Friday, March 20, 2020

[TheList 5245

The List 5245

Greetings from my house arrest in rainy California. I hope that you are all doing well. I intend to put out a List each day until this is over. My granddaughter and I are making progress on the 875 piece 3-D puzzle of Harry Potter's Hogwarts Astronomy tower. I think I will need an uptick to my glasses prescription before this is over.




Today in Naval History

March 20


Ensign Stephen Potter is the first American to shoot down an enemy seaplane, a German plane off the German coast during World War I.


Curtis D. Wilbur takes office as the 43rd Secretary of the Navy, where he gains his greatest achievements in enlarging and modernizing the fleet, and establishing a naval air force that would become an overwhelming force during World War II.


Secretary of Navy James V. Forrestal places the newly-established construction battalions, later called Seabees, under the command of officers with the Civil Engineer Corps who are trained in the skills required for the performance of construction work.


TBF and FM-2 aircraft from Composite Squadron (VC 6) onboard USS Block Island (CVE 21) sink German submarine U 1059 west-southwest of Dakar.


Submarine USS Balao (SS 285) attacks a Japanese convoy and sinks one troopship and three fishing vessels and damages another off the Yangtze estuary about 90 miles north-northwest of Shanghi.


As Fast Carrier Task Force 58 planes bomb Kure and Kobe Harbors, Japanese aircraft single out the US Navy carriers for attack. USS Wasp (CV 18), USS Essex (CV 9), and USS Franklin (CV 13) are hit. After struck by a second bomb, Franklin suffers subsequent explosions on the flight and hangar decks. Heroic work by her crew, assisted by nearby ships, bring the fires and flooding under control. For their actions during this occasion, both Lt. Cmdr. Joseph T. OCallaghan and Lt.j.g. Donald A. Gary receive the Medal of Honor.


While serving with Battery D, 2nd Battalion, 11th Marines, at Phu Loc 6 in Quang Nam Province, Vietnam, Navy Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class David R. Ray is killed in action while providing medical aid to injured Marines during an enemy attack on his unit. Petty Officer Ray is posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism in that action.


USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54) is commissioned at Long Beach, Calif., where then-Secretary of the Navy John H. Dalton was the keynote speaker. The Arleigh Burke guided-missile destroyer.

1999 - USS Porter (DDG 78) is commissioned at Port Canaveral, Fla. The guided-missile destroyer is the 28th of the Arleigh Burke-class and the fifth U.S. Navy ship to be named after Commodore David Porter and his son, Adm. David Dixon Porter.

Thanks to CHINFO

Executive Summary:

• In a video message, CNO Adm. Mike Gilday addressed the fleet on Navy's efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19.

• Multiple outlets covered Navy Surgeon General Rear Adm. Bruce Gillingham's comments about Navy response to COVID-19 at a press conference yesterday.

• Multiple outlets report that a Navy dive student drowned Thursday while training in Panama City Beach, Florida.

Today in History March 20


Henry IV of England is succeed by his son Henry V.


In India, Nadir Shah of Persia occupies Delhi and takes possession of the Peacock throne.


The Great Fire of Boston destroys 349 buildings.


In Paris, the Legislative Assembly approves the use of the guillotine.


Napoleon Bonaparte enters Paris and begins his 100-day rule.


Edgar Allan Poe's The Murders in the Rue Morgue, considered the first detective story, is published.


Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin is published.


Army officers in Russia mutiny at Sevastopol.


The French call off the Champagne offensive on the Western Front.


The Bolsheviks of the Soviet Union ask for American aid to rebuild their army.


President Warren G. Harding orders U.S. troops back from the Rhineland.


The German dirigible, Graf Zepplin, makes the first flight to South America on regular schedule.


President Franklin D. Roosevelt names William O. Douglas to the Supreme Court.


The British Royal Air Force conducts an all-night air raid on the Nazi airbase at Sylt, Germany.


The Allies attack Field Marshall Erwin Rommel's forces on the Mareth Line in North Africa.


President Lyndon B. Johnson orders 4,000 troops to protect the Selma-Montgomery civil rights marchers.


Senator Edward Kennedy calls on the United States to close all bases in Taiwan.


Patty Hearst is convicted of armed robbery.


U.S. scientists return from Antarctica with the first land mammal fossils found there.


The United State approves AZT, a drug that is proven to slow the progress of AIDS.

