14 May 2021 Military News
- US Leaves Key Base as Afghan Eid Truce Largely Holds VOA 14 May 2021 -- Officials in Afghanistan confirmed Friday that the United States had turned over another major military base to the local army as all U.S. and NATO troops are in the process of withdrawing from the country.
- Explosion in mosque kills 12 near Afghan capital Press TV 14 May 2021 -- At least 12 people have been killed and 15 others wounded in an explosion that rocked a mosque on the outskirts of the Afghan capital, Kabul.
- Kabul Mosque Bombing Kills At Least 12 Despite Eid Cease-Fire RFE/RL Gandhara 14 May 2021 -- Afghan officials say a blast at a mosque in a northern Kabul neighborhood killed at least 12 worshippers on the second day of a cease-fire declared by the government and the Taliban.
- US Reportedly Completes Pullout From Second-Largest Base in Afghanistan Amid Spiraling Violence Sputnik 14 May 2021 -- Last Month, President Biden announced that US and NATO forces would be out of Afghanistan by the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks. Originally, the Trump administration had planned to complete the withdrawal by 1 May, in accordance with the US-Taliban peace deal signed in Doha in February 2020.
Defense Policy / Programs
- National Guard, partners to conduct ORCA 21 CBRNE exercise Army News 14 May 2021 -- Hundreds of National Guard Civil Support Team units from 11 states will participate in Exercise ORCA 2021 in Anchorage, Matanuska-Susitna Valley and Seward with emergency responders and other Guard units.
- In Cyber, Differentiating Between State Actors, Criminals Is a Blur DoD News 14 May 2021 -- Who's hacking the U.S.? It's not an easy question to answer, defense leaders told lawmakers, as determining if a malicious cyber attacker is a foreign government, a cyber criminal or a cyber criminal supported by a foreign government is never clear.
- North African maritime exercise Phoenix Express set to begin AFRICOM 14 May 2021 -- Exercise Phoenix Express 2021, the 16th iteration of the North African maritime exercise begins May 17, 2021, in Tunis, Tunisia, and throughout the Mediterranean Sea.
- Readout of Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III's Call With Spanish Minister of Defense Margarita Robles DoD 14 May 2021
- DOD Laser-Focused on Driving Down Costs of F-35, General Says DoD News 14 May 2021 -- There are about 630 F-35 Lightning IIs in the field today in nine nations, including the U.S., the program executive officer for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Program Office said. Five of those nations have deployed the F-35 in combat.
- Acquisition Reform Is Making Rapid Progress, Defense Official Says DoD News 14 May 2021 -- To defend the nation, we must reform the Defense Department and more effectively work with allies and partners, a DOD official said.
- Coming To The Rescue: Japanese Forces and U.S. Marines Conduct Search and Rescue Exercise USMC News 14 May 2021 -- U.S. Marines and Japan Self-Defense Force personnel conducted a bilateral search and rescue exercise at the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force Hijyudai Training Area, 27 April. The participating units included: Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 232, Marine Aircraft Group 12 and Ashiya Air Rescue Squadron, Air Rescue Wing.
- US plans 'large exercise' in central Europe, attacks Russia Press TV 14 May 2021 -- Pentagon spokesman John Kirby has announced multiple war games to be held across Europe, demanding that Russia should open up about its defense drills on its borders.
- New hangar for squadrons at NAS Key West US Navy 14 May 2021 -- Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) Southeast awarded a $67.1 million firm-fixed-price contract, May 13, to Korte Construction Company from St. Louis, Missouri, for construction of a new Aircraft Maintenance Hangar at Naval Air Station (NAS) Key West, Florida.
- North African Maritime Exercise Phoenix Express Set to Begin US Navy 14 May 2021 -- Exercise Phoenix Express 2021, the 16th iteration of the North African maritime exercise begins May 17, 2021, in Tunis, Tunisia, and throughout the Mediterranean Sea.
- U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton concludes Black Sea operations US Navy 14 May 2021 -- The Legend-class national security cutter USCGC Hamilton (WMSL 753) transited from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, concluding the crew's recent Black Sea operations and engagements, May 14, 2021.
- US and Singapore Armies Conduct 40th Annual Tiger Balm Exercise Army News 14 May 2021 -- Celebrating a 40-year partnership, Exercise Tiger Balm is the longest running bilateral exercise between the U.S. Army and the Singapore Armed Forces that occurred virtually on Singapore and Oahu, Hawaii, May 6-13, 2021.
