern" new reports of violations against civilians in northern Mozambique, the UN Spokesperson said on Thursday.
- Southern African Leaders Step Up Response to Mozambique Insurgency VOA 08 Apr 2021 -- Leaders from six Southern African nations met this week to figure out how to address a rise in violent extremist attacks in Mozambique's volatile north, including a sophisticated attack last month that threatened the nation's gas reserves.
- Commercial Trucks Refusing to Enter South Sudan Because of Insecurity VOA 08 Apr 2021 -- Hundreds of commercial trucks carrying goods bound for South Sudan have stopped at the borders this week, with drivers refusing to complete deliveries because of insecurity. A series of armed attacks on vehicles in South Sudan last month left at least 15 people dead. The truckers say they won't leave Uganda and Kenya until their safety can be guaranteed.
- National Intelligence Council Releases Global Trends Report Director of National Intelligence 08 Apr 2021 -- The National Intelligence Council (NIC) today released the seventh edition of its quadrennial Global Trends report. Global Trends 2040: A More Contested World is an unclassified assessment of the forces and dynamics that the NIC anticipates are likely to shape the national security environment over the next 20 years.
- Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's statement and answers to media questions at a joint news conference with Deputy Prime Minister – Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan Mukhtar Tleuberdi, Nur-Sultan, April 8, 2021 Russia Ministry of Foreign Affairs 08 Apr 2021
- Navalny Has Two Herniated Disks, Numbness In His Hands, Attorney Says RFE/RL 08 Apr 2021 -- An attorney for jailed Russian opposition politician Aleksei Navalny says the Kremlin critic has two herniated disks in his back and has started to lose feeling in his hands.
- Russian Opposition Leader's Spokeswoman, Others Placed Under House Arrest RFE/RL 08 Apr 2021 -- The Moscow City Court has remanded Kira Yarmysh, spokeswoman of jailed opposition politician Aleksei Navalny, under house arrest.
- Former Siberian Mayor Rejects All Charges As Corruption Trial Starts RFE/RL 08 Apr 2021 -- TOMSK, Russia -- The former mayor of the Siberian city of Tomsk, Ivan Klyain, has rejected charges of abuse of office and illegal business activities at the start of his trial.
- US pres. eyes Russia retaliation after review of 'hacking, meddling' Press TV 08 Apr 2021 -- US President Joe Biden is considering "retaliatory actions" against Russia as his administration officials have completed an intelligence review of alleged Russian election interference and hacking, a US media report says.
- Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian's Regular Press Conference on April 8, 2021 PRC MofA 08 Apr 2021
- 3 Hong Kong Activists Plead Guilty to Joining Democracy Rally VOA 08 Apr 2021 -- Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai was one of three pro-democracy activists who pleaded guilty Wednesday to participating in an unauthorized rally in 2019.
- China Moves to Correct 'Lies' and 'Misinformation' In Australian Reporting on Uyghurs VOA 08 Apr 2021 -- The Chinese Embassy in Canberra has invited journalists to a presentation to counter what it has called false reporting in Australia about allegations of widespread abuses of the Uyghur Muslim minority in Xinjiang province.
- U.S. has ability to resist military threats to Taiwan: State Dept. CNA 08 Apr 2021 -- The U.S. State Department reaffirmed on Wednesday its "rock-solid" commitment to Taiwan and said the U.S. maintains the ability to resist any actions that would threaten the island's security, amid a recent rise in military pressure from China.
- US Vows to Defend Taiwan Amid Chinese Military Incursions Radio Free Asia 08 Apr 2021 -- The United States has reaffirmed its commitment to defend the democratic island of Taiwan amid ongoing incursions from China's military in recent weeks.
- Passage of US destroyer through Taiwan Strait endangers peace, stability: China Press TV 08 Apr 2021 -- China has censured the passage of a US destroyer through the Taiwan Strait, warning that the move would endanger peace and stability in the strategic region.
- Alleged Chinese spies indicted in Taiwan for money laundering CNA 08 Apr 2021 -- Two executives from a Hong Kong company, who have been prevented from leaving Taiwan since they were accused in 2019 of conspiring with Chinese intelligence, were indicted on charges of money laundering Thursday by the Taipei District Prosecutors Office.