1345 Black Death is created, allegedly »


Thanks to NHHC

H-016-3: Battle of the Atlantic—The Lost Boarding Party, 10 March 1943

H-Gram 016, Attachment 3
Samuel J. Cox, Director NHHC/CAPT James Bloom, MC, USN (ret.)
March 2018

By 1942, the Allied blockade of Germany was pinching Hitler. Increasingly, Germany had to rely on trade with distant lands in the Far East. Thus, the Kriegsmarine commissioned blockade runners, who operated from occupied French Atlantic ports. Between 1940 and 1944, a total of 21 Asia-bound freighters attempted the breakout. Six of these fell victim to Allied warships, but the rest delivered 111,490 tons of cargo to Germany. One notable runner was the 7,323-ton Karin, the former Dutch passenger/cargo ship Koya Nopan. Armed with a 105-mm gun aft and four 20-mm cannon, she ran the blockade outbound in late 1942. In Malaysia, she loaded 4,000 tons of rubber and tin, and, on 4 February 1943, she put to sea for the return to Germany. Flying Dutch flags identifying her as Kota Tjandi, she coursed through the South Atlantic. However, the entry of Brazil into the war on 22 August 1942 had shifted control of the "Atlantic Narrows" between Brazil and Western Africa to the Allies. On 10 March 1943, Task Group 23.1, consisting of USS Savannah (CL-42), Santee (ACV-29), Livermore (DD-429), and Eberle (DD-430), was cruising just south of the Equator.

An SOC-3 Seagull from Santee spotted a solitary ship cruising at 12 knots near the St. Peter and St. Paul archipelago. At 1633, Savannah, embarking task group commander Rear Admiral Oliver M. Read, Jr., fired warning shots across the freighter's bows. She hove to and signaled "FM" ("I am sinking"). Eberle ignored the Dutch flag and closed. Suddenly, explosions echoed across the waves and smoke began rising from the freighter. The vessel proved to be Karin, whose crew lowered boats and threw papers overboard. Eberle's skipper, Commander Karl F. Poehlmann, dispatched 12 volunteers.

By 1649, heavy flames issued from the freighter. Lieutenant Junior Grade Frederick L. Edwards, leading the boarding party, gained the burning deck and ran for the bridge. Coxswain Joseph E.H. Metivier, Fireman First Class Dennis J. Buckley, Seaman Third Class William J. Pattison, Watertender Second Class Alex M. Diachenko, and three shipmates headed below decks to remove scuttling charges. The others fought fires in a gallant attempt to save Karin. However, the work of the 72 German crewmen had been too efficient. Poehlmann ordered the boarding party off just as three large explosions racked the bridge and after deckhouse. Holes were blown in Karin's hull and Metivier, Buckley, Diachenko, and Pattison took the full force of the blasts. All below decks were killed instantly. Eberle's whaleboat disintegrated into splinters. A second boat recovered Edwards and the injured Seaman First Class Alexander J. Bisheimer and Seaman Second Class Louis J. Doll—the only members of the boarding party to survive. Karin sank, the valorous attempt of the boarders having failed.

The entire German crew was rescued from their lifeboats and held as POWs. Edwards, Bisheimer, and Pattison received the Navy Cross; the remaining boarders were posthumously awarded the Silver Star. Signalman Pattison was subsequently remembered with USS William J. Pattison (DD-594). The World War II warships Diachenko (APD-123), Dennis J. Buckley (DD-808), Metivier (DE-582), Tinsman (DE-589), and Myers (DE-595) remember others who made the ultimate sacrifice with this fearless boarding party. The remaining boarders who lost their lives were: Fireman First Class William J. Jones; Carpenter's Mate First Class Robert M. Shockley; Machinist Mate First Class Merton B. Myers; and Seaman Second Class Wilbur G. Davis


From the net…courtesy of Rich and JC …And Dutch for passing it along

Hi to all -

Good News

The virus has fewer new cases, here and abroad, suggesting that this may have peaked in some areas.

The Navy is sending two hospital ships, one to NY, and the other to the west coast, to aid local hospitals in handling regular business, while those hospitals deal with the virus. These ships have 1000 beds, ten operating rooms, and all the equipment that any major hospital would be proud to have on hand.

A number of new drugs and treatments have had successful trials, and may soon be available in decent quantity.

Even politicians are rising from their rusty butts to do something, other than blow hot air.

Not So Good News

Democrats are howling at the moon, trying to find some way to blame this on Trump, Fox News, and republicans in general. Notice that they do not offer alternative solutions, just complaints.

