18 June 2021 Military News
- Taliban Tells Turkey Continued Troop Presence in Afghanistan Is 'Unacceptable' VOA 18 Jun 2021 -- The Taliban said Friday its leaders already had conveyed to Turkey their opposition to any foreign troops remaining in Afghanistan after the U.S. and NATO forces leave the war-torn country by a September 11 deadline.
- China's Plans in Afghanistan Following US Troop Withdrawal VOA 18 Jun 2021 -- Military officials and security analysts foresee the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan — due for completion in the coming months — as an opportunity for China and Russia to compete for influence there.
- Taliban Donations Soar in Pakistan Ahead of US Pullout From Afghanistan VOA 18 Jun 2021 -- Donations to the Afghan Taliban are on the upswing in Pakistan border regions as the militant group intensifies attacks against Afghan forces ahead of the U.S. troop withdrawal, locals told VOA.
- Risk Of 'Taliban Momentum' As Dozens Of Afghan Districts Fall Since Foreign Withdrawal Began RFE/RL Gandhara 18 Jun 2021 -- The Taliban has captured dozens of districts across Afghanistan in a lightning offensive since the start of the international military withdrawal on May 1.
Defense Policy / Programs
- 10th United States – Mexico Defense Bilateral Working Group Discuss Bilateral Defense Cooperation DoD 18 Jun 2021 -- On June 17, 2021, Under Secretary for Policy, Dr. Colin Kahl, and Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security, Mr. Ronald Moultrie, co-hosted the tenth meeting of the United States – Mexico Bilateral Defense Working Group with Major General Ricardo Trevilla Trejo, Chief of Staff of the Mexican Secretariat of National Defense (SEDENA) and Vice Admiral Luis Javier Robinson Portillo Villanueva Chief of Staff of the Mexican Secretariat of the Navy (SEMAR).
- US to Withdraw Patriot Systems From Middle East, Repair Them for Use Against China, Report Says Sputnik 18 Jun 2021 -- Just weeks ago, the Saudi government asked the US to help defend them against the Houthis or a potential attack by Iran; now the Pentagon has said the Saudis are capable of shouldering most of their defensive needs in their war in Yemen.
- US reducing military presence in Middle East to focus on China and Russia: Report Press TV 18 Jun 2021 -- The administration of President Joe Biden is reducing US military presence in the Middle East as the country increases the focus of its military forces to confront China and Russia, according to a new report.
- In New Shipbuilding Plan, US Navy Steps Away From Vaunted 355-Ship Fleet Goal Sputnik 18 Jun 2021 -- The US Navy submitted to Congress an unusual 30-year shipbuilding plan on Thursday that includes a potentially smaller fleet than the 355 ships the service has aspired to since 2016.
- USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) Completes First Full Ship Shock Trial Event US Navy Press Release 18 Jun 2021 -- On Friday, June 18, the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) successfully completed the first scheduled explosive event as part of Full Ship Shock Trials (FSST).
- Carrier Strike Group One arrives in Hawaiian Islands Operating Area US Navy 18 Jun 2021 -- U.S. Navy units assigned to Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 1 are operating in the Hawaiian Islands Operating Area and continue to integrate operations with the U.S. Army, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.
- Statement by the North Atlantic Council on the Treaty on Open Skies NATO 18 Jun 2021 -- "We deeply regret the notification by Russia of its decision to withdraw from the Treaty on Open Skies, an important legally binding instrument which contributes to transparency, security and stability, and mutual confidence in the Euro-Atlantic area."
- Deputy Secretary General highlights NATO's role in protecting democratic values NATO 18 Jun 2021 -- Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană underlined NATO's important role in protecting democratic values in a panel discussion at the German Marshall Fund's Brussels Forum on Thursday (17 June 2021).
- Will the Philippines Take Sides as US, China Send Military Units to Disputed Sea? VOA 18 Jun 2021 -- A wave of U.S. and Chinese military activity in the contested South China Sea is making it challenging for the Philippines, at the heart of the maritime dispute, to stick with the neutral foreign policy it has formulated over the past half-decade, analysts say.
- Foreign Ministry's statement following the Russian Federation's sending notifications to the states parties to the Treaty on Open Skies Russia Ministry of Foreign Affairs 18 Jun 2021
- Russia To Officially Exit Open Skies Arms Control Treaty In December RFE/RL 18 Jun 2021 -- Russia says it has notified its partners under the Open Skies arms control treaty that it will leave the group in December, following the departure from the accord by the United States late last year.
