21 May 2021 Military News
- District In Afghanistan's Maidan Wardak Province Falls To Taliban RFE/RL Gandhara 21 May 2021 -- Taliban fighters have overrun another district in Afghanistan's central province of Maidan Wardak after heavy fighting with government forces.
- USS Wichita Busts $12 Million Drugs in Caribbean Sea US Navy 21 May 2021 -- The Freedom-variant littoral combat ship USS Wichita (LCS 13) with embarked U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) 402 seized an estimated $12 million in suspected drugs, May 1.
Defense Policy / Programs
- With its promise and performance confirmed, ABMS moves to a new phase US Air Force 21 May 2021 -- With senior Air and Space Force officials satisfied that the ambitious Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS) has met key benchmarks, they are pushing the novel program into a new and more operational phase, bringing the system's tools and technology one step closer to being available for use in the "real world."
- Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit returns from 7-month deployment US Navy 21 May 2021 -- More than 5,000 Sailors and Marines of the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) return to their San Diego homeport this weekend, concluding a seven-month deployment to the U.S. 3rd, 5th, 6th, and 7th Fleet areas of operation.
- U.S. Coast Guard Conducts at Sea Exercises with Malta US Navy 21 May 2021 -- The Legend-class national security cutter USCGC Hamilton (WMSL 753) conducted at sea engagements with Armed Forces of Malta in the Mediterranean Sea, May 17 and 20, 2021.
- Construction Starts on USNS Robert F. Kennedy US Navy Press Release 21 May 2021 -- SAN DIEGO -- Construction on the USNS Robert F. Kennedy (T-AO 208) began at the General Dynamics–National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (GD-NASSCO) shipyard, May 21.
- ALFS 21: US Army, African land force leadership discuss maintaining security despite pandemic challenges CENTCOM 21 May 2021 -- The summit theme for 2021, "Maintaining security in a degraded environment," highlighted COVID-19-related challenges within the operational environment and encouraged dialogue to address military pandemic responses, as well as the pandemic's effects on current and future operations.
- Navy to Commission Littoral Combat Ship USS Mobile DoD 21 May 2021 -- The Navy will commission its newest Independence-variant littoral combat ship, the future USS Mobile (LCS 26), at 10:00 a.m. CDT, Saturday, May 22 in Mobile, Ala.
- Naming Commission Chair Details Progress, Way Ahead DoD News 21 May 2021 -- The Commission on the Naming of Items of the Department of Defense that Commemorate the Confederate States of America or Any Person Who Served Voluntarily with the Confederate States of America, is more often referred to as the Naming Commission.
- 24th MEU, First to Deploy from East Coast with HIMARS USMC News 21 May 2021 -- The 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit's 2021 deployment cycle brings with it a capability not yet employed by an East Coast MEU. In addition to the more traditional assets allocated to the MEU as it composited ground, logistics, and aviation combat elements in September 2020, the crisis response force was also assigned a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System detachment.
- US Joined by 6 Central, Southern European Nations in Air Defence Drills, Pentagon Says Sputnik 21 May 2021 -- Military personnel from six countries rounded up nine days of the Astral Knight 21 air and missile defence exercise in several locations in Europe, US Major General Greg Semmel told reporters on Friday.
- Secretary General praises France, discusses NATO summit with President Macron NATO 21 May 2021 -- Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris on Friday (21 May 2021) to discuss preparations for the upcoming NATO Summit on 14 June.
- Macron: France Wants to Revitalise Alliance With NATO Sputnik 21 May 2021 -- The French president previously called the alliance "brain-dead" after the US, under the administration of Donald Trump, started to scale down its commitments to defending Europe.
- NATO Vows To Continue Training Afghan Special Forces After Withdrawal RFE/RL Gandhara 21 May 2021 -- NATO says it will continue to train Afghan security forces outside the country after the international military withdrawal in September.