- North Korea Tells Citizens to Prepare for a Famine Worse than the 1990s Radio Free Asia 08 Apr 2021 -- Authorities in North Korea are asking residents to prepare for economic difficulties as bad as the 1994-1998 famine which killed millions, RFA has learned, but experts say the situation is dire, but not that extreme.
- Araghchi: Disputes with IAEA can be resolved via constructive interaction IRNA 08 Apr 2021 -- Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Seyyed Abbas Araghchi said in Vienna that cooperation between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) continues in both areas of fact-checking and technological assistance.
- Araghchi, Grossi hold talks on JCPOA IRNA 08 Apr 2021 -- Deputy Foreign Minister Seyyed Abbas Araghchi on Thursday held talks with the Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, aka JCPOA.
- Deputy FM: US must lift sanctions in one step before Iran resumes full compliance with JCPOA Press TV 08 Apr 2021 -- Iran's deputy foreign minister for political affairs says the United States has to remove all unilateral and illegal sanctions it has imposed on Iran in one step before expecting the Islamic Republic to resume full compliance with the landmark 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
- Ayatollah Khamenei: Verification of US sanctions removal means Iran should be able to sell its oil Press TV 08 Apr 2021 -- Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says any US claim to having removed Iran's sanctions must be verified by Tehran and this means that the Islamic Republic should be able to sell its oil under normal conditions and receive its money.
- Rouhani: US totally failed to bring Tehran to its knees via economic war Press TV 08 Apr 2021 -- Iran's President Hassan Rouhani says the economic war waged by the United States against the Islamic Republic has totally failed and all measures taken by Washington to bring Tehran to its knees have been proven futile.
- Iran Vows to Respond to Vessel Saviz Incident Once Origins of Attack Investigated Sputnik 08 Apr 2021 -- Iran will respond to recent attack on its ship Saviz in the Red Sea, once uncovers the attack's source, Iranian Armed Forces spokesman Maj. Gen. Abu Al-Fadel Shkarji told Sputnik.e
- US 'Monitoring' as Iran Sends Fuel Tankers to Venezuela in Defiance of Sanctions VOA 08 Apr 2021 -- As Iran sent three gasoline shipments to fuel-starved Venezuela in recent months in defiance of U.S. sanctions, the Biden administration apparently did nothing to stop the tankers, signaling a reticence to enforce the sanctions and a savviness by the anti-U.S. allies in evading them.
- Iran boosts uranium enrichment capacity to 16,500 SWUs: atomic chief People's Daily 08 Apr 2021 -- Iran has increased its uranium enrichment capacity to 16,500 separative work units (SWUs), Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), announced on Wednesday, official Islamic Republic News agency reported.
- US Hits Myanmar's Gem Industry with Sanctions VOA 08 Apr 2021 -- The U.S. has imposed sanctions on one of Myanmar's biggest industries, gemstones, according to a Department of Treasury news release.
- Imposing Sanctions on Burmese State-Owned Enterprise US Dept. of State 08 Apr 2021 -- The Burmese military regime has ignored the will of the people of Burma to restore the country's path toward democracy and has continued to commit lethal attacks against protesters in addition to random attacks on bystanders."
- Treasury Sanctions Key Gems Enterprise in Burma US Treasury 08 Apr 2021 -- Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated Myanma Gems Enterprise (MGE), a Burmese state-owned entity that is responsible for all gemstone activities in Burma. Gemstones are a key economic resource for the Burmese military regime that is violently repressing pro-democracy protests in the country and that is responsible for the ongoing lethal attacks against the people of Burma, including the killing of children. These sanctions are not directed at the people of Burma.
- US Targets Myanmar's Junta-Controlled Jade Sector in New Sanctions Radio Free Asia 08 Apr 2021 -- The United States on Thursday announced new sanctions targeting the country's multi-billion dollar jade industry, a sector long controlled by Myanmar military figures responsible for ousting the country's democratically elected government in a coup on Feb. 1.
- About dozen killed as troops, anti-coup protesters clash in northwest Myanmar Press TV 08 Apr 2021 -- Nearly a dozen protesters have been killed and several others injured in fresh anti-coup demonstrations and an ensuing crackdown by security forces in a town in northwest Myanmar.
- Myanmar Junta Tries to Dim Star Power of Protests With Arrest of Beloved Actor Radio Free Asia 08 Apr 2021 -- Myanmar military authorities arrested a heartthrob model-actor with fans across Southeast Asia on Thursday, the latest and most famous of scores of celebrities to be rounded up for backing the anti-junta protests in a campaign that has driven other stars into hiding or exile.