- Lavrov Dismisses Talk Of Possible Turkish Military Base In Azerbaijan As 'Rumors' RFE/RL 18 Jun 2021 -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has dismissed speculation that Turkey could build a military base in Azerbaijan as "rumors."
- Russia monitors talk of Turkish military base in Azerbaijan Press TV 18 Jun 2021 -- Russia says it was closely monitoring talks around a potential Turkish military base in Azerbaijan as the NATO member agreed to increase military cooperation with Azerbaijan.
- Ben Wallace is first ever UK Defence Secretary to visit Serbia UK MOD 18 Jun 2021 -- Mr Wallace's visit marks a development in the UK-Serbia defence relationship as the two countries agreed to expand defence engagement.
- Statement by Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Ukraine Security Assistance The White House 18 Jun 2021
- Australian Soldiers Join Multinational War Fighting Exercise in The United States Australia DOD 18 Jun 2021 -- Army soldiers from Brisbane's 7th Combat Brigade have joined partner forces from the United States Army, British Army and Canadian Army for Joint Warfighting Assessment 2021 (JWA 21) at Fort Carson, in Colorado, United States of America.
- The ADF delivers humanitarian assistance Australia DOD 18 Jun 2021 -- Almost 30,000kms travelled, 36 hours in flying time and a desire to help is what it took a small crew of Australian Defence Force personnel to assist Australia's regional partners during a critical time of need.
- International exchange for exercise Australia DOD 18 Jun 2021 -- Exercise Arnhem Thunder saw personnel on exchange from the Royal Air Force (RAF) fill key positions on Australia's E-7A Wedgetail airborne early warning and control aircraft.
- Parramatta sails back to Sydney Australia DOD 18 Jun 2021 -- Deploying to South-East and north-east Asia for two months was a memorable experience for the crew of HMAS Parramatta – but nothing beats the feeling of coming home.
- KEEL LAYING FOR SECOND FRIGATE OF P11356 PROJECT AT GOA SHIPYARD LIMITED India PIB 18 Jun 2021 -- Keel of the second frigate of additional follow-on ship of Project 1135.6 for the Indian Navy was ceremoniously laid on 18 Jun 2021 by Vice Adm G Ashok Kumar, Vice Chief of Naval Staff.
- Maiden Indian Navy - European Union Naval Force (EUNAVFOR) Exercise in Gulf Of Aden India PIB 18 Jun 2021 -- Indian Naval Ship Trikand, mission deployed for Anti-Piracy Operations, is participating in the maiden IN – EUNAVFOR Joint Naval Exercise in the Gulf of Aden commencing today.
- Russia Races Ahead of South Korea, Israel as India Set to Obtain Lightweight Tanks for China Border Sputnik 18 Jun 2021 -- Defence sources in New Delhi have confirmed that the Indian army will watch a trial of Russian-made Sprut-SDM1 light tanks in the near future. The cannon fire guided missiles, dart ammunition APFSDS and HEAT among others things. Russia offered a glimpse of the tank last year while Indian defence minister Rajnath Singh was visiting Moscow.
- India Reinforces Border Infrastructure In Stand-Off With China Sputnik 18 Jun 2021 -- The Indian army has deployed 60,000 troops along its border with China since clashing with China's People's Liberation Army in the Ladakh region in May 2020. China has declined to complete the stalled disengagement process in Ladakh and has upgraded infrastructure along the Line of Actual Control by building roads, helipads and troop accommodation.
- Secretary Blinken's Call with Polish Foreign Minister Rau US Dept. of State 18 Jun 2021
- Forced displacement at record level, despite COVID shutdowns: UNHCR UN News 18 Jun 2021 -- The number of people fleeing wars, violence, persecution, and human rights violations, rose last year to nearly 82.4 million people, a further four percent increase on top of the already record-high of 79.5 million, recorded at the end of 2019.
- Famine Stalks Millions as Acute Hunger Rises Globally VOA 18 Jun 2021 -- The World Food Program warns tens of millions of people, mainly in Africa, are teetering on the brink of famine because of conflict, climate shocks and economic downturn due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Famine risk spikes amid conflict, COVID-19 and funding gaps: WFP UN News 18 Jun 2021 -- The impact of conflicts old and new, climate shocks and COVID-19, in addition to a lack of funding, have left millions more on the verge of famine than six months ago, the World Food Programme (WFP) said on Friday.
- Casualties Mount as Fight Over Yemen's Marib Governorate Heats Up VOA 18 Jun 2021 -- U.N. officials are expressing concern about mounting civilian casualties as Houthi rebels and government forces battle for control of northern Yemen's Marib Governorate.