- NATO to provide funding for Kabul airport security after full withdrawal Press TV 21 May 2021 -- NATO says it will provide funding to help secure Kabul airport, Afghanistan's main gateway to the outside world, as foreign forces withdraw from the country after two decades of war and occupation.
- Putin threatens to 'knock out teeth' of Russia's adversaries Press TV 21 May 2021 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned against any foreign attempts to challenge the territorial integrity of Russia, threatening that the countries seeking to do so would have their teeth knocked out by Moscow.
- Putin Claims Russia Would 'Knock Out The Teeth' Of Any Foreign Aggressor RFE/RL 21 May 2021 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that Moscow would "knock the teeth out" of any country that tried to take pieces of his country's vast territory.
- PLAN frigate Dandong decommissioned after 36 years' service PLA Daily 21 May 2021 -- The decommissioning ceremony for the Chinese naval guided-missile frigate Dandong (Hull 543) was held at a military port in the PLA Southern Theater Command on May 19. The service members assigned to a frigate flotilla of the Navy under the PLA Southern Theater Command lined up to bid the final farewell to frigate Dandong, which had served in the PLA Navy for 36 years.
- Taiwan-developed military drone crashes into sea CNA 21 May 2021 -- A locally developed unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) crashed into the waters off southeastern Taiwan during a military mission Friday morning. There were no reports of injuries.
- INS Rajput Decommissioned India PIB 21 May 2021 -- The Indian Navy's first destroyer INS Rajput was decommissioned at Naval Dockyard, Visakhapatnam after serving the nation for 41 glorious years on Friday, 21 May 21.
- Indian Air Force MiG-21 Bison Crashes in Punjab, Pilot Killed Sputnik 21 May 2021 -- There have been several accidents involving decades-old MiG-21 aircraft in India. In April, a pilot was killed in a crash in Rajasthan, while in January another MiG-21 Bison jet crashed in the Rajasthan state while landing, although the pilot survived the incident.
- Iran's IRGC unveils strategic drone, missile, radar systems Press TV 21 May 2021 -- Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has unveiled three important and strategic products in the fields of unmanned aerial vehicle and air defense system.
- Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps Unveil New Multipurpose 'Gaza' Drone Sputnik 21 May 2021 -- Oddly enough, the new drone was presented a day after the Gaza-based Hamas and Israel agreed on a ceasefire after 10 days of intense mutual hostilities.
- Biden reaffirms US support for Israel, vows to replenish its Iron Dome Press TV 21 May 2021 -- President Joe Biden has once again reaffirmed the US' support for Israel and pledged to help it replenish its so-called Iron Dome system.
- US May Lift Limit on Range of S. Korean Missiles During Biden-Moon Meeting, Reports Suggest Sputnik 21 May 2021 -- US President Joe Biden and his South Korean counterpart, Moon Jae-in, might agree to abolish a 2012 guideline that limits the range of Seoul's missiles to 800 kilometres (450 miles) during a meeting on Friday, the Yonhap news agency reported, citing an unnamed South Korean delegation member.
- Fleet Solid Support ships competition launched UK MOD 21 May 2021 -- Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has launched a competition to build three new Fleet Solid Support (FSS) ships to provide vital support to Royal Navy operations across the world.
- New facility to boost ADF capabilities Australia DOD 21 May 2021 -- Defence and industry collaboration has been showcased again this month with the official opening of Moog Australia's new $2 million facility called Factory Four in Heatherton, Victoria.
- Nigerian Army Chief Reportedly Dies in Plane Crash Sputnik 21 May 2021 -- The Nigerian Air Force on Friday released a statement saying that one of its planes had crashed near Kaduna International Airport, adding that the cause of the incident is under investigation.
- Seventh U.S.-Thailand Strategic Dialogue US Dept. of State 21 May 2021 -- Senior delegations representing the United States and Thailand met virtually on May 21, 2021, for the Seventh U.S.-Thailand Strategic Dialogue. Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Atul Keshap led the U.S. delegation, and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Thani Thongphakdi led the Thai delegation.
