23 April 2021 Military News
- US deploys weapon system at key base in Iraq after rocket attack Press TV 23 Apr 2021 -- The US military has reportedly deployed a C-RAM weapon system at a key base near Baghdad International Airport, hours after a number of rockets targeted the facility.
- Semiannual Report: Enhancing Security and Stability in Afghanistan ('1225 Report') DoD 23 Apr 2021 -- "Today the Department of Defense released the semiannual report, "Enhancing Security and Stability in Afghanistan," covering June 1, 2020 through November 30, 2020."
- Turkey, Afghanistan, Pakistan Urge Taliban To Commit To Afghan Peace Process RFE/RL Gandhara 23 Apr 2021 -- The foreign ministers of Afghanistan, Turkey, and Pakistan are calling on all parties to the Afghan conflict, "in particular the Taliban," to reaffirm their commitment to achieving a negotiated settlement, after an international peace conference planned for this weekend was postponed.
- U.S. General Raises Concern About Afghan Forces After Troop Pullout RFE/RL Gandhara 23 Apr 2021 -- A top U.S. general has expressed concern about the ability of the Afghan security forces to hold territory after the planned withdrawal of all foreign troops from the country later this year.
- President Ghani invites Taliban for peace talks with Istanbul meeting postponed Press TV 23 Apr 2021 -- Afghanistan's President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has once again invited the Taliban to take part in the much-awaited peace negotiations aimed at achieving peace in the war-ravaged country.
- Al-Qaeda Still Threat to US Personnel in Afghanistan Via Taliban Links - Pentagon Sputnik 23 Apr 2021 -- Al-Qaeda continues to pose a threat to remaining US personnel in Afghanistan through their interaction with the Taliban, the US Department of Defense said in a report to Congress entitled "Enhancing Security and Stability in Afghanistan."
- Pentagon Says 2 B-52 Bombers Arrived Near Afghanistan for Force Protection of US Pullout Sputnik 23 Apr 2021 -- US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin approved the extended deployment of the USS Eisenhower aircraft carrier and the deployment of long-range bombers to the Middle East, two of which have already arrived, to provide US forces in Afghanistan protection during the pullout, Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said on Friday.
- Some US Military Equipment Beginning to Be Shipped Out of Afghanistan, Reports Say Sputnik 23 Apr 2021 -- Some US military equipment is starting to be shipped out of Afghanistan as part of the Biden administration's decision to withdraw all American forces on the ground by 1 May, CNN reported on Friday citing three defence officials.
- US Preparing for Taliban Attacks as Afghanistan Drawdown Gets Under Way VOA 23 Apr 2021 -- The United States is positioning more firepower in the Middle East and South Asia to provide cover for U.S. troops as they prepare to leave Afghanistan.
- DOD to Assist in Search for Indonesian Submarine DoD News 23 Apr 2021 -- Earlier this week, on Wednesday, the Indonesian submarine KRI Nanggala disappeared while conducting training operations in the Bali Sea. More than 50 individuals were on board at the time. The Defense Department is providing assistance to help the Indonesians search for that submarine.
Defense Policy / Programs
- USS America hosts First ASVAB Booster US Navy 23 Apr 2021 -- The forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) provided Sailors an opportunity to improve their careers by administering the Armed Forces Classification Test (AFCT) here April 15.
- USS Iwo Jima Arrives at Naval Station Rota, Spain, for Mid-Deployment Voyage Repair US Navy 23 Apr 2021 -- Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7), flagship of the Iwo Jima Amphibious Readiness Group (ARG), arrived at Naval Station Rota, Spain, for its mid-deployment voyage repair (MDVR), April 23, 2021.
- M-SHORAD Brings New Significance to the Army's Air Defense Capabilities Army News 23 Apr 2021 -- In continuing efforts to revitalize and update the U.S. Army's Air and Missile Defense forces and systems, the 5th Battalion, 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment (5-4 ADA), a subordinate unit under the 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command, is the first battalion in the Army to test, receive, and field the Mobile Short Range Air Defense (M-SHORAD) system.
- AFRICOM commander wraps-up posture testimony CENTCOM 23 Apr 2021 -- U.S. Africa Command commander, U.S. Army Gen. Stephen Townsend, wrapped up his annual posture statement to Congress with a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee April 22.