- Libya Prepares Plan For Withdrawal of Foreign Fighters, UN Coordinator Says Sputnik 18 Jun 2021 -- Libya's military leadership is drawing up plans to expel foreign fighters and mercenaries from the country, Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Libya Georgette Gagnon said on Friday.
- Israeli warplanes strike Hamas military posts in Gaza: sources People's Daily 18 Jun 2021 -- Israeli warplanes struck on Thursday some military posts of the al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) that rules the Gaza Strip, Palestinian security sources said.
- Myanmar's Karen Rebels Say 25 Slain Men Were Junta Spies, Not Civilians Radio Free Asia 18 Jun 2021 -- Twenty-five men found dead last week at a bridge building site near Myanmar's border with Thailand were spies for the military junta, not construction workers as claimed by authorities, a Karen rebel group spokesman said Friday while the political wing of the ethnic group said it would investigate the case.
- Tibetan Scholar Arrested for His Writings Has Been Held Without Trial for Three Years Radio Free Asia 18 Jun 2021 -- A Tibetan writer arrested on unspecified charges three years ago has still not been brought to trial, and family members are being kept in the dark about his fate, Tibetan sources say.
- UNHCR Delegation Visits South Sudan Amid More Aid Worker Attacks VOA 18 Jun 2021 -- The head of a high-level U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) delegation visiting a refugee camp in Maban, South Sudan, this week said threats and attacks against aid workers are continuing in parts of the country despite some government intervention.
- Inquiry Details 9 Missed Opportunities to Thwart British Concert Bombing VOA 18 Jun 2021 -- Families of the 22 people who died in the 2017 terrorist bombing of a concert at Britain's Manchester Arena are urging authorities to mount corporate manslaughter prosecutions against the firm responsible for security on the night of the attack and the company that runs the arena.
- Appointment of António Guterres as UN Secretary-General for a Second Term US Dept. of State 18 Jun 2021 -- "On behalf of the United States, I am pleased to congratulate United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on his re-appointment today by the General Assembly to serve a second term. Secretary-General Guterres has proven a capable leader in a demanding role."
- António Guterres secures second term as UN Secretary-General, calls for new era of 'solidarity and equality' UN News 18 Jun 2021 -- António Guterres was on Friday re-appointed to a second term as UN Secretary-General, pledging as his priority, to continue helping the world chart a course out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- UN Chief Guterres Sworn In for Second Term VOA 18 Jun 2021 -- Antonio Guterres was sworn in Friday for a second 5-year term as U.N. Secretary-General after the General Assembly approved it by acclamation.
- Canada Ponders Entry into World of Foreign Espionage VOA 18 Jun 2021 -- Senior veterans of Canada's intelligence community are publicly advocating for the country to consider whether to enter a sphere it has, until now, largely left to others — foreign espionage.
- Russia to Withdraw From Open Skies Treaty on 18 December Sputnik 18 Jun 2021 -- Russia will officially withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty on 18 December, the Foreign Ministry said on Friday, adding that Moscow has notified the signatories of the agreement about its withdrawal.
- Biden's Bargain: Possibilities, Pitfalls Await After Summit With Putin RFE/RL 18 Jun 2021 -- When U.S. President Joe Biden invited Vladimir Putin to a summit against the wishes of those who cautioned he would be rewarding Moscow for "malign activities," it seemed to some like a long-shot bet to rein in the Russian leader by giving him the respect Kremlin-watchers say he craves.
- 'There will be no one-sided game': Lavrov on Putin-Biden summit Press TV 18 Jun 2021 -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says the diplomatic crisis between Moscow and Washington can only be resolved through simultaneous steps, stressing that there will be no one-sided game.
- Two Russian Opposition Lawmakers Detained Ahead Of Elections RFE/RL 18 Jun 2021 -- Russian authorities have detained two opposition municipal lawmakers from Moscow and St. Petersburg, in a possible attempt to thwart them from running in September's elections.
- The Week In Russia: The Geneva Contentions RFE/RL 18 Jun 2021 -- Given the low expectations for their June 16 summit, U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin may have headed home from Geneva with the sense of a modest mission accomplished. It was an easier reach for Putin than for Biden, who may face pressure for results in the months ahead.
- Scoop: Turkey Invites Russia to Take Part in Construction of Country's Spaceport Sputnik 18 Jun 2021 -- Earlier this year, media reported that Ankara was planning to build a spaceport in Somalia as part of a $1 billion investment in the nation's nascent space programme. Turkish authorities did not confirm this information, but President Recep Tayyip Erdogan did announce in February that Turkey would make a hard landing on the Moon by the year 2023.