- Readout of Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Dr. Colin Kahl's Call With Australian Deputy Secretary of Defence Peter Tesch DoD 14 May 2021
- US withdraws 120 military personnel from Israel, issues travel advisory Press TV 14 May 2021 -- The Pentagon says it has pulled 120 US military and civilian personnel from Israel amid rising tensions in the occupied territories of Palestine.
- Armenia's Interim PM Pashinyan Pens Letter to Russian President Putin to Ask for Military Assistance Sputnik 14 May 2021 -- The development comes as the Armenian military declared that Azerbaijani forces violated Armenia's border in the Syunik Province, an area wedged between Azerbaijan's mainland to the east and the Nakhchivan autonomous republic, an Azeri enclave, to the west.
- Secretary Blinken's Call with Afghan President Ghani US Dept. of State 14 May 2021
- Briefing With Senior Official for Economic Growth, Energy, and Environment Marcia Bernicat On the Secretary's Upcoming Travel to Denmark, Iceland, and Greenland US Dept. of State 14 May 2021
- Department Press Briefing – May 14, 2021 US Dept. of State 14 May 2021
- Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jen Psaki and Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers Cecilia Rouse, May 14, 2021 The White House 14 May 2021
- 14 May 2021 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 14 May 2021
- Philippines Ignores China Fishing Ban in Disputed Waters VOA 14 May 2021 -- The Philippine government took another step this month in opposing China by telling its vast fishing fleet to ignore Beijing's annual fishing ban in the South China Sea, where the two countries are locked in a sovereignty dispute.
- Hamas Military Wing Says Opened Rocket Fire at Israeli Hatzerim Airbase Sputnik 14 May 2021 -- The Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Gaza Strip-based Hamas movement, said that it has fired rockets at the Israeli airbase of Hatzerim, located near the city of Be'er Sheva.
- Israeli Military Claims at Least 20 Senior Hamas Officials Killed, Reports Suggest Sputnik 14 May 2021 -- The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have killed at least twenty senior Hamas officials and hundreds of militants in a massive overnight attack on a network of tunnels dug under the northern Gaza Strip, and destroyed most of the groups' rocket manufacturing system, an Israeli security source told N12 broadcaster.
- Violence Escalates Between Palestinians and Israelis VOA 14 May 2021 -- Violence grew Friday between Israelis and Palestinians, with fighting erupting in the West Bank amid an aerial bombardment in Gaza and unrest by Arabs within Israel.
- Escalation of Violence Hampers UN Aid to Gaza VOA 14 May 2021 -- United Nations agencies report difficulties in providing assistance to many of Gaza's two million residents amid escalating violence in Palestinian territory and Israel.
- Civilian casualties climb, as UN chief calls on all parties to 'immediately cease' fighting in Gaza and Israel UN News 14 May 2021 -- The UN Secretary-General on Friday issued an urgent appeal for all parties involved in this week's escalation of violence in the occupied Palestinian enclave of Gaza, and Israel, to "immediately cease the fighting", or risk creating an "uncontainable security and humanitarian crisis".
- Israel, Hamas continue to trade blows on third day of intense fighting People's Daily 14 May 2021 -- Thursday was another day of intense fighting between Israel and Hamas, as more than 1,700 missiles have been fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel in the last three days while the Israeli military has conducted hundreds of airstrikes in Gaza.
- Ceasefire offer must take account of holy Jerusalem al-Quds as well, Hamas says Press TV 14 May 2021 -- Hamas has reacted to Egyptian and Russian calls for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, saying it must also include the occupied Jerusalem al-Quds, where Israeli forces have violently attacked Palestinian worshipers in the al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
- Hamas fires missiles at Israeli air base, two Iron Dome stations, chemical factory Press TV 14 May 2021 -- The Palestinian Islamic Resistance movement Hamas says it has targeted the Israeli regime's Iron Dome stations and an Israeli air base which is used by Israeli warplanes to bombard civilian targets in the besieged Gaza Strip.
- Penpa Tsering Officially Named Tibet's Next Exile Leader Radio Free Asia 14 May 2021 -- Penpa Tsering, former speaker of Tibet's exile parliament, was officially named by the Tibetan Election Commission on Friday as Sikyong, or political leader, of the India-based exile government, the Central Tibetan Administration.
- Kyrgyz Officials Say Situation Under Control After Minor Clashes Along Uzbek Border RFE/RL 14 May 2021 -- There have been minor skirmishes along Kyrgyzstan's southern border with Uzbekistan's Sokh exclave but officials say the situation was quickly brought under control.