- Secretary Blinken's Call with Turkish Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu US Dept. of State 21 May 2021
- Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jen Psaki, May 21, 2021 The White House 21 May 2021
- 21 May 2021 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 21 May 2021
- PLA fighter bombers cross Taiwan Straits 'middle line,' deter secessionists following US warship transit: analysts Global Times 21 May 2021 -- In a move that Chinese mainland analysts said on Friday created a strong deterrent to Taiwan secessionists who were wrongly encouraged by a US warship transit in the Taiwan Straits two days ago, two Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) fighter bombers that excel at anti-ship and land attack reportedly flew across the so-called middle line in the Straits on Thursday.
- Defense Ministry spokesperson denounces US provocations in Taiwan Strait and South China Sea PLA Daily 21 May 2021 -- The US warship's passing through the Taiwan Strait and trespassing into China's territorial waters off the Xisha Islands within several days is a serious provocation and very bad in nature, China firmly opposes and strongly condemns it, said Senior Colonel Tan Kefei, spokesperson for China's Ministry of National Defense (MND) on Thursday in a written statement.
- Yemeni forces intercept, shoot down Saudi spy drone in Najran Press TV 21 May 2021 -- Yemeni army forces, supported by allied fighters from Popular Committees, have intercepted and targeted an unmanned aerial vehicle belonging to the Saudi-led military coalition as it was flying over an area in the kingdom's southwestern border region of Najran.
- Israel, Hamas Both Claim Victory in Cease-Fire VOA 21 May 2021 -- Israel and Hamas both claimed victory Friday as a shaky cease-fire held after 11 days of fighting.
- Aid Agencies Gear Up for Massive Gaza Rehabilitation VOA 21 May 2021 -- International aid agencies are assessing the damage caused in the Gaza Strip during recent fighting between Israel and Gaza militants to get an estimate of the likely cost of rehabilitating the Palestinian territory.
- Ceasefire can't hide scale of destruction in Gaza, UN warns, as rights experts call for ICC probe UN News 21 May 2021 -- The humanitarian community has welcomed the ceasefire agreed in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel but warned that the destruction in Gaza will take years, if not decades, to fix.
- Secretary Blinken's Call with Palestinian Authority President Abbas US Dept. of State 21 May 2021
- Israeli forces attack Muslim worshipers in al-Aqsa Mosque, injure 80 Palestinians Press TV 21 May 2021 -- Israeli forces have stormed the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem al-Quds in a move condemned as "provocative" amid international efforts to de-escalate tensions in the occupied Palestinian territories.
- Egyptian-brokered ceasefire between Israel, Hamas comes into effect in Gaza People's Daily 21 May 2021 -- An Egyptian-brokered ceasefire agreement came into effect early on Friday at 2:00 a.m. Palestinian time between Israel and militant groups led by the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas).
- Israel, Hamas agree to start ceasefire early Friday People's Daily 21 May 2021 -- Both Israel and Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, have accepted an Egyptian-brokered deal to cease fighting at 2 a.m. Friday local time (2300 GMT Thursday) to end the 11-day bloodshed.
- Biden highlights Egypt's role in ceasefire between Israel, Hamas People's Daily 21 May 2021 -- U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday welcomed the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, expressing "sincere gratitude" to Egypt for its role in brokering the deal.
- Leader congratulates Palestinian nation on resistance victory against Israeli regime Press TV 21 May 2021 -- Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has extended his congratulations to the Palestinian people over the historic victory of the resistance front against the Zionist regime.
- Israel Will Respond Strongly to Any Further Rocket Attacks From Gaza, Netanyahu Warns Sputnik 21 May 2021 -- On Thursday, the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed that the Security Cabinet had voted unanimously to approve a ceasefire between Tel Aviv and Hamas.
- Blinken Holds Phone Talks With Palestinian Leader Abbas, Discusses Measures to Ensure Ceasefire Sputnik 21 May 2021 -- The nation of Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas on Thursday agreed to a ceasefire without preliminary conditions after nearly two weeks of exchanging missile attacks. According to the latest estimates, the hostilities have killed 243 people in the Gaza Strip and 12 in Israel.