- Drone Sales, Flight of Pigeons Banned Over Beijing Ahead of CCP Centenary Radio Free Asia 18 Jun 2021 -- Online sales platform Alibaba has temporarily suspended the sale of drones in China ahead of celebrations for the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP)'s centenary on July 1.
- Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian's Regular Press Conference on June 18, 2021 PRC MofA 18 Jun 2021
- China says 'wolf warrior' diplomacy a 'justified defense' against Western pressure Press TV 18 Jun 2021 -- A Chinese ambassador says the country's stance adopted by its diplomats since 2020 is a "justified defense" against heightened pressure from the West and its hostile efforts to hamper Beijing's rising influence across the world.
- Lines Form at Hong Kong Newsstands to Buy Apple Daily After Police Raid Radio Free Asia 18 Jun 2021 -- Hongkongers stood in line in the early hours of Friday morning to buy print copies of pro-democracy newspaper the Apple Daily after it was raided by national security police on Thursday and several of its top executives arrested under the national security law.
- Taiwan slams Hong Kong for arresting media executives CNA 18 Jun 2021 -- The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), Taiwan's top government agency handling China policy, on Friday slammed the Hong Kong government for the recent arrest of media executives, describing it as an attack on press freedom.
- China Policies Could Reduce Millions of Uyghur Births in Xinjiang: Researcher Radio Free Asia 18 Jun 2021 -- China appears to be taking measures to sharply reduce ethnic minority population growth in the southern Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) under "population optimization" policies amid its crackdown on Uyghurs and other Muslims, according to a new report by a German researcher.
- China unlikely to try seize Taiwan in near future: top U.S. general CNA 18 Jun 2021 -- The top United States general claimed it was unlikely China would seek to seize Taiwan by force in the near term, saying on Thursday he saw "little intent" Beijing planned to pursue such a course of action.
- PLA J-7 fighters fly over Taiwan for first time, sparking interpretations PLA Daily 18 Jun 2021 -- The Taiwan air force published the PLA military aircraft dynamics on June 17, stating that one Y-8 stand-off jamming aircraft, two J-16 fighter jets, and four J-7 fighter jets entered the southwest airspace of Taiwan that morning.
- Canada bill aimed at boosting ties with Taiwan passes 1st reading CNA 18 Jun 2021 -- Proposed legislation aimed at creating a legal framework for efforts to strengthen relations between Canada and Taiwan unanimously passed its first reading in the Canadian House of Commons Thursday.
- Seven Chinese military planes enter Taiwan's ADIZ CNA 18 Jun 2021 -- Seven Chinese military aircraft, including fighter jets, entered Taiwan's southwestern air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Thursday, the fourth consecutive day in which such incidents took place.
- N Korea does not rule out either 'dialog' or war with US Press TV 18 Jun 2021 -- North Korea's ruler does not rule out the prospect of dialog with the United States, but hardly closes the door to war either.
- Special North Korean Military Investigation Reveals Combat Reserve Supply Shortages Radio Free Asia 18 Jun 2021 -- A North Korean investigation into military combat reserve supplies has revealed shoddy maintenance and discrepancies between inventory records and actual supplies of food, fuel and medicine, sources in the military told RFA.
- Third-day Sitting of 3rd Plenary Meeting of 8th Central Committee of WPK Held KCNA 18 Jun 2021 -- The third-day sitting of the 3rd Plenary Meeting of the 8th Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) continued on June 17 to confirm the fighting policies which would play the guiding role in further accelerating the historic advance of our Party and people for this year and practical tasks.
- S. Korean Nuclear Power Research Institute Reportedly Targeted by Pyongyang-Linked Hackers Sputnik 18 Jun 2021 -- North Korean hackers reportedly launched a cyberattack against the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI), a Seoul-funded research institute in Korea, in May, resulting in a possible leak of valuable technologies to Pyongyang, Nikkei Asia said on Friday.
- Iranians Vote In Election Likely To Bring Hard-Liner To Presidency RFE/RL 18 Jun 2021 -- Iranians voted for a new president among a small and heavily vetted field of candidates dominated by hard-line conservatives.
- Iranians Vote in Presidential Election Marked by Low Turnout VOA 18 Jun 2021 -- Iranians voted Friday in a presidential election marked by a low turnout and a lack of formidable rivals to the candidacy of Iran's ultraconservative judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi.
- President Rouhani hopes high turnout to despair foes IRNA 18 Jun 2021 -- Iran's President Hassan Rouhani hoped on Friday in the wake of the 13th presidential election being held in Iran that the high turnout will despair the foes of Iran.