- Armenia Turns To Russian-Led CSTO Amid Border Standoff With Azerbaijan RFE/RL 14 May 2021 -- Armenia has formally appealed to the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) to hold consultations on its border dispute with Azerbaijan that has emerged months after the two countries ended a war over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh.
- UN Seeks International Support for Rohingya Refugee Crisis VOA 14 May 2021 -- The U.N. refugee agency is seeking $943 million to provide life-saving assistance for more than 880,000 Rohingya refugees and 472,000 Bangladeshis in the communities hosting them. Most of the refugees, some 740,000, fled violence and persecution in Myanmar in 2017.
- South Sudan Authorities Struggle to Stop Road Attacks VOA 14 May 2021 -- Nongovernmental organizations, civil society activists and civilians are calling on South Sudan's government to find a way to stop rampant attacks by unknown gunmen on major roads after three more deadly road ambushes occurred this week.
- Hunger Threatens Ethiopia's Tigray Region VOA 14 May 2021 -- Six months into the conflict in Ethiopia's northern Tigray region, the specter of widespread hunger and starvation looms, as continued military operations and violence stall aid delivery and threaten the approaching planting season, according to the United Nations and several other observers.
- Agreement Reached for Bipartisan Probe into US Capitol Riot VOA 14 May 2021 -- Two members of the U.S. House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee announced an agreement Friday to form a panel to conduct a bipartisan investigation into the Jan. 6 insurrection on the U.S. Capitol.
- US lawmakers agree on 9/11-type commission to probe Jan. 6 attack Press TV 14 May 2021 -- The top Democrat and Republican on the US House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee have agreed to conduct a bipartisan, independent commission to investigate the January 6 storming of US Capitol by then-President Donald Trump's loyalists.
- DHS Issues a National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) Bulletin DHS 14 May 2021 -- Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas issued a National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) Bulletin after consultation with the Intelligence Community and law enforcement partners. The NTAS Bulletin advises that the United States is facing threats that have evolved significantly and become increasingly complex and volatile. Specifically, the Bulletin details the threats posed by domestic terrorists, individuals, and groups engaged in grievance-based violence, and those inspired or influenced by foreign terrorists and other malign foreign influences.
- Easing of COVID Restrictions Sparks New US Terror Warning VOA 14 May 2021 -- The easing of restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic has U.S. counterterrorism officials holding their breath, worried an increasingly lax environment could make it easier for a variety of extremists to try to launch new attacks across the country.
- Pipeline Reopens Completely As Biden Reaffirms Suspicions Of Russian Hackers' Involvement RFE/RL 14 May 2021 -- The owner of the largest fuel pipeline in the United States says it has restarted its entire pipeline system and begun delivering fuel again after a cyberattack that Washington said originated in Russia forced it offline and triggered worries about fuel supplies.
- Former Army Green Beret Sentenced for Russian Espionage Conspiracy US Dept. of Justice 14 May 2021 -- A Virginia man and former Army Green Beret was sentenced today to 188 months in prison for conspiring with Russian intelligence operatives to provide them with U.S. national defense information.
- University Researcher Sentenced to Prison for Lying on Grant Applications to Develop Scientific Expertise for China US Dept. of Justice 14 May 2021 -- An Ohio man and rheumatology professor and researcher with strong ties to China was sentenced to 37 months in prison for making false statements to federal authorities as part of an immunology research fraud scheme. As part of his sentence, Zheng was also ordered to pay more than $3.4 million in restitution to the National Institute of Health (NIH) and approximately $413,000 to The Ohio State University.
- Camera In The Banya: Russia's FSB Spied On Jehovah's Witnesses In Bathhouse RFE/RL 14 May 2021 -- Russian intelligence services have spied on and filmed Jehovah's Witnesses in a bathhouse, in the latest example of persecution against the outlawed Christian group.
- US Embassy in Moscow to temporarily resume consular services as ties seem to thaw Press TV 14 May 2021 -- The US Embassy in Moscow will temporarily resume consular services for American citizens in Russia, as relations seem to relatively thaw ahead of a possible summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his American counterpart, Joe Biden.
- U.S. Embassy In Moscow Temporarily Resumes Consular Services RFE/RL 14 May 2021 -- The U.S. Embassy in Moscow will temporarily resume consular services following the Russian government's move to postpone a ban on employing foreign nationals.
- Russian Journalist Who Exposed Oil-Theft Schemes Sentenced To Eight Years In Prison RFE/RL 14 May 2021 -- A Russian journalist who believes he was targeted by investigators for his expose on massive oil theft in western Siberia has been convicted on blackmail and pornography charges and sentenced to eight years in prison.