- Clear steps needed to maintain momentum towards elections in Libya UK FCDO 21 May 2021 -- Statement by Ambassador Barbara Woodward at the Security Council briefing on Libya
- Bosnia Opens War Crime Probe Over Sarajevo Siege Video RFE/RL 21 May 2021 -- Bosnian war crimes prosecutors have launched an investigation after a video emerged of an alleged sniper taking shots during the almost four-year-long siege of Sarajevo in the 1990s.
- US Wary of Reports Boko Haram's Leader Is Dead VOA 21 May 2021 -- The United States is not ready to declare the leader of Nigeria's Boko Haram terror group dead, despite reports from the region of his demise.
- Nigerian Military Says It's Probing Claims of Boko Haram Leader's Death VOA 21 May 2021 -- The United Nigeria's military says it is investigating reports that Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau has died after blowing himself up to avoid capture by a rival terrorist group. Despite past reports claiming Shekau's death, which proved to be false, many Nigerians are hoping this time that they may finally be rid of the militant Islamist.
- Boko Haram Leader Dead or Injured After Battle With Rival Faction, Nigerian Intel Says Sputnik 21 May 2021 -- The Islamic State's west African branch launched an offensive into the Sambisa Forest, a hideout for Boko Haram, earlier this year. Analysts say that Daesh* is now a much more significant force in the Sahel region, controlling large areas of territory.
- South Sudanese Security Forces Arrest Suspects in Recent Road Attacks VOA 21 May 2021 -- The South Sudan National Security Service this week arrested 12 people suspected of abducting, torturing and killing people along highways linking the capital, Juba, to other states and demanding ransom from their relatives.
- FBI Employee Indicted for Illegally Removing National Security Documents, Taking Material to Her Home US Dept. of Justice 21 May 2021 -- An employee of the FBI's Kansas City Division has been indicted by a federal grand jury for illegally removing numerous national security documents that were found in her home.
- Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, Moscow, May 21, 2021 Russia Ministry of Foreign Affairs 21 May 2021
- Russian Lawmakers Introduce Bill To Force IT Giants To Establish Local Branches RFE/RL 21 May 2021 -- A group of Russian lawmakers has introduced a bill to parliament that would require foreign IT companies to set up local units or face penalties, including a possible ban, as Moscow continues to tighten its control over the flow of information on the Internet.
- Russian Lawmakers Move To Ban Navalny Supporters From Running For Office RFE/RL 21 May 2021 -- Russia's lower house of parliament is planning to tighten a bill ahead of its second reading to ban supporters and members of "extremist" organizations from being elected to any post.
- The Week In Russia: Dreams Of A Patriot: 100 Years Of Sakharov RFE/RL 21 May 2021 -- Born a century ago, atomic bomb designer and dissident Andrei Sakharov died two years before the Soviet Union's collapse, cutting short his struggle for "pluralism, freedom, and respect for the individual." What would he think of Russia today?
- Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian's Regular Press Conference on May 21, 2021 PRC MofA 21 May 2021
- China Weighs New Measures to Punish Australia Radio Free Asia 21 May 2021 -- China may be running out of retaliatory steps that it can afford to take against Australia after cutting off communications on economic affairs with its key commodity supplier this month.
- Europe Signals Harder Line On Beijing With Frozen EU-China Trade Deal RFE/RL 21 May 2021 -- The European Parliament has voted to stop a massive investment deal with China -- a move following tit-for-tat sanctions and a prolonged dispute over Beijing's treatment of its Uyghur and Muslim population in Xinjiang Province.
- Hyping Taiwan question is US' 'wishful thinking' in statement with South Korea: expert Global Times 21 May 2021 -- Chinese experts on Friday refuted the hype by US officials and media outlets, which claimed the island of Taiwan could be outlined in a joint statement after a Friday meeting between US President Joe Biden and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, and their tone may be no less as strong than the US-Japan joint statement in April.
