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Military News

US troop levels cut to 2,500 each in Afghanistan and Iraq

Washington - The US military has cut troop levels in Afghanistan and Iraq to 2,500 each, their lowest levels in the nearly two decades since the wars began, the Pentagon announced Friday.

Russia says leaving Open Skies military treaty

Moscow - Russia on Friday said it was withdrawing from the Open Skies treaty, undermining a post-Cold War defence accord that allows its signatories to carry out unarmed surveillance flights over each other's territories.

North Korea's Kim poses in military uniform with gun in new portrait

Seoul - North Korean state media have displayed an unprecedented portrait of leader Kim Jong Un in military uniform -- and an assault rifle on his desk -- as the nuclear-armed nation holds a key meeting of its ruling party.

Taiwan says Chinese jets made record 380 incursions in 2020

Taipei - Chinese jets made a record 380 incursions into Taiwan's defence zone last year, a defence official said Tuesday, as a military-linked think-tank warned tensions were now at their highest since the mid-1990s.

New York stock exchange delists Chinese telecoms firms

New York - The New York stock exchange has begun the process of delisting three Chinese telecoms companies as it seeks to comply with an order by the Trump administration barring investment in firms with ties to the Chinese military.

Trump vetoes sweeping US defense bill

Washington - US President Donald Trump vetoed a broad defense funding bill sent to him by Congress Wednesday, complaining that it helps Russia and China and objecting to provisions to rename military bases.

Troll crackdown exposes France-Russia rivalry in Africa

Paris - Facebook has exposed a curious battle for influence in Africa, with former colonial power France and former superpower Russia using fake accounts to engage, criticise and even befriend each other online.

Taiwan says US has approved key submarine technology sale

Taipei - The United States has issued an export permit for a digital sonar system critical to Taiwan's indigenous submarine project, a top defence official said Wednesday.

Facebook closes disinformation accounts linked to French military

San Francisco - Facebook said Tuesday that it had removed two networks based in Russia and one linked to the French military, accusing them of carrying out interference campaigns in Africa.

US makes good on threats of Turkey sanctions over Russia arms

Washington - The United States on Monday made good on months of threats to punish Turkey for buying a major Russian missile defense system, although it held off on the most drastic options.

US slaps sanctions on Turkey over Russian arms purchase

Washington - The United States on Monday imposed sanctions on Turkey's military procurement agency after the NATO ally defiantly bought Russia's S-400 air defense system.

US Army sacks commanders over Texas base crime wave

Washington - The US Army announce Tuesday it was removing or suspending 14 commanders and unit leaders at Fort Hood after a slate of murders and sex crimes at the Texas base.

Biden picks General Lloyd Austin as first Black Pentagon chief

Washington - President-elect Joe Biden has chosen Lloyd Austin, who led US troops into Baghdad in 2003 and rose to head the US Central Command, as the first African-American secretary of defense, US media reported Monday.

Chuck Yeager, first pilot to break sound barrier, dies aged 97

Washington - Chuck Yeager, a World War II fighter ace who was the first human to travel faster than sound and whose gutsy test pilot exploits were immortalized in the bestselling book "The Right Stuff," died Monday, his wife said. He was 97.

After troop cuts in Iraq and Afghanistan, Trump orders pullout from Somalia

Washington - President Donald Trump has ordered the removal of most US military and security personnel from Somalia, where they have been conducting operations against the Al-Shabaab militant group, the Pentagon said Friday.

US navy denies carrier group moved into Gulf after any 'threats'

Washington - A US aircraft carrier group has moved back into the Gulf region, but a navy spokeswoman said Saturday its return was not triggered by any "threats" after the killing in Iran of a top nuclear scientist.

Taiwan expanding submarine fleet as China threat grows

Taipei - Taiwan began construction on a fleet of indigenous submarines on Tuesday, the latest move by the out-gunned island to bolster its defences against increasingly bellicose threats from Beijing.

Clock ticking, Trump looks set to hasten Afghanistan pullout

Washington - With little more than two months left in office, President Donald Trump appears to be pushing ahead with plans to pull out of Afghanistan as he stacks the Pentagon with loyalists.

Australia establishes Afghanistan war crimes prosecutor

Sydney - Australia on Thursday moved to prosecute alleged war crimes by its special forces deployed in Afghanistan, years after harrowing reports emerged of civilians and prisoners being killed.

Australia appoints Afghanistan war crimes prosecutor

Sydney - Australia announced the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate alleged war crimes by Australian special forces in Afghanistan on Thursday after media uncovered evidence of civilians and prisoners being killed.

Philippines extends military pact with US

Manila - The Philippines will extend a key military pact with the United States for another six months, the foreign minister said Wednesday.

UK honours war dead on virus-afflicted Remembrance Day

London - Britain fell silent on Sunday in tribute to its war dead as royals and politicians observed a low-key Remembrance Day without the usual solemn pageantry, owing to the coronavirus pandemic.

South Korean military captures North Korean crossing border

Seoul - A North Korean man was captured by South Korea's military on Wednesday after crossing the inter-Korean border, Seoul said.The man was identified by Seoul only as a North Korean male, the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.

'China is angry': Taiwan anxiety rises as sabre-rattling grows

Kinmen - The tank traps on the beaches of Kinmen Island are a stark reminder that Taiwan lives under the constant threat of a Chinese invasion -- and fears of a conflict breaking out are now at their highest in decades.

Pilot killed as Taiwan fighter jet crashes into sea

Taipei - A Taiwanese pilot was killed Thursday after his fighter jet crashed off the island's eastern coast during routine training, the air force said, in the second fatal air crash in three months.

Taiwan same-sex couples to join military wedding for first time

Taipei - Two Taiwanese soldiers and their civilian same-sex partners will tie the knot at a mass wedding hosted by the military on Friday in another gay rights landmark in Asia.

US announces $2.4 bn sale of coastal defense systems to Taiwan

Washington - The United States on Monday said it had approved a $2.4 billion sale of 100 Harpoon coastal defense systems to Taiwan, defying Beijing's anger over a $1 billion missile deal last week.

South Korean Jehovah's Witnesses begin prison work terms

Daejeon - Dozens of South Korean Jehovah's Witnesses in suits and ties lined up to enter a prison on Monday -- to begin training as administrators, rather than the jail terms they used to face as conscientious objectors.

As Pompeo campaigns against China, a growing welcome in India

Washington - When the United States tried to seal a defense deal seven years ago with the Maldives, a sprawling and strategic archipelago, its plans were quietly torpedoed by a friend -- India, which considers the Indian Ocean its sphere of influence.

US to sell air-to-ground missiles to Taiwan

Washington - The US government on Wednesday said it had approved the sale of $1 billion worth of advanced air-to-ground missiles to Taiwan as the island tries to shore up its defenses against China.
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