- Moscow Subway Reportedly Fires Dozens Of Workers Who Supported Navalny RFE/RL 14 May 2021 -- The Moscow subway has fired dozens of workers who supported jailed Kremlin critic Aleksei Navalny, according to Dozhd TV, an independent station.
- The Week In Russia: Triumph And Tragedy RFE/RL 14 May 2021 -- President Vladimir Putin snubbed the Western Allies in a speech marking the anniversary of Nazi Germany's defeat in World War II, and a devastating school shooting hit the heart of Russia. Questions persist about Moscow's COVID numbers - and its vaccine claims, too - while rising prices are giving the government a headache it could be hard to relieve.
- China Presses Steelmakers to Cut Production Radio Free Asia 14 May 2021 -- China may be signaling a shift in industrial and environmental policies as the government takes steps to reduce steel production after record output last year.
- Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on May 14, 2021 PRC MofA 14 May 2021
- FM strips US attempts to gain moral highland Global Times 14 May 2021 -- Blocking the UN Security Council meeting on Gaza, posing to "stand with" Australia in the face of China's "economic coercion," and then stand with Honduras on China's "political use of COVID-19 vaccines," the US attempts to pillar itself on a moral highland have been slammed by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson, who used facts to expose US hypocrisy.
- Hong Kong Freezes Assets of Pro-Democracy Media Magnate Jimmy Lai Radio Free Asia 14 May 2021 -- Authorities in Hong Kong on Friday froze the personal assets of jailed pro-democracy media mogul Jimmy Lai, under new powers granted to police under a national security law, and amid an ongoing crackdown on public dissent and political opposition in the city.
- HK police freeze Jimmy Lai's Next Digital shares, bank assets estimated at HK$300m Global Times 14 May 2021 -- The Hong Kong Security Bureau has frozen all of media tycoon Jimmy Lai Chee-ying's shares in his Next Digital media company and his other bank assets under the national security law for Hong Kong, which was more than HK$300 million ($38.6 million) as estimated by some media.
- Media Analysts Troubled by Changes at Hong Kong's Public Broadcaster VOA 14 May 2021 -- A series of changes at Hong Kong's only public broadcaster is worrying media analysts who see Radio Television Hong Kong's response to pressure as a test case for the city's independent journalism.
- West misreads census data to support fallacious 'genocide' claim Global Times 14 May 2021 -- Population data of Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region from the seventh national census was used by anti-China forces and media as new ingredients to cook up their old lies of "genocide" in the region, and their "cookbook recipe" remains the same - misinterpreting data and drawing hasty and fallacious conclusions to mislead an audience who does not dig into their reports and examine the logic carefully.
- Beijing-backed Drawing Contest in Turkey Backfires as Students Submit Depictions of Xinjiang Abuses Radio Free Asia 14 May 2021 -- A drawing competition launched by the Chinese Embassy in Turkey to promote interest in China among students appears to have backfired after several submissions depicting state-backed policies of repression in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) were posted online.
- Interview: 'The Seeds May Survive or They May Die' Radio Free Asia 14 May 2021 -- Participants led by artist Ai Weiwei recently completed a two-month-long recitation of the names of more than 5,000 schoolchildren who died during the Sichuan earthquake of May 12, 2008 on the audio chat app Clubhouse. He spoke to RFA's Mandarin Service about the ongoing efforts to ensure the victims of the disaster weren't forgotten:
- China lodged solemn representation to Japan as Tokyo mentioned Taiwan in defense white paper draft Global Times 14 May 2021 -- China has lodged a solemn representation to Japan after Tokyo mentioned the island of Taiwan in its draft defense report for the first time, said a spokesperson of China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, noting that Japan has repeatedly interfered with China's internal affairs and has been hyping the "China threat" theory for some time now, which is extremely wrong and irresponsible.
- Interview: 'Don't Give North Korea Veto Power Over the Free Flow of Information' Radio Free Asia 14 May 2021 -- A law against sending leaflets into North Korea has been in effect in South Korea since March. On May 6, South Korean police searched the office of Park Sang-hak, a North Korean defector who had sent leaflets into North Korea. Police then summoned him for questioning four days later. On May 12, RFA Korean Service reporter Albert Hong discussed Park's case with U.S. Congressman Chris Smith, co-chair of the bipartisan Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission. The interview has been edited for clarity and length.