- Iran nuclear deal not renegotiable; sanctions must be lifted: FM Zarif Press TV 18 Jun 2021 -- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has once again reiterated that the 2015 nuclear deal with major world powers would not be renegotiated at all, saying all the sanctions imposed and re-imposed by the United States against Tehran should be lifted.
- UN Assembly Adopts Resolution to 'Prevent Flow of Arms' Into Myanmar Radio Free Asia 18 Jun 2021 -- The U.N. General Assembly on Friday adopted a resolution calling on Myanmar's military to restore democratic rule, and urging member states to "prevent the flow of arms" to the country, where security forces have killed more than 800 people – mostly protesters – since a Feb. 1 coup.
- Myanmar: Timely support and action by Security Council 'really paramount', says UN Special Envoy UN News 18 Jun 2021 -- The UN Special Envoy for Myanmar said on Friday she has called for timely action from the Security Council in response to the ongoing crisis in the Southeast Asian country stemming from the military coup in February.
- At UN, States Condemn Myanmar's Junta VOA 18 Jun 2021 -- The international community sent a strong signal Friday to Myanmar's military, condemning its seizure of the civilian government and its monthslong violent crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.
- A political coup in Myanmar is fast becoming an economic and humanitarian crisis UK FCDO 18 Jun 2021 -- Statement by Ambassador Barbara Woodward, UK Permanent Representative to the UN, at the General Assembly on Myanmar
- Bomb Explodes at Headquarters of Pro-Military Party in Myanmar Radio Free Asia 18 Jun 2021 -- Six bombs exploded in three different locations in Myanmar's largest city Yangon today, including at the headquarters of a political party backed by the country's military, witnesses told RFA.
- Belarus Foreign Minister Meets Lavrov On Case Of Pratasevich's Russian Girlfriend RFE/RL 18 Jun 2021 -- Belarusian Foreign Minister Uladzimer Makey has met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow to discuss the status of Russian citizen Sofia Sapega -- the girlfriend of the detained Belarusian opposition activist Raman Pratasevich.
- EU 'Reaches Deal' On Belarus Economic Sanctions Over Ryanair Flight Incident RFE/RL 18 Jun 2021 -- The European Union has reached an agreement on economic sanctions on Belarus, Austria's government and EU diplomats say, in response to the forced landing of a Ryanair flight last month in Minsk and the arrest of an opposition activist who was onboard.
- Lithuania Says Lukashenka Is Flooding Baltic State's Border With Migrants RFE/RL 18 Jun 2021 -- Lithuania says migrants have been pouring across the border from Belarus in recent weeks and has accused authoritarian leader Alyaksandr Lukashenka of organizing the influx, asserting that many have been lured from Iraq through a sharp increase in the number of flights from Baghdad to Minsk.
- UK's £2bn drop in EU exports 'a disaster' Press TV 18 Jun 2021 -- The UK has experienced a £2 billion loss of exports to the EU at the first three months of this year, a number described as a "disaster" by the UK's Food and Drink Federation (FDF).
- Ukraine Slaps Sanctions On Oligarch Wanted By U.S. Ahead Of President's Trip To Washington RFE/RL 18 Jun 2021 -- Ukraine has imposed punitive sanctions against Dmytro Firtash, a powerful tycoon indicted by the United States for corruption, as President Volodymyr Zelenskiy widens his crackdown against influential elites ahead of his first official visit to Washington next month.
- Vietnam Issues Social Media 'Code of Conduct,' Putting Repression Into Rules Radio Free Asia 18 Jun 2021 -- Vietnam's government has introduced a nationwide code of conduct for users of social media, forbidding the posting of 'inappropriate' content and urging account holders to inform on other users deemed to be breaking the rules, state media said this week.
- Jakarta Deepens Ties With Beijing Mainly for Economic Gain, Analysts Say Radio Free Asia 18 Jun 2021 -- Ties are growing between Indonesia and China on the back of increasing investment and trade, but analysts say these will not develop further at the expense of Jakarta's relations with other powers or its sovereign interests in the South China Sea.
- Opposition Alliance Rallies In Yerevan Ahead Of Early Poll RFE/RL 18 Jun 2021 -- Thousands of supporters of former President Robert Kocharian's opposition Armenia Alliance have rallied in the center of Yerevan ahead of snap general elections this weekend.
- Former Kyrgyz Deputy Prime Minister Detained In Kumtor Mine Investigation RFE/RL 18 Jun 2021 -- Former Kyrgyz Deputy Prime Minister Taiyrbek Sarpashev has been arrested as part of an investigation into alleged corruption during the development of the Kumtor gold mine project.
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