Tag Archives: Military

Venezuela's opposition-controlled legislature makes new military offer

Venezuela's opposition-controlled legislature makes new military offerMembers of the Venezuelan armed forces that abandon President Nicolas Maduro will keep their rank and be reinstated once a new government is in place, the opposition-controlled legislature said Tuesday. The announcement marked the latest offer from the National Assembly, headed by opposition leader and self-declared interim president Juan Guaido, to try to convince more military personnel to switch sides. Guaido, recognized by more than 50 countries as acting president, launched a challenge to socialist Maduro’s authority in January.



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Two Iraqi soldiers killed in clashes with Kurdish PKK: military

Two Iraqi soldiers killed in clashes with Kurdish PKK: militaryClashes between the Iraqi army and Kurdish PKK militia killed two Iraqi soldiers and wounded five of the militants on Sunday, the Iraqi military said in a statement. The clashes took place in Sinjar in northwestern Iraq after the PKK fighters were denied passage through an army checkpoint, the statement said, adding that the militants drove a vehicle into one soldier and attacked the checkpoint. The PKK did not immediately comment.



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Military: West Bank shooting spree kills 1 Israeli, wounds 2

Military: West Bank shooting spree kills 1 Israeli, wounds 2JERUSALEM (AP) — A Palestinian killed an Israeli and seriously wounded two others in a West Bank shooting and stabbing spree Sunday before fleeing and setting off a massive manhunt, the Israeli military said.



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S. Korea, US sign deal on Seoul paying more for US military

S. Korea, US sign deal on Seoul paying more for US militarySEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea and the U.S. on Friday formally signed a deal on Seoul's increased payment for the U.S. troop deployment, amid worries about the future of the countries' decades-long military alliance.



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Maduro's Military Detains, Releases U.S. Reporter and Aide

Maduro's Military Detains, Releases U.S. Reporter and AideOfficers raided the homes of Cody Weddle and Carlos Camacho, arresting them and seizing their equipment, said Marco Ruiz, the general secretary of the National Union of Press Workers. The union and Espacio Publico, a Venezuelan organization that works for a free press, weren’t immediately able to communicate with the men.



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US and South Korea scrap major military exercises to ease tensions with North

US and South Korea scrap major military exercises to ease tensions with NorthThe US and South Korea announced on Sunday an end to their annual large-scale military exercises in support of diplomatic efforts to persuade North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons programme. The decision comes days after the conclusion of US President Donald Trump’s second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Hanoi, which ended without a formal agreement but with both sides suggesting they would keep talking. There are close to 30,000 US troops stationed in South Korea, and their annual drills with tens of thousands of South Korean soldiers have been a perennial target of North Korean fury – with Pyongyang condemning the manoeuvres as provocative rehearsals for invasion. While Mr Trump has ruled out withdrawing the troops, he has repeatedly complained about the cost of the exercises, describing them at a press conference in Hanoi as "very, very expensive". During a Saturday phone call between South Korean Defence Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo and his US counterpart Patrick Shanahan, "both sides decided to conclude the Key Resolve and Foal Eagle series of exercises", according to a Pentagon statement. Foal Eagle is the biggest of the regular joint exercises held by the allies. In the past, it has involved 200,000 South Korean forces and some 30,000 US soldiers. It is accompanied by Key Resolve, a computer-simulated war game conducted by military commanders which usually begins in March and runs for about 10 days. The two allies will instead carry out "adjusted outside manoeuvre trainings and united command exercises to continue firm military readiness", Seoul’s defence ministry said Sunday. The decision was reached to support ongoing diplomatic efforts for North Korea’s denuclearisation and ease military tensions with the North, it added. South Korea’s foreign ministry said that Lee Do-hoon, Seoul’s chief nuclear envoy, will leave for Washington to hold talks with his US counterpart Stephen Biegun. "Lee will fly sometime this week," ministry spokesman Noh Kyu-duk told AFP. Lee and Biegun are expected to discuss the Hanoi summit, which failed to build on the vaguely-worded commitment to denuclearise the Korean peninsula signed by Kim and Trump during their meeting in Singapore last year. Opponents of scrapping the drills have warned that it could impact the combat readiness of the combined US and South Korean forces and hand the North a strategic advantage on the divided peninsula, but most analysts said such concerns were exaggerated. "Suspending or downgrading the US-South Korean drills may hurt the readiness of the two militaries, but I don’t think it’s going to be a serious security threat to South Korea," Ahn Chan-il, the president of the World Institute for North Korea Studies in Seoul, told AFP. U.S. Army's Blackhawk and Chinook helicopters fly during a combined arms live-fire exercise during the annual joint military exercise Foal Eagle Credit: AP "The South’s conventional forces outclass the North’s, and given the current situation (with the US and the existing sanctions), it’s highly unlikely that Pyongyang will do anything with its nuclear weapons in the foreseeable future," he added. Retired General Vincent Brooks, a former commander of US forces in South Korea who helped organise Trump’s first meeting with Kim in Singapore, said last year that any end to joint training would not hinder the Pentagon’s combat-readiness on the peninsula. "Perhaps we’ve been told for now to put our sword back into its sheath, but we have not been told to forget how to use it," he said. Washington has sought to end long-running tensions on the peninsula and encourage North Korea to scrap its nuclear programme. Since the Singapore summit, the US and Seoul have scaled back or scrapped several joint military drills, and US bombers are no longer flying over South Korea. "Not downgrading or suspending the drills at this point … would mean the involved countries are not serious" about reaching a denuclearisation accord, said University of North Korean Studies professor Yang Moo-jin.