- Navy to Christen Guided-Missile Destroyer Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee DoD 23 Apr 2021 -- The Navy will christen its newest Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, the future USS Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG 123), during a 6:30 p.m. CDT ceremony Saturday, April 24, in Pascagoula, Miss.
- Readout of Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III Phone Call With Indonesian Minister of Defense, Prabowo Subianto DoD 23 Apr 2021
- MWSS-172, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing Demonstrates Combat Readiness Under The EABO Construct USMC News 23 Apr 2021 -- The expeditionary nature of the Indo-Pacific theatre requires a focus unique to only a few areas of the world. The Aviation Combat Element fills a primary role in Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations and the Marine Wing Support Squadron is vital to the conduct of Aviation Ground Support while distributed across remote bases.
- PLA Navy makes great strides as it turns 72 PLA Daily 23 Apr 2021 -- The People's Liberation Army Navy, which will celebrate its 72nd birthday on Friday, has made tremendous strides over the past several years in transforming itself into a world-class force under the guidance and instructions from President Xi Jinping.
- China, Vietnam hold 10th Defense and Security Consultation PLA Daily 23 Apr 2021 -- The 10th Defense and Security Consultation between the ministries of national defense of China and Vietnam was held in Dongxing city, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of South China, on April 23.
- Chinese peacekeepers to Sudan complete withdrawal from Golo camp PLA Daily 23 Apr 2021 -- Fifty-five peacekeepers assigned to the 16th Chinese peacekeeping engineering contingent to Darfur stationed at Golo camp in Sudan successfully withdrew to the main camp in El Fasher after traveling over 280 km in four days, together with 16 vehicles and equipment, on April 14, local time, which marked the completion of the first camp withdrawal mission.
- Taiwan launches computer-simulated war games amid rising tensions CNA 23 Apr 2021 -- The computerized component of this year's Han Kuang military exercises was officially kicked off on Friday to test Taiwan's defense strategies and tactics against a possible military attack by China.
- Australia joins Indonesian search mission Australia DOD 23 Apr 2021 -- Indonesia has accepted Australia's offer to assist in the search for missing submarine, KRI Nanggala (402).
- Australia – MQ-9B Remotely Piloted Aircraft DSCA 23 Apr 2021 -- The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Australia of MQ-9B Remotely Piloted Aircraft and related equipment for an estimated cost of $1.651 billion. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today.
- Japan, US, France to hold first major drill amid tensions with China Press TV 23 Apr 2021 -- Japan, the United States, and France are set to hold joint military drills for the first time next month, amid rising tensions with China over the East and South China Seas.
- Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa US Dept. of State 23 Apr 2021
- Secretary Blinken's Meeting with the C5+1 US Dept. of State 23 Apr 2021
- Secretary Blinken's call with KRG Prime Minister Barzani US Dept. of State 23 Apr 2021
- Secretary Blinken's Call with Ecuadorian President-Elect Lasso US Dept. of State 23 Apr 2021
- Department Press Briefing – April 23, 2021 US Dept. of State 23 Apr 2021
- Statement by NSC Spokesperson Emily Horne on National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan's Call with Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi of Indonesia The White House 23 Apr 2021
- Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jen Psaki and Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, April 23, 2021 The White House 23 Apr 2021
- 23 April 2021 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 23 Apr 2021
- Saudi airbase, Aramco oil facility targeted in fresh Yemeni retaliatory drone strikes Press TV 23 Apr 2021 -- The spokesman for Yemeni Armed Forces says army troops and allied fighters from Popular Committees have launched a string of retaliatory drone attacks on an airbase in Saudi Arabia's southwestern region of Asir as well as a state-owned Saudi Aramco oil facility in the kingdom's southern region of Jizan.
- Libyan National Army Says Boosted Combat Readiness Near Border With Chad Sputnik 23 Apr 2021 -- The Libyan National Army (LNA), led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, has boosted its combat readiness in the southeastern district of Kufra near the border with Chad after the death of N'Djamena's longterm president, Idriss Deby.
- US, West Wary of Russian Claims That Military Buildup Near Ukraine Is Over VOA 23 Apr 2021 -- Claims that Russian troops are beginning to pull back from positions in Crimea and along the Russian border with Ukraine are being met with caution in the West, where officials are demanding that Moscow be more transparent and refrain from additional saber-rattling.