- China Focuses on Domestic, Strategic Interests as Myanmar Killings Continue Radio Free Asia 08 Apr 2021 -- China has joined Russia in opposing direct sanctions on Myanmar's military junta by the U.N. Security Council, and has restricted its public comments to wishes for peace and stability, while the country's foreign ministry has denied tacit encouragement for the coup.
- Malaysia Defends Envoy's Meeting With Myanmar Military Government Radio Free Asia 08 Apr 2021 -- The Malaysian government defended itself Thursday over heavy criticism after an online video showed Kuala Lumpur's ambassador to Naypyidaw meeting with a minister from Myanmar's junta, whose forces have killed hundreds of people in crushing post-coup pro-democracy protests.
- Myanmar Military Versus Ethnic Armies Would be 'David and Goliath Contest': IHS-Jane's Expert Radio Free Asia 08 Apr 2021 -- Myanmar's military has shown itself to be a brutal force, meting out violence against the civilians it is meant to protect amid a popular rebellion against its Feb. 1 coup. The powerful Tatmadaw, as it is called in Burmese, has steadily escalated the violence directed at protesters, bystanders, and ordinary citizens, with indiscriminate shootings, shakedowns, break-ins, beatings and arbitrary arrests.
- Russian, Belarusian Currencies Fall As Political, Diplomatic Tensions Rise RFE/RL 08 Apr 2021 -- The closely linked Russian and Belarusian currencies have weakened sharply amid an ongoing slew of seemingly unrelated political and diplomatic challenges for the two post-Soviet neighbors.
- Top U.S. Official Calls On Ukraine To Crack Down On Oligarchs, Including Gas Billionaire RFE/RL 08 Apr 2021 -- A senior U.S. State Department official has said it is time for Ukraine to tackle corruption and weak institutions, including going after Dmytro Firtash, whose natural-gas holdings have made him one of the country's most notorious, and powerful, oligarchs.
- Biden voices support to Jordan's king, affirming two-state solution People's Daily 08 Apr 2021 -- President Joe Biden on Wednesday spoke with Jordan's King Abdullah II to voice U.S. support for his leadership and affirmed the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian issue.
- In interventionist position, France FM threatens sanctions on Lebanese politicians Press TV 08 Apr 2021 -- French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has threatened sanctions on "well-known political officials" in Lebanon, who, he claims, are obstructing the formation of a new government in the cash-strapped Arab country, as Paris apparently pushes harder to impose its own will on its former colony.
- Backlash Grows Against Pakistani Law Criminalizing Criticism Of Military RFE/RL Gandhara 08 Apr 2021 -- Rights advocates, opposition politicians, and lawyers have opposed draft changes to the Pakistani criminal law that recommend a two-year prison sentence or more than $3,200 in fines for anyone who "intentionally ridicules, brings into disrepute or defames" the country's military.
- Egypt's Sisi threatens Ethiopia with war over Nile dam Press TV 08 Apr 2021 -- Egypt's President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has threatened neighboring Ethiopia with potential war over a contested dam that the latter country has been building on the Nile River, affecting a major Egyptian water source.
- Cambodia's PM Hun Sen Congratulates Himself For Destroying Opposition in New Year's Address Radio Free Asia 08 Apr 2021 -- Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen lauded himself for the 2017 ban of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party in a New Year's address Thursday, saying the group had sought to sow chaos in the country, while observers urged both sides to pursue political reconciliation for the good of the nation.
- Tensions High As Georgian Opposition Leader Goes On Trial RFE/RL 08 Apr 2021 -- The jailed leader of Georgia's main opposition force has gone on trial in a case that has deepened a protracted postelection political crisis in the South Caucasus country.
- Currency Collapse Mirrors Turkmenistan's Extreme Economic Woes RFE/RL 08 Apr 2021 -- When the exchange rate of Turkmenistan's national currency, the manat, fell to 40 to the dollar on the black market on April 3, it was more than 11 times the long-standing official rate of 3.5 manats per dollar.
- Somali Elections Remain on Hold After Latest Political Talks Collapse VOA 08 Apr 2021 -- Somalia's federal government said Wednesday that efforts to resolve the stalemate on elections collapsed after leaders from the states of Puntland and Jubbaland failed to agree on the way forward.
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