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US, South Korea end spring military drills to back diplomacy

US, South Korea end spring military drills to back diplomacySEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea and the U.S. are eliminating their massive springtime military drills and replacing them with smaller exercises in what they call an effort to support diplomacy aimed at resolving the North Korean nuclear crisis.



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Russia Pledges to Help Venezuela Avoid Military Intervention

Russia Pledges to Help Venezuela Avoid Military Intervention“We are very concerned that the U.S. are ready for any kind of provocation to start bloodshed and justify military intervention in Venezuela,” Matvienko told Vice President Delcy Rodriguez. “We’ll do everything possible to avoid this.



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Michael Cohen says Trump had no medical excuse to avoid military draft: ‘You think I’m stupid? I wasn’t going to Vietnam’

Michael Cohen says Trump had no medical excuse to avoid military draft: ‘You think I’m stupid? I wasn’t going to Vietnam’Michael Cohen released his prepared remarks before a public testimony on Capitol Hill in which he was due to detail Donald Trump’s alleged lies, corruption and criminal conduct throughout the 2016 presidential election. Among those explosive claims — Cohen will say Mr Trump “was a presidential candidate who knew that Roger Stone was talking with Julian Assange about a WikiLeaks drop of Democratic National Committee emails” — include the president telling his former attorney there was no real medical excuse behind his military deferral during the Vietnam War.



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EU warns against military action in Venezuela as Mike Pence and Juan Guaido meet at emergency summit

EU warns against military action in Venezuela as Mike Pence and Juan Guaido meet at emergency summitThe European Union on Monday urged the United States and Latin American powers against launching a military intervention to oust the regime of Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela.  Venezuela's self-declared “interim president” Juan Guaido met with Mike Pence and Latin American leaders in neighbouring Colombia, to discuss the next steps in the crisis after a weekend of violence. Mr Guaido, arriving in Bogota on Sunday night ahead of the meeting of the Lima Group, called on the international community to consider "all measures to free" Venezuela. The meeting was the first time that Mr Guaido, who declared himself president a month ago, has travelled abroad to meet other world leaders, and he was received as a head of state, with the red carpet rolled out. Mr Guaido and President Donald Trump have repeatedly said that all options are open. Mr Pence was expected to announce on Monday night that they had decided to increase the sanctions on Nicolas Maduro, the embattled president of Venezuela. Ahead of the meeting four Venezuelan officials were added to the already extensive list of sanctioned individuals. On Monday he also called on Latin American allies to ramp up pressure on Caracas by transferring Venezuelan overseas assets to Mr Guaido. A spokesman for Federica Mogherini, the EU diplomatic chief, urged those gathered in Bogota to stop short of declaring war. "We must avoid a military intervention," said Maja Kocijancic. "What is explicitly quite clear, from our point of view, is that we need a peaceful political and democratic and Venezuelan-owned resolution of this crisis. "This obviously excludes the use of force." On Monday night Brazil definitively ruled out permitting military intervention from their territory, with the vice president saying it would not be allowed. Hours later Venezuela's government issued a statement accusing the US and the Lima Group countries of conducting "a ferocious campaign to oust" Maduro by trampling on basic international human rights. The statement also rejected Pence's announcements, accusing him of attempting "to give orders so that other countries join the vulgar plundering" that Washington is pursuing against Venezuela's assets. Venezuelan security forces clash with supporters of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido on the Venezuelan side f the Francisco de Paula Santander International Bridge Credit: RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP Four people were killed and 300 injured in a bloody standoff on Venezuela’s borders with Colombia and Brazil, as Mr Guaido tried unsuccessfully to get humanitarian aid into the country. The aid convoys were abandoned by early afternoon on Saturday, with one truck laden with supplies going up in flames. Running battles took place throughout Saturday and Sunday, with frequent bloody skirmishes between Mr Maduro’s heavily-armed security forces and pro-Guaido youngsters, throwing rocks and quickly-improvised Molotov cocktails. At least 160 military officials have crossed over into Colombia and pledged allegiance to Mr Guaido, the Colombian migration service said on Sunday night. Many said they rejected the orders to fire on their own countrymen, and knew that the aid was desperately needed. Mr Pence said on Monday that the United States was preparing an additional $ 56 million (£43m) in humanitarian aid, adding after the meeting that they were exploring different avenues for getting it into Venezuela. He urged Latin American countries to take financial measures against Mr Maduro’s government, in particular PDVSA – the state-owned oil company. “We call on all Lima Group nations to immediately freeze the assets of PDVSA,” he said. “Secondly, transfer ownership of Venezuelan assets in your country from Maduro’s henchmen to President Guaido’s government.” The four sanctioned Venezuelans were the governors of Zulia, Apure, Vargas and Carabobo state. Rafael Alejandro Lacava, the governor of Carabobo and ally of Mr Maduro, goes by the nickname “Dracula” in reference to his habit of doing late-night street patrols.



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