- Russia Announces Start Of Troop Pullback From Occupied Crimea RFE/RL 23 Apr 2021 -- Russia says it has started moving troops from the annexed Ukrainian region of Crimea to their permanent bases following a major buildup around the areas of eastern Ukraine that had raised concerns in Kyiv and the West.
- UN Delivers Humanitarian Aid to Separatist-controlled Parts of Ukraine VOA 23 Apr 2021 -- U.N. agencies have delivered 23 tons of hygiene items to civilians in the rebel-controlled part of eastern Ukraine, the United Nations said Friday.
- UN-led aid convoy brings 23 tonnes of humanitarian goods across contact line in east Ukraine UN News 23 Apr 2021 -- Twenty-three tonnes of urgently needed aid items have reached the eastern Ukrainian province around Donetsk, after a humanitarian convoy crossed the contact line into non-Government-controlled territory, the UN said on Friday.
- US Urges China to Reveal Whereabouts of Tibet's 'Disappeared' Panchen Lama Radio Free Asia 23 Apr 2021 -- China should disclose the whereabouts of Tibet's Panchen Lama, who vanished into Chinese custody as a young boy 26 years ago, and let him meet outside observers in person, the U.S. State Department said in what Tibetans hailed as a strong show of support for their beleaguered traditions.
- UN Security Council expresses concern about rights violations in Ethiopia's Tigray Press TV 23 Apr 2021 -- The United Nations Security Council has for the first time expressed "deep concern" about allegations of human rights violations in Ethiopia's northern region of Tigray.
- 'Terrible Vengeance': The History Of Turkish Atrocities Against Armenians And Why Biden Is Poised To Call Them Genocide RFE/RL 23 Apr 2021 -- It's April 24, 1915. Some 250 Armenian intellectuals are rounded up in Constantinople and imprisoned by Ottoman police. Known as "Red Sunday," it is today a day of remembrance for a murderous yearslong campaign that would see the majority of the Ottoman Empire's prewar Armenian population expelled or exterminated. According to estimates, between 664,000 and 1.2 million people lost their lives.
- Deby's Death Seen as Blow to Counterterrorism Efforts in Africa's Sahel VOA 23 Apr 2021 -- The death of Chad's President Idriss Deby could be a major setback for counterterrorism efforts in Africa's restive Sahel region, according to Chadian activists, African politicians and security experts.
- Experts Say Death of Chad's Deby Will Impact Regional Security VOA 23 Apr 2021 -- The sudden death of Chad's president, Idriss Deby, this week has raised concerns about the country's stability and the joint fight against regional terrorist groups, like Nigeria's Boko Haram. Nigeria and Chad have long been allies against Islamist insurgents, but analysts say Deby's death could complicate the picture.
- Chad President Déby's Death Raises Security Concerns in West Africa VOA 23 Apr 2021 -- The death of Chad's President Idriss Deby this week has raised concerns about stability in the country and throughout West Africa. While critics point out Deby's authoritarian, 31-year rule, security experts say he was an essential ally in the fight against terrorism and are worried about what comes next.
- Man Pleads Guilty to Attempting to Provide Material Support to Foreign Terrorist Organizations US Dept. of Justice 23 Apr 2021 -- Defendant Planned to Travel to Syria to Wage Violent Jihad
- Russia's FSB Detains Members Of Islamic Group In Siberia RFE/RL 23 Apr 2021 -- Security authorities in the Siberian cities of Kemerovo and Novosibirsk say they have apprehended an unspecified number of alleged supporters of the banned Hizb ut-Tahrir Islamic group.
- French Police Administrator Killed in Knife attack VOA 23 Apr 2021 -- French authorities have detained three people and opened a terrorism investigation after a man attacked and killed a police administrator Friday with a knife at a police station in a Paris suburb.
- The Week In Russia: A Tale Of Two Countries RFE/RL 23 Apr 2021 -- President Vladimir Putin stuck to a familiar narrative of unity in his annual address, while crowds of protesters demanding imprisoned Kremlin opponent Aleksei Navalny's release told a different story. Doctors urged Navalny to end his hunger strike, saying it could soon lead to "the saddest outcome."
- Russian Opposition Leader Navalny to End Hunger Strike VOA 23 Apr 2021 -- Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny announced Friday he is ending his hunger strike after he was examined by a panel of civilian doctors.
