US Armed Forces | Page 52 | World Defense

Khafee

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
11,277
Reactions
182 21,356 1,070
Country
Saudi Arabia
Location
Saudi Arabia

Rockets hit near Iraq base housing US trainers, no one hurt​

The Associated Press
21 hours ago

1617629543300.png

An Iraqi F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft takes off June 17, 2019, at Balad Air Base, Iraq. (Staff Sgt. Luke Kitterman/Air Force)

BAGHDAD — Two rockets landed Sunday near an Iraqi air base just north of Baghdad where American trainers are present, causing no casualties or damage, an Iraqi official said.

Maj. Gen. Tahseen al-Khafaji said the rockets landed outside Balad air base after midday.

The attack was the first on an Iraqi base housing U.S. troops since an assault last month on a base in western Iraq that houses U.S. contractors and coalition troops. One contractor died after at least 10 rockets slammed into the base, raising concerns over a new round of escalating violence.

It followed U.S. strikes on Iran-aligned militia targets along the Iraq-Syria border in late February in retaliation for another deadly attack on a base in Iraq.

The Sunday attack comes days ahead of a new round of so-called strategic Iraq-U.S. talks on April 7.

The Iraqi government has requested the fourth round of talks, partly in response to pressure from Shiite political factions and militias loyal to Iran that have lobbied for the remaining U.S. troops to leave Iraq.

According to three government officials, Iraq recently sent an official memo to the U.S. requesting a date for a new round of discussions on bilateral relations and specifically, the withdrawal of remaining combat forces.
Qassim Abdul-Zahra, The Associated Press

The talks, which began in June under the Trump administration, would be the first under President Joe Biden. On the agenda are an array of issues, including the presence of U.S. combat forces in the country and the issue of Iraqi militias acting outside of state authority.

American forces withdrew from Iraq in 2011 but returned in 2014 at the invitation of Iraq to help battle the Islamic State group after it seized vast areas in the north and west of the country. In late 2020, U.S. troop levels in Iraq was reduced to 2,500 after withdrawals based on orders from the Trump administration.

Calls grew for more U.S. troop withdrawal since a U.S.-directed drone strike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani and an Iraqi militia leader in Baghdad in January 2020.
 

Khafee

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
11,277
Reactions
182 21,356 1,070
Country
Saudi Arabia
Location
Saudi Arabia
US Marines carried out an exercise on 31st March in Kuwait, which comes under the US Central Command, Area of Responsibility.
1617798605900.png
1617798647200.png
1617798688300.png
1617798717700.png

 

Khafee

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
11,277
Reactions
182 21,356 1,070
Country
Saudi Arabia
Location
Saudi Arabia

Taliban Targets Kandahar Airfield in ‘Disruptive’ Attack

April 7, 2021 | By Brian W. Everstine

The Taliban targeted Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, with rockets on April 7, and though no casualties were reported, the Pentagon said the attack is a threat to fragile peace discussions in the country.

Preliminary reports showed the rockets landed outside the perimeter of the airfield, with no casualties and no damage, Pentagon spokesman John F. Kirby said. Kandahar has served as a key airfield for U.S. forces and has been the headquarters of Train, Advise, Assist Command-South, with American and NATO forces based on the installation.

“We always have the right of self-defense for our troops, but our focus right now is on supporting a diplomatic process here to try to bring this war to a negotiated end with an enduring peace,” Kirby said.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which comes less than a month before the deadline for U.S. forces to completely withdraw from Afghanistan.

President Joe Biden has repeatedly said it would be difficult to meet the May 1 deadline, and that the U.S. is in discussions with allies about the timeline. White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said April 6 that Biden’s view has “consistently” been to end the war in Afghanistan.

“That should hopefully give people confidence about his commitments,” she said. “But it’s also an important decision—one he needs to make in close consultation with our allies and also with our national security team here in this administration. And we want to give him the time to do that.”

Kirby said the U.S. military needs to do a fuller assessment of “what happened and why, before any potential operational decision is made” to respond.

“I can’t deliver a comprehensive analysis of what we believe they were trying to achieve or what message they were trying to send,” Kirby said. “We condemn the attack and we believe this decision to provoke even more violence remains disruptive.”

Kandahar has hosted scores of USAF aircraft, including A-10s, E-11s, F-16s, KC-135s, C-130s, and MQ-9s, among others. However, since the U.S.-Taliban agreement in February 2020, Air Forces Central Command and U.S. Forces-Afghanistan have not provided details on the presence at the airfield. Airfield operations are controlled by Afghanistan.
 

Khafee

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
11,277
Reactions
182 21,356 1,070
Country
Saudi Arabia
Location
Saudi Arabia
U.S. Navy, Malaysia's air force hold South China Sea bilateral exercises
April 7, 2021

1617897551200.png

Aircraft of the U.S. Navy and the Royal Malaysian Air Force fly over the USS Theodore Roosevelt during bilateral exercises on Tuesday and Wednesday. Photo courtesy of USS Theodore Roosevelt/Twitter


April 7 (UPI) -- The USS Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group completed exercises in the South China Sea with Malaysia's air force, the U.S. Navy said on Wednesday.

The aircraft carrier and Carrier Wing 11, escorted by the guided missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill and destroyers USS Russell and USS John Finn, conducted the bilateral exercise with the Royal Malaysian Air Force on Tuesday and Wednesday.

