24 December 2021 Military News
Defense Policy / Programs
- USS Milwaukee Remains in Port as Sailors Test Positive for COVID-19 US Navy 24 Dec 2021 -- USS Milwaukee (LCS 5), a Freedom variant littoral combat ship, remains in port as some Sailors test positive for COVID-19. The crew is 100% immunized and all COVID-19 positive Sailors are isolated on board and away from other crew members. A portion of those infected have exhibited mild symptoms. The vaccine continues to demonstrate effectiveness against serious illness.
- Estonian President Opposes Discussions on Russia's Security Proposals Sputnik 24 Dec 2021 -- Estonian President Alar Karis said that the possible discussions on Russia's proposals on security guarantees at the moment are "out of the question."
- Russia Carried Out Successful Test Launch of Zircon Hypersonic Missile on Friday, Putin Announces Sputnik 24 Dec 2021 -- Zircon is the world's first hypersonic cruise missile capable of carrying out long aerodynamic flights with manoeuvring in dense layers of the atmosphere using exclusively its own propulsion power.
- NATO Accession of Sweden and Finland Would Lead to 'Adequate Response' From Russia Sputnik 24 Dec 2021 -- In the words of Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, while Moscow views the non-alignment of Finland and Sweden as an important factor in ensuring stability in Northern Europe, NATO is purposefully working to draw the both countries into its orbit through drills and military cooperation.
- Russia Will Respond With 'Adequate Military Measures' to Hostile Actions by the West, Moscow Warns Sputnik 24 Dec 2021 -- At his annual end-of-year press conference Thursday, President Vladimir Putin warned that Russia's future policy would depend "on the unconditional guarantees of Russian national security", and stressed that Moscow has "made it clear that NATO's expansion to the east is unacceptable".
- Drawing Ukraine Into NATO, Missiles Placing Near Russia Creates Military Risks, Lavrov Says Sputnik 24 Dec 2021 -- The policy to draw Ukraine into NATO and deploy missiles near Russia's borders provokes serious military risks, up to a large-scale conflict in Europe, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told Bosnia and Herzegovina's Oslobodenje newspaper.
- Dragging Ukraine into NATO poses unacceptable threats to Russia: Lavrov Press TV 24 Dec 2021 -- Moscow says the United States' efforts to "drag" Ukraine into NATO, poses "unacceptable threats" to Russia, citing the prospect of the alliance's strike missile systems appearing near the Russian border.
- US & Japan Reportedly Designed New Joint Military Strategy for Potential 'Taiwan Emergency' Sputnik 24 Dec 2021 -- The United States military and Japan's Self-Defense forces have devised a joint draft operation to use Japan's Nansei Island chain in the event of an emergency involving Taiwan. The Nansei Island chain stretches from the Japanese island of Kyushu in the north to Taiwan in the south.
- US, Japan prepare joint military plan for 'Taiwan emergency', Kyodo says Press TV 24 Dec 2021 -- US and Japanese military forces have prepared a draft plan for a joint operation for a potential "Taiwan emergency", a Japanese news agency has reported amid rising tensions between the island territory and China.
- INS SUDARSHINI DEPLOYMENT TO GULF COUNTRIES India PIB 24 Dec 2021 -- INS Sudarshini is presently on its culmination phase of deployment to Gulf region as part of Indian Navy's efforts towards familiarising friendly foreign navies on various facets of operations and training on board sail training platforms and extending 'Bridges of Friendship'
- INS KHUKRI DECOMMISSIONED AFTER 32 YEARS OF GLORIOUS SERVICE TO THE NATION India PIB 24 Dec 2021 -- INS Khukri, the first of the indigenously built Missile Corvettes, was decommissioned after 32 years of glorious service on Thursday, 23 Dec 2021
- Iran FM: IRGC drill conveys message of brotherliness to neighbors IRNA 24 Dec 2021 -- Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said The Great Prophet 17 military drill conducted by the IRGC was a manifestation of Iran's unwavering determination to defend and to respond to the enemies, adding that it conveyed message of brotherliness and security for friendly and neighboring countries.