- HK halts Taipei office, slams support of rioters as SAR no longer haven for secessionists' collusion Global Times 21 May 2021 -- As all Hong Kong staff members have already left Taiwan and returned to Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government on Friday explained its recent decision regarding the suspension of operations of the Taipei-based Hong Kong Economic, Trade and Cultural Office (Taiwan) (HKETCO), slamming Taiwan's gross interference in Hong Kong affairs and offering assistance to rioters in recent years, which have damaged the two regions' relations.
- U.S.-ROK Leaders' Joint Statement The White House 21 May 2021
- Remarks by President Biden and H.E. Moon Jae-in, President of the Republic of Korea at Press Conference The White House 21 May 2021
- Remarks by President Biden and President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea Before Bilateral Meeting The White House 21 May 2021
- Biden, Moon Announce US-South Korea Vaccine Partnership VOA 21 May 2021 -- President Joe Biden and South Korean President Moon Jae-in announced at a White House meeting Friday a U.S.-South Korea vaccine partnership to expand the manufacture of vaccines and scale up global vaccine supplies.
- North Korea to Top Agenda as Biden Meets with South Korean President at White House VOA 21 May 2021 -- U.S. President Joe Biden is due to meet Friday with South Korean President Moon Jae-in. Moon is only the second world leader Biden has hosted since taking office in January. The visit may be Moon's final trip to the United States as head of state and the last chance to fulfill campaign pledges before his term ends.
- US, South Korea Vow 'Pragmatic Steps' to Reduce Tensions, Denuclearize North Korea Radio Free Asia 21 May 2021 -- U.S. President Joe Biden and South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Friday said they would pursue diplomacy with North Korea to try to reduce tensions over Pyongyang's nuclear weapons and missile programs.
- Canadian court has no jurisdiction over Ukrainian airliner incident: FM spox IRNA 21 May 2021 -- Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Friday that the verdict issued by a Canadian court regarding the downing of the Ukrainian airliner is baseless.
- Canadian court has no jurisdiction to rule on 2020 Ukrainian plane crash: Iran Press TV 21 May 2021 -- Iran has rejected as baseless a recent ruling by a Canadian court on the January 2020 accidental downing of a Ukrainian passenger plane near Tehran, saying the court has no jurisdiction to rule on the case.
- Tehran Slams Canadian Court's 'Groundless' Ruling on Ukrainian Jet Crash Sputnik 21 May 2021 -- Tehran deems a Canadian court's ruling that Iran deliberately downed a Ukrainian passenger plane in January 2020 to be baseless and politically motivated, the Foreign Ministry said on Friday.
- Zarif derides Biden admin's use of Trump-era sanctions as leverage in Vienna talks Press TV 21 May 2021 -- As delegations to the Vienna talks return to their capitals for further consultations, Iran's foreign minister says the Biden administration's use of Trump-era illegal and inhumane sanctions as leverage in the talks is not acceptable.
- Study: Iran Using Crypto Mining To Evade Sanctions RFE/RL 21 May 2021 -- Iran is using Bitcoin mining to evade crippling U.S. sanctions on its economy, according to a new study.
- Myanmar's junta dissolves ousted leader Suu Kyi's party Press TV 21 May 2021 -- Myanmar's junta has ordered the dissolution of the political party of ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi, labeling her and fellow party members "traitors."
- Myanmar Junta-Appointed Election Body to Dissolve Aung San Suu Kyi's Party, Reports Say Sputnik 21 May 2021 -- Myanmar's Union Election Commission (UEC) plans to dissolve the National League for Democracy (NLD), led by State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, for alleged vote fraud during the elections in November 2020, opposition news portal Myanmar Now reported on Friday.