- One day before registration ends in Iran's 2021 election, party heavyweights still no-shows Press TV 14 May 2021 -- The number-one choices of the Principlist and Reformist political camps for candidacy in Iran's 2021 presidential election have yet to put down their names for the race, one day before the registration of hopefuls officially ends.
- IRGC dismantles a terrorist group in southeastern Iran IRNA 14 May 2021 -- Quds base of the IRGC Ground Force has dismantled a terrorist group in the city of Nikshahr, southeastern Iran, said a statement released by the public relations department of the base.
- IRGC destroys terrorist team in Iran's Sistan and Baluchestan Press TV 14 May 2021 -- Forces of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) have destroyed a terrorist team that had martyred two members of Basij in the southwestern province of Sistan and Baluchestan.
- UN Envoy Meets Thai PM, Asks for Help in Ending Myanmar Crisis Radio Free Asia 14 May 2021 -- The U.N.'s special envoy on Myanmar met behind closed doors with Thailand's leader Friday, trying to find solutions to the Burmese crisis, as ASEAN dithered on naming its emissary to the coup-ridden country, which has already blocked the proposed visit.
- Interview: Every Soldier 'Knows What They Are Doing is Wrong' Radio Free Asia 14 May 2021 -- Myo Min Tun and Phyo Wai Oo, both privates in Myanmar's army, met while in the same basic training unit five years ago. The two ethnic Shan soldiers were then assigned to the Special Construction Operations Command Headquarters in the capital Naypyidaw and became close friends.
- Belarusian Army Officer Gets 18 Years In Prison Amid Crackdown Over Postelection Protests RFE/RL 14 May 2021 -- A captain in the Belarusian armed forces' General Staff accused of leaking a government document about the use of troops to crack down on peaceful protesters has been sentenced to 18 years in prison.
- Charges Against Belarusian Opposition Figure An 'Outrage,' Says U.S. State Department RFE/RL 14 May 2021 -- Formal charges filed against Belarusian opposition figure Maryya Kalesnikava are "an outrage," U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said on May 13.
- With Eye on China, India and Europe to Restart Stalled Trade Talks VOA 14 May 2021 -- The decision by India and the European Union to restart stalled talks on a free trade pact comes amid growing unease on both sides about China's rise, according to analysts.
- A Powerful Kremlin Ally Faces Treason In Ukraine. Ukraine's President Faces A Political Trip Wire. RFE/RL 14 May 2021 -- It may be the highest-profile trial in Ukraine since Volodymyr Zelenskiy won the presidency two years ago -- and possibly the most consequential since another major political court case roiled Ukrainian politics a decade ago.
- Russian President Putin vows to Ukraine's prosecution of ally Press TV 14 May 2021 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has vowed to respond in a timely fashion to a move by Ukraine to prosecute a Ukrainian lawmaker and close ally of Moscow and put him under house arrest in a case of alleged treason.
- Ukraine's President Says Former Officials Living In State Property On The Cheap RFE/RL 14 May 2021 -- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy says former officials who served under his predecessors are still living in elite, state-owned properties on the cheap and promised to address the situation.
- Top Ukrainian Judge's Home Searched Amid Standoff With President RFE/RL 14 May 2021 -- Ukrainian investigators have searched the house of Oleksandr Tupytskiy, the former chairman of the Constitutional Court, amid a battle with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy over control of the country's highest court.
- Visegrad Ministers In Poland To Talk Security, Post-Pandemic Measures RFE/RL 14 May 2021 -- A meeting of the Visegrad Group foreign ministers is under way in Poland to discuss closer ties between Europe and the United States, a common post-pandemic strategy, cooperation between the four Central European states, and the group's relationship with the rest of the European Union.
- Kyrgyz President Signs Law Allowing External Management Of Kumtor Gold Mine RFE/RL 14 May 2021 -- Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov has signed into law a bill that will allow the government to temporarily manage the Kumtor gold mine, a move the mine's Canadian operator says is a thinly veiled attempt to push it out.
- Georgia's Melia Says Opposition Faces Huge Decision On Reentering Parliament, Plans To Speak With Saakashvili RFE/RL 14 May 2021 -- Georgian opposition leader Nika Melia, newly released from prison on bail with the help of the European Union, has said that he plans to speak soon with self-exiled former President Mikheil Saakashvili, who Melia said should be allowed to return to the country.
- Rights experts call for probe into violent crackdown on Colombia protests UN News 14 May 2021 -- Independent human rights experts appointed by the UN and the Organization of American States (OAS) have called for the Colombian Government to conduct a thorough and impartial investigation into the violent crackdown on recent peaceful protests in the country.
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