- Iran fires 16 missiles at final stage of IRGC joint drills IRNA 24 Dec 2021 -- At the final stage of the Great Prophet 17 joint drills of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), Iranian forces successfully fired some 16 ballistic missiles on Friday.
- In stern warning to Israel, IRGC says will cut off Zionists hands in case of blunder Press TV 24 Dec 2021 -- The commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) says the elite military force's large-scale military exercises in Iran's southern areas this week sent "very clear and obvious" messages to the Zionist regime, warning the Israeli authorities to watch their acts vis-à-vis the Islamic Republic.
- Iran fires missiles on last day of massive drills with stark warning to Israel Press TV 24 Dec 2021 -- The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has simultaneously launched 16 ballistic missiles of different classes during massive joint military exercises in Iran's southern areas, saying the drills carried a stark warning to Israel.
- Iran's Revolutionary Guards Chief Says War Games Were Warning To Israel RFE/RL 24 Dec 2021 -- The commander of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) says war games conducted this week in the country were intended to send a message to Israel.
- Iran Accuses UK of Meddling After Statement on Ballistic Missile Test Sputnik 24 Dec 2021 -- The latest ballistic missile test by Iran did not violate the UN Security Council on the 2015 nuclear deal, and the United Kingdom's claims to the contrary represent an attempt to meddle in the Islamic republic's internal affairs, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said Friday.
- Iranian Foreign Ministry slams UK Foreign Office's 'meddlesome statement' on Iran's defensive capabilities Press TV 24 Dec 2021 -- The Iranian Foreign Ministry has lambasted the United Kingdom for a "meddlesome statement" issued by the Foreign Office on Iran's defensive capabilities, stressing that Tehran acts within international laws and regulations and in accordance with the Islamic Republic's defense needs.
- Marine cruise missiles fired at specific targets on 4th day of Iran maneuver IRNA 24 Dec 2021 -- The fourth day of the joint maneuver of Grand Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) was carried out by firing medium-range cruise missiles and air operations of IRGC naval drones.
- Romania Seeks to Buy 32 Old Norwegian F-16 Fighter Jets Replaced by F-35s Sputnik 24 Dec 2021 -- Norway's fleet of F-16 will be replaced by F-35s, in whose development and production the Nordic country has played an important role. The procurement of the 52 warplanes has been described as the largest defence deal in the country's history.
- Secretary Blinken's Call with South African Foreign Minister Pandor US Dept. of State 24 Dec 2021
- Turkey, Qatar Agree to Jointly Run Kabul Airport, Present Plan to Taliban VOA 24 Dec 2021 -- Taliban officials in Afghanistan confirmed Friday that they had discussed plans with a joint delegation from Turkey and Qatar for firms from the two countries to run airports in Kabul and other Afghan cities.
- Afghan Embassy in Dushanbe Refuses to Return Taliban $800,000 Sent by Former Government Sputnik 24 Dec 2021 -- The Afghan Embassy in Dushanbe has denied the Taliban* the return of $800,000 that were sent from Kabul in the last days of the presidency of Ashraf Ghani, Afghan Ambassador Muhammad Zahir Agbar said on Friday.
- After Lightning Victory, Taliban Faces Battle To Hold On To Power In Afghanistan RFE/RL Gandhara 24 Dec 2021 -- The Taliban stunned the world with its rapid military takeover of Afghanistan in August, just as the last foreign troops were leaving the war-torn country.
- Yemeni forces advance in Jawf near Saudi border Press TV 24 Dec 2021 -- Yemeni army and popular committees have taken control of strategic areas in the northern province of Jawf on the border with Saudi Arabia.
- Libya's parliament under pressure over delayed presidential vote Press TV 24 Dec 2021 -- Libya's parliament has come under growing pressure to finish planning a long-awaited presidential election, after the vote was postponed earlier this week.