- Navalny Says He Will End Hunger Strike RFE/RL 23 Apr 2021 -- Jailed Russian opposition politician Navalny says he is ending a hunger strike he launched last month over his medical treatment in prison saying he had "achieved enough."
- 'No One Is Leaving': Navalny's Backers Defiant As Threat Of 'Extremist' Label Looms RFE/RL 23 Apr 2021 -- Few if any of the workers and volunteers in structures tied to imprisoned Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny was surprised earlier this month when prosecutors in Moscow began procedures aimed to officially label them "extremist organizations."
- Russia Labels Meduza Media Outlet As 'Foreign Agent' RFE/RL 23 Apr 2021 -- The Russian government has designated the Latvia-based independent Meduza news outlet as a foreign agent - a move that will require it to label itself as such and will subject it to increased government scrutiny.
- Putin willing to discuss bilateral ties with Ukraine president in Moscow 'any time' Press TV 23 Apr 2021 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has expressed willingness to invite his Ukrainian counterpart to discuss bilateral ties amid a military escalation between the two sides near Ukraine's southern borders and the Crimean Peninsula.
- Putin Signs Decree on Measures to Influence Unfriendly Actions of Foreign States Sputnik 23 Apr 2021 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on the application of measures of influence on unfriendly actions of foreign states, the Kremlin said on Friday.
- Russia summons Polish ambassador, expels five diplomats Press TV 23 Apr 2021 -- The Russian Foreign Ministry has summoned Poland's ambassador to protest his country's expulsion of Russian diplomats, informing him of Moscow's decision to respond in kind.
- Press release on retaliatory measures following the expulsion of Russian diplomats from Poland Russia Ministry of Foreign Affairs 23 Apr 2021 -- "On April 23, Krzysztof Krajewski, the Ambassador of Poland to Moscow, was summoned to the Foreign Ministry whose officials lodged a resolute protest in connection with an unjustified decision to declare three officials of the Russian Embassy in the Republic of Poland personae non gratae under an absurd pretext of solidarising with the United States that groundlessly claims that the Russian Federation is involved in cyberattacks on US territory."
- Moscow Pledges Response After Baltic States Expel Russian Diplomats in Solidarity With Prague Sputnik 23 Apr 2021 -- This comes against the backdrop of a diplomatic row between Prague and Moscow which has resulted in the mutual expulsion of embassy staff and reduction of employees in both capitals.
- Russian Military Court Sentences Former Top Security Agent To Prison For Massive Fraud RFE/RL 23 Apr 2021 -- A Moscow military court on April 22 sentenced a former senior officer in the Federal Security Service (FSB) to seven years in prison after he and two others were caught with tens of millions of dollars worth of cash in 2019.
- Russia asks Czech embassy to cut employees in retaliation People's Daily 23 Apr 2021 -- The Russian Foreign Ministry on Thursday demanded the Czech embassy in Moscow reduce the number of employees shortly after Prague made a mirror-like decision.
- Moscow, Prague To Keep Equal Number Of Staff At Each Other's Embassies, Says Czech Foreign Minister RFE/RL 23 Apr 2021 -- Czech Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhanek says the number of people that will be allowed by Prague and Moscow at their respective embassies will be 32, as tensions between the two continue to simmer over Russia's alleged role in a deadly 2014 explosion at a Czech arms depot.
- Tajikistan Says It Didn't Issue Passport Allegedly Used By Russian Agent Implicated In Czech Blast RFE/RL 23 Apr 2021 -- Tajik authorities say they didn't issue a passport that was allegedly used in 2014 by a Russian agent implicated in a deadly arms depot explosion in the Czech Republic.
- Moscow Expels Five Polish Diplomats After Russians Expelled By Warsaw RFE/RL 23 Apr 2021 -- Russia has expelled five staff members at Poland's embassy in Moscow in a tit-for-tat move after Warsaw declared three Russian diplomats in Poland personae non gratae for violating their diplomatic status.
- Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian's Regular Press Conference on April 23, 2021 PRC MofA 23 Apr 2021
- Fear Grips Hong Kong's Public Broadcaster VOA 23 Apr 2021 -- An important Hong Kong public news broadcaster is at risk of becoming a government mouthpiece as Beijing tightens its grip, according to an insider who described rising editorial pressure and orders to pull out of journalism contests.