- Six Killed In Pakistan Roadside Bomb Blast Targeting Islamist Leader At Anti-Israel Rally RFE/RL Gandhara 21 May 2021 -- At least six people were killed and several others were wounded on May 21 when a powerful roadside bomb exploded near a vehicle carrying a local leader of an Islamist political party in Pakistan.
- Turkey's Media Weighed Down by Lawsuits VOA 21 May 2021 -- In Turkey, the number of journalists facing lawsuits is in the thousands, with more than 40 members of the media currently in jail.
- Ethiopia's electoral board sets new date for general elections People's Daily 21 May 2021 -- The National Electoral Board (NEBE) of Ethiopia announced on Thursday it has set June 21 as new date for general elections.
- Chinese-built Lamu Port in Kenya starts operations People's Daily 21 May 2021 -- With the arrival of two ships, Kenya's Lamu seaport built by a Chinese firm starts operations on Thursday.
- Vietnam Vows to 'Firmly Resist' Schemes to Undermine Relations with China VOA 21 May 2021 -- An official Chinese news report saying Vietnam will resist outside interference in its relations with Beijing represents an expression of China's hope for resolving troubled relations but probably does not augur any softening of Hanoi's political stance toward China, analysts in the region said Thursday.
- Vietnam Goes to The Polls on Sunday, With State-Approved Candidates Offering Little Choice Radio Free Asia 21 May 2021 -- Millions of Vietnamese will go to the polls on Sunday to vote in elections discredited by the arrests of self-nominated candidates who had planned to run for seats in the National Assembly and People's Councils, hoping to shake up rule under the country's Communist Party.
- Cambodian Courts Show Pattern of Political Influence, Double Standards of Justice Radio Free Asia 21 May 2021 -- Recent decisions by Cambodian courts have underscored the problem of state control of the country's judiciary, marked by an entrenched system of political interference in cases threatening the power of Prime Minister Hun Sen and the ruling Cambodian People's Party, Cambodian sources say.
- Cambodia Takes a Look at Royal 'Oknha' Nobleman Titles After Scandals Radio Free Asia 21 May 2021 -- Cambodia should examine the merit and sources of income of wealthy individuals before deciding to grant them ancient honorary titles, because many are involved in corrupt activities, political analysts said this week after Prime Minister Hun Sen set up a working group to manage the issue.
- Bulgaria Says Remains Opposed To North Macedonia EU Accession Talks RFE/RL 21 May 2021 -- Bulgaria says it does not plan to lift its veto on long-delayed accession talks between North Macedonia and the European Union over a language and history dispute with its neighbor.
- Bulgaria Investigates Claims Opposition Figures Were Wiretapped RFE/RL 21 May 2021 -- Bulgaria is investigating claims that opposition politicians were wiretapped under the government of former Prime Minister Boyko Borisov ahead of last month's general elections.
- After President's Failed Power Grab, Somalia's Governors Gather to Sort Out Election Differences Sputnik 21 May 2021 -- Somalia's federal system, established after decades of civil war, gives its five states considerable power, including the ability to unilaterally veto any federal measure. The decentralized system gives states wide autonomy but creates problems when national consensus is required, such as deciding how to select a new federal government.
- Calling for a Civilian-Led Transition of Power to a Democratically Elected Government in Chad US Dept. of State 21 May 2021 -- The United States supports the recommendations of the African Union Peace and Security Council regarding Chad, and we join the African Union and our international partners in calling for a peaceful, timely, and civilian-led transition of power to a democratically elected government before October 2022.
- US Sanction of Former Albanian PM Sends Message but Raises Questions VOA 21 May 2021 -- The sanctioning of Albania's former leader for "significant corruption" is being cast as part of a drive by the new U.S. administration to fight corruption and promote democracy worldwide. But some analysts are questioning the wisdom of punishing a foreign politician for actions not directly affecting the United States.
- Uzbeks Still Await Promised Human Rights Reforms VOA 21 May 2021 -- In his first major international speech at the 2017 U.N. General Assembly, Uzbekistan's President Shavkat Mirziyoyev promised systemic reforms in every sector.
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