- Joint Statement on Libyan Election Process US Dept. of State 24 Dec 2021 -- The text of the following statement was released by the Governments of the United States of America, France, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom:
- U.S., Ukraine Deny Putin's Assertion That They Are Aggressor In Border Escalation RFE/RL 24 Dec 2021 -- The United States and Ukraine deny that Kyiv is preparing a military offensive in its eastern region, an assertion made by Russian President Vladimir Putin during his news conference on December 23.
- U.S. Welcomes OSCE Announcement On Cease-Fire In Eastern Ukraine RFE/RL 24 Dec 2021 -- The United States has welcomed an announcement from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) that Ukrainian government forces and Russian-led forces in eastern Ukraine have agreed to abide by a 2020 cease-fire.
- Hezbollah has 2,000 UAVs, can severely damage Israel's defenses, warns Israeli center Press TV 24 Dec 2021 -- Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah is in possession of some 2,000 Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) compared to 2006 when the group had less than 50, says an Israeli research center, warning that a "swarm" of such UAVs can severely damage Israel's defenses.
- 'Grasp this opportunity', Guterres says, following announcements by Ethiopia and Tigray forces UN News 24 Dec 2021 -- In the wake of recent developments in northern Ethiopia, UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Saturday urged warring sides to seize the opportunity to bring an end to more than a year of fighting in the Tigray region.
- Analysts: Ethiopian Forces' Halt at Tigray Opens Window for Ceasefire VOA 24 Dec 2021 -- Ethiopia's government said it will hold back its army from entering the Tigray region, after Tigrayan rebels retreated to the region this week. Analysts say the two sides are indicating there could be a window for ceasefire after thirteen months of devastating war.
- Nigerian President Vows to Get Tough on Terrorists After Borno Bombings VOA 24 Dec 2021 -- Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari has vowed to get tough on terrorists and bandits after explosions Thursday killed at least five people at Maiduguri airport just minutes before he arrived. Nigerian authorities have claimed progress in the fight against Islamist insurgents, but security experts say the explosions throw that claim into question.
- Russian Soldier Arrested on Suspicion of Treason and Working for Ukraine Sputnik 24 Dec 2021 -- A serviceman of the Russian Armed Forces was arrested in Russia's southwestern region of Voronezh on suspicion of treason and working for Ukrainian intelligence, the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) said on Friday.
- Putin says EU only has its policies to blame for soaring gas prices Press TV 24 Dec 2021 -- Russia's President Vladimir Putin says the European Union should only blame its own policies for soaring gas prices, stressing that transporting Russian gas to Europe via the new Nord Stream 2 pipeline would lower the costs.
- Putin Says Efforts to Block Nord Stream 2 Foolish, Since Project Would Lower Gas Prices Sputnik 24 Dec 2021 -- Nord Stream 2, the $10.5 billion, 1,230km gas pipeline running from Russia to north-eastern Germany along the bottom of the Baltic Sea, is technically complete and ready for operation. However, the project has yet to receive German and European Union regulatory approval, with that process threatening to drag out until next spring.
- Russia Hopes Nord Stream 2 Operator Certification Process to Complete in 2022 Sputnik 24 Dec 2021 -- Russia hopes that the certification process of the Nord Stream 2 operator will be completed next year, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said on Friday.
- Russia Doubled Imports Of Natural Gas From Turkmenistan In 2021, Envoy Says RFE/RL 24 Dec 2021 -- Russia has doubled the imports of natural gas from Turkmenistan this year, Moscow's ambassador in Ashgabat told reporters on December 24.
- Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's interview with the newspaper Oslobodjenje on the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations established between the Russian Federation and Bosnia and Herzegovina on December 26, 1996, published on December 24, 2021 Russia Ministry of Foreign Affairs 24 Dec 2021
- Foreign Ministry Spokesperson's Statement on US' Signing of the So-called Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act PRC MofA 24 Dec 2021 -- "On December 23 local time, the US side signed the so-called Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act into law. This Act maliciously denigrates the human rights situation in China's Xinjiang in disregard of facts and truth. It seriously violates international law and basic norms governing international relations and grossly interferes in China's internal affairs. China deplores and firmly rejects this."