- China slams UK allegations about Xinjiang region as 'most preposterous lie of century' Press TV 23 Apr 2021 -- China has censured as the "most preposterous lie of the century" after the British parliament accused Beijing of committing "genocide" against the Muslim Uighur minority in the Xinjiang region.
- Xinjiang Authorities Sentence Prominent Uyghur Author to 20 Years in Prison Radio Free Asia 23 Apr 2021 -- Authorities in northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) have sentenced a prominent Uyghur author, whose work was targeted in a book burning campaign following his detention four years ago, to 20 years in prison, according to officials.
- Chinese Airline Dismisses as 'Rumor' Reports of Honey Trap Targeting Bosses Radio Free Asia 23 Apr 2021 -- A Chinese airline has dismissed as "rumor" a report circulating on social media that one of its cabin crew was ordered by a branch secretary of the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to entrap two high-ranking officials by embroiling them in a sexual scandal.
- China Transit Risks Eyed After Suez Canal Jam Radio Free Asia 23 Apr 2021 -- The six-day blockage of the Suez Canal ended last month without major damage to either the stranded vessel or China's economy, but the shutdown may serve as a warning to the country of its growing energy security risks.
- Change in method of enriching uranium to 60pc based on pre-scheduled plan IRNA 23 Apr 2021 -- Iran's Ambassador to the Vienna-based international organizations Kazem Gharibabadi says that change in method of enriching 60-percent uranium is based on a pre-scheduled plan.
- FM spox: Iran has already provided detailed answers to IAEA IRNA 23 Apr 2021 -- The spokesman for Iran's Ministry of Foreign Affairs Saeed Khatibzadeh said the recent talks between Iran-IEAE talks came in continuation of previous ones and stressed that Iran has already provided detailed and inclusive answers to the nuclear watchdog body so that the IAEA could sump up them in its reports.
- Weeks of Fierce Junta Attacks in Northwest Myanmar Send 10,000 Into Hiding Radio Free Asia 23 Apr 2021 -- More than 20 civilians have been killed during the past 20 days during a vicious crackdown in northwestern Myanmar's Sagaing region, a hotbed of anti-junta rallies since the early February military coup overthrew the elected government, witnesses said Friday.
- Junta Brutality Gives Myanmar's Majority a Taste of Ethnic Minorities' Plight Radio Free Asia 23 Apr 2021 -- A cabinet minister from Myanmar's parallel government has publicly apologized to all Rohingya Muslims in a pre-taped video for ignoring the suffering of the persecuted minority group during the past five years of civilian-led government that was overthrown on Feb. 1 in a military coup.
- Ethnic Armed Organizations Building Unity With Myanmar Anti-coup Activists VOA 23 Apr 2021 -- In a sleepy Karen village on the Myanmar-Thai border in Kayin state, a day after the March 27 Myanmar government air strikes, rebel soldiers stood guard as two dusty trucks stopped near a Karen National Defense Organization camp at the edge of the hamlet.
- Somalia welcomes AU initiative for free, fair elections People's Daily 23 Apr 2021 -- Somalia on Thursday welcomed an African Union (AU) initiative to facilitate constructive dialogue between warring political leaders that will culminate in holding free, fair and transparent polls in the country in accordance with the constitution.
- AU Urges Somali Leaders to Resume Poll Talks, Condemns Presidential Term Extension VOA 23 Apr 2021 -- Opposition leaders in Somalia welcomed a rare move by the African Union to condemn a term extension by Somali lawmakers for themselves and the president.
- Germany Urges Serbia, Kosovo To Work Harder To Normalize Ties RFE/RL 23 Apr 2021 -- Germany has called on Serbia and Kosovo to step up efforts toward a normalization of their relationship, more than two decades after Belgrade lost control of its former southern province in 1999.
- Sudan Threatens Legal Action Against Ethiopia Over Nile Dam Filling - Irrigation Minister Sputnik 23 Apr 2021 -- Sudan is preparing to file lawsuits against Ethiopia and an Italian company implementing the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) if Addis Ababa carries out a second filling of the dam, Sudanese Irrigation Minister Yasser Abbas said on Friday.
- Arrests of Opposition Figures in Benin US Dept. of State 23 Apr 2021 -- The United States notes with concern the numerous arrests of opposition political leaders related to the April 11 presidential elections.
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