"Su-30MKM [Russian-made fighter planes] and F/A-18D aircraft represent the RMAF, while USN is represented by F/A-18 E/F and EA-18G aircraft from the USS Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group," a statement on the website of the RMAF, known as the Tudm Rasmi, said on Wednesday.

The strike group and RMAF planes conducted Dissimilar Air Combat Training exercises, in which superior planes maneuver against less nimble planes, joint-air operations and unit integration, the U.S. Navy said.

"We are thankful for the opportunity to train alongside the Royal Malaysian Air Force," Rear Adm. Doug Verissimo, commander of Carrier Strike Group Nine, said in the Navy release.

"While we would have loved to meet face to face, I am excited that we can meet in the air to help deepen security cooperation between our two nations," Verissimo said.

The United States' military alliance with Australia and New Zealand makes Malaysia, a member of the Five Power Defense Arrangements treaty with Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Britain, a U.S. military ally. Malaysia has also been involved in territorial disputes with China.

The bilateral exercises in the South China Sea concluded as the destroyer USS John S. McCain sailed through the nearby Taiwan Strait, drawing the criticism of China's military.
 

Khafee

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
11,277
Reactions
182 21,356 1,070
Country
Saudi Arabia
Location
Saudi Arabia
China criticizes passage of USS John S. McCain through Taiwan Strait
April 7, 2021
By Ed Adamczyk
1617897955400.png

The destroyer USS John S. McCain transited the Taiwan Strait on Wednesday, the U.S. Navy announced. Photo by MCS1 Jeremy Graham/U.S. Navy

April 7 (UPI) -- The transit of the guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain through the Taiwan Strait on Wednesday drew swift condemnation from the Chinese military.

The ship sailed through the strait separating Tainan and China, in a "routine exercise" demonstrating the "U.S. commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific [Ocean]," a Navy statement on Wednesday said.

In a statement, Col. Zhang Chunhui, spokesman for China's People's Liberation Army Eastern Theater Command, said the action sent an erroneous signal to forces supporting Taiwan's independence from China.

He added that the appearance of the ship undermined the regional status and jeopardized stability in the 110-mile strait, regarded as an international waterway.

"China is firmly opposed to it," he said, noting that the PLA remains on high alert and ready to respond to threats.

While the independence of the island nation has been globally recognized since 1949, China regards Taiwan as a breakaway province to eventually be reunited with the mainland country.

The United States has affirmed its interest in protecting Taiwan's independence, and Taiwan has been a regular purchaser of U.S. military equipment since 2015.

The U.S. Navy routinely sends ships through the strait in a show of force, as well as solidarity with Taiwan, and China was critical of the March 30 visit to the island by U.S. Ambassador to Palau John Hennessey-Niland.

The visit suggests an era of greater coordination in the areas of security and defense between Taiwan and the United States, Lin Ting-hui of the Taiwan Society of International Law told the Taipei Times.

This week, China's navy conducted exercises, involving one of its two aircraft carriers, in waters near the strait.

A U.S. Navy carrier strike group, led by the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, is also in the vicinity, in the South China Sea.

Earlier in March, Congressional testimony by the United States' two most senior admirals in Asia cited the growing threat of China in the Indo-Pacific region.

Adm. Philip Davidson of the Indo-Pacific Command and Adm. John Aquilino of the Pacific Fleet both mentioned its effect on Taiwan, and Aquilino contended that a Chinese "military takeover" of Taiwan was one of his greatest concerns.
 

Khafee

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
11,277
Reactions
182 21,356 1,070
Country
Saudi Arabia
Location
Saudi Arabia
United States, Iraq reach agreement on plans to withdraw U.S. combat troops
April 7, 2021
By Daniel Uria

1617901152700.png

The United States and Iraq said in a joint statement Wednesday that they plan to shift the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq to a mission "focused on training and advisory tasks." File Photo by Capt. Ryan E. Alvis/USMC/UPI

April 7 (UPI) -- The United States and Iraq on Wednesday reached an agreement on the eventual withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from the nation.

In a joint statement following the conclusion of the third round of talks between the United States and Iraq known as the Strategic Dialogue -- the first two of which were conducted under the Trump administration -- the two sides agreed the U.S. military presence would begin to shift to a non-combat role.

"Based on the increasing capacity of the [Iraq Security Forces], the parties confirmed that the mission of U.S. and Coalition forces has now transitioned to one focused on training and advisory tasks, thereby allowing for the redeployment of any remaining combat forces from Iraq, with the timing to be established in upcoming technical talks," the statement said.

The statement went on to say that the transition of U.S. and other international forces away from combat operations "reflects the success of their strategic partnership" to combat the presence of the Islamic State terror group in Iraq.

Iraq's national security adviser, Qasem al-Araji, said in a news conference the discussions resulted in "important progress" toward the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops.

About 2,500 U.S. troops remain in Iraq helping the ISF combat the IS, according to the Pentagon.

Pentagon press secretary John Kirby told reporters there was "no specific agreement of a date certain or a certain number of troops by a certain date," but assured the United States has never intended to keep troops in Iraq indefinitely.

"I think we all realized when we were invited in by the government of Iraq, that this mission was aligned against ISIS and that there was no expectation that it was going to be a permanent, enduring mission or footprint," said Kirby, using an alternate abbreviation for the terror group.
 
Top