- Xi stresses consolidating achievement of campaign on studying Party's history People's Daily 24 Dec 2021 -- Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, has called for consolidating and expanding the achievement of a campaign on studying the Party's history.
- Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian's Regular Press Conference on December 24, 2021 PRC MofA 24 Dec 2021
- Kenyan President Defends Reliance on China for Big Projects Dependence on China VOA 24 Dec 2021 -- Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta has defended the country's China-backed infrastructure projects, which critics say are secretive, high cost, and put state assets at risk. Kenyatta made the comments Thursday at the site of the Nairobi Expressway toll road, which a Chinese company is building and will operate for 27 years.
- Two more Hong Kong universities remove massacre-related memorials from public display Radio Free Asia 24 Dec 2021 -- Authorities at two more universities in Hong Kong on Friday removed memorials to the 1989 Tiananmen protests and the massacre of civilians that ended them, following the removal of the "Pillar of Shame" sculpture from the University of Hong Kong.
- Should US Get Tougher on China Over Hong Kong or Use Other Approach? VOA 24 Dec 2021 -- U.S.-based Hong Kong observers contacted by VOA have disagreed about whether a tougher Biden administration response to Hong Kong's first legislative election under Beijing-imposed conditions would help to curb the erosion of democracy in the city.
- More Hong Kong Universities Remove Tiananmen Square Protest Artwork VOA 24 Dec 2021 -- Another two Hong Kong universities removed public artwork Friday commemorating China's 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Beijing's Tiananmen Square.
- China Says US Claims of Forced Labour in Xinjiang 'Fabricated' Sputnik 24 Dec 2021 -- China's legislature, the National People's Congress (NPC), on Friday pushed back against the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act signed by US President Joe Biden into law, calling all accusations contained in the legislation "fabricated."
- Chinese White Paper Seeks to Redefine Democracy VOA 24 Dec 2021 -- U.S. efforts to counter what it sees as an erosion of democratic principles around the world are facing a new challenge from China, which is seeking to redefine the very word democracy and use it to describe its own one-party model of governance.
- Chinese authorities warn Christians not to celebrate Christmas Radio Free Asia 24 Dec 2021 -- Police and religious affairs officials across China are warning tens of millions of Christians in the country not to gather to celebrate Christmas, with many citing the coronavirus pandemic, RFA has learned.
- Talks Aimed At Reviving Iran Nuclear Deal To Resume in Vienna On December 27 RFE/RL 24 Dec 2021 -- Talks with Iran aimed at reviving the 2015 nuclear deal will resume in Vienna on December 27, European Union coordinator Enrique Mora said.
- 'Overhaul' maximum pressure policy, lift all 'illegal' sanctions on Iran: China to US ahead of new Vienna talks Press TV 24 Dec 2021 -- As a new round of talks is slated to kick off between Iran and the five remaining parties to the landmark 2015 nuclear deal in the Austrian capital of Vienna, China urges the United States to "overhaul" its failed "maximum pressure" policy on Iran and remove all "illegal" sanctions it has imposed against Tehran after its unilateral withdrawal from the agreement.
- Iranians Receive Saudi Visas For Diplomatic Posts RFE/RL 24 Dec 2021 -- In a sign of thaw in ruptured ties, Saudi Arabia has approved visas for three Iranian diplomats allowing them to take up posts at the headquarters of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in the kingdom, Saudi and Iranian officials said.
- Confrontation with China, Domestic Crises Test India in 2021 VOA 24 Dec 2021 -- India grappled with serious security and domestic challenges this year. Military tensions with China showed no signs of easing, a deadly second wave of the coronavirus pandemic devastated India and the biggest farmers protest in decades challenged Prime Minister Narendra Modi's authority.
- Central Asia: Getting Pulled From All Directions At The Crossroads Of Eurasia RFE/RL 24 Dec 2021 -- Not long after Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan gained independence in late 1991, they started reminding the world that they were located in the heart of the Eurasian continent, the crossroads of civilizations for centuries.
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