Morning Defence News Briefing 27 March 2020

Morning Defence News Briefing 27 March 2020

Morning Defence & Security News Briefing 27 March 2020

EUROPE 

Russia: Su-27 fighter jet crashes in the Black Sea off the Crimean coast. According to the Russian state media, the Su-27 disappeared from radar screens 50 km from the city of Feodosia.

Russia completes preliminary tests of elements of S-500 air defence system including its launcher,  the director-general of the Design Bureau for Special Machine-Building (part of Almaz-Antey company) announced.

Germany plans to extend and adapt six military missions including in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Mali. Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen pushed for more Bundeswehr interventions. In Iraq, Berlin expressed its interest to continue to fly ISTAR missions with its Tornado fighters and keep refueling planes. The total number of soldiers involved in the mission would drop to a maximum of 800.

Berlin approves extension of the arms embargo on Saudi Arabia. This is the third extension to the arms embargo, which was initially enacted in late 2018 after the killing of Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi.

Coronavirus: France launches army operation ‘resilience’ to support the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic along with “massive investments” in the country’s public health system. As part of the new operation, the French army will be deployed to help with logistics and medical support.

Coronavirus: Spain 700 positives in the security forces. The announcement was made by Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska, who claimed that Madrid “continues to control all of them”.

Coronavirus: UK reports a drastic drop in crime. Crime rates across the region have shown a drastic change for the first weekend the PM Boris Johnson’s new coronavirus action plan – shutting pubs, clubs, and restaurants – was enforced. 

AFRICA

Libya: Haftar forces enter Zuara after reaching agreement with local militias. In 2011, following the fall of the Gaddafi government, Zuwara was the first City in Libya to democratically elect its local council. 

Libya: Sarraj launches military operation ‘peace storm’ in response to Haftar attacks. On Wednesday, the GNA took control of  Al-Watiyah Air Force Base near Tripoli, as part of a wide operation launched to defeat Haftar’s forces.

Chad: 92 soldiers killed in the deadliest-ever attack by the Boko Haram terrorist group on the country’s military force. The terrorist group first launched an armed campaign in Nigeria in 2009 before beginning incursions in its eastern neighbors.

MIDDLE EAST 

Iraq: French armed forces withdraw after half a decade of counterterrorism missions in the country. France is part of a US-led international coalition tasked with helping Iraqi security forces in the fight ISIS. US-led coalition forces have also recently been withdrawing from some bases in Iraq. 

EU: “huge risks of Covid-19 outbreak in Idlib, Syria”. As the pandemic takes a firmer hold across the Middle East, there is growing concern that Syria might face a catastrophic outbreak, prospect in a country ravaged by nine years of civil war.

ASIA

Kazakhstan foiled ISIS bomb attack, the country’s National Security Committee is now detaining a man suspected of planning a bomb attack in the capital, Nur-Sultan, on behalf of ISIS. 

Armenian armed forces have reportedly violated the ceasefire along the contact line between Azerbaijani and Armenian troops 22 times, reports the Ministry of Defence of Azerbaijan.

Australia and Singapore signed a treaty on military training in view of the global Coronavirus pandemic.

Australian Defence Force temporarily relocated all non-essential personnel from Iraq and Afghanistan as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

NORTH AMERICA 

The US Department of Defense has completed the test launch of a common hypersonic glide body (C-HGB), which flew at hypersonic speed to a designated impact point.

The US military has suspended all travel, deployments, and military exercises for the entire force. 

Canada opposes deployment of US troops at the border, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said.

SOUTH AMERICA 

Coronavirus: Bolivia declared a state of health emergency and closes borders as the government seeks to contain the spread of the coronavirus in the country. 

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