Remember the old song by the Monkees, "I'm a Believer"? Well, play the tune, and substitute the words "I'm a complainer", and you have the democrats theme song.

The goal is to overthrow the government, and there is a combined approach. For example, many are calling for 'compassionate release' of criminals -even violent ones - to our streets. Bad idea. And, it is not compassionate. At the same time, gun sales are skyrocketing, as city after city tells police to ignore simple crimes, like auto theft, breaking and entering and home invasion. The liberal elected officials rail against guns, while flooding our streets with criminals. Guess where that will go? Are you ready for the Wild West, revisited? Annie get your gun. This is exactly what all the great dictators of the last century did in order to seize power.

Some are even suggesting that Trump should be charged with 'negligent homicide' for allowing this virus. Of course, they will never show how he caused it or allowed it, now will they? The hate and bitterness of the left is almost beyond comprehension.

Lots of people with faces in the till as a comprehensive federal program starts out to deal with this virus and its effects. Many who care so much for you little people will get rich, and you will get excuses, and the bill.



You can run, but you can't hide from the truth

thanks to THE Bear and Dutch

Dutch... Free France is losing the battle with "the religion of love." Of course, the truth of the matter is: The French fight to survive the chains of sharia is a vivid reality that Americans must not ignore. What goes there has begun here. Our constitutional republic is a nation of laws emanating from our Constitution. Sharia law that is part and parcel of "the religion of peace" is as incompatible with the Constitution of the United States as it has proven to be with the laws, customs and mores of the nation of France. The cancer of sharia has metastasized in France. That is the message of this warning for the United States. ... Bear

Begin forwarded message:

French journalist: Islam stands 'very good chance' of conquering France

"For too many years the French have been unwilling to face the truth," Gurfinkiel said in conclusion, and now they "are paying very dearly for their previous lack of courage."


External Source


March 12, 2020

Michel Gurfinkiel, founder of the Paris-based Jean-Jacques Rousseau Institute and a writing fellow at the Middle East Forum, spoke to Middle East Forum Radio host Gregg Roman on February 12 about the consequences of massive Muslim immigration into France.

Domestically, the past fifty years of steady immigration from Islamic countries into France is "transforming the fabric of French society" from within.

Demographic and sociological surveys indicate that 10-15% of the French population is now of Muslim origin, including 20-30% of French citizens or residents under the age of 25.

Some integrate successfully, but many align with the most radical and militant expression of the religion. Their rejection of France's secular constitution is matched by resentment of the French military's fight against global jihadism in Africa and the Middle East, seen as a "deliberate assault … on Islam."

Whereas religious zeal is steadily increasing among French Muslims, Gurfinkiel said that "the classic national religion of France, Catholicism," is declining, citing research found in The French Archipelago (L'archipel français) by French pollster, demographer and sociologist Jérôme Fourquet.

Traditional family and marriage are "unraveling among the native French," while birthrates drop.

Islamic groups observing this change respond in two ways: those who support jihad to take control of France and those who see the inevitable ascent of Islam through non-violent "dawah" (proselytism) as the answer to a society "ripe for change."

One way or another, according to Gurfinkiel, "Islam stands a very good chance to simply conquer … this country."

Already, freedom of speech in France has seemingly been conquered. In January, a 16-year old identified only as "Mila' criticized Islam as a "religion of hate" on her Instagram account in response to online harassment from a homophobic Muslim troll.

The resulting online threats of bodily harm led to Mila and her family being placed under police protection. The French custom of satirizing or criticizing religion does not extend to Islam, "and the main reason … is, of course, fear," said Gurfinkiel.

"It's a fact that Muslims don't react peacefully to these kinds of [speech] as … Christians [do], and everybody … remember[s] … the humorists of Charlie Hebdo … slaughtered by a Muslim commando a few years ago."

"The French have been unwilling to face the truth … [and] are paying very dearly."

These problems were "forecast many years ago by French scholars, journalists, and sometimes political leaders," said Gurfinkiel, who himself warned in a 1997 Middle East Quarterly article that French Muslims tend "to think of themselves as a new nation, and even to have hopes of superseding the present Judeo-Christian nation of France."

However, for decades the French government has been cautious in addressing the demographic growth and poor integration of Muslims in France. This is partly for fear of triggering riots and civil unrest, and partly for fear of emboldening the anti-immigration right, notably Marine LePen and her National Rally (formerly the National Front) party.

"For too many years the French have been unwilling to face the truth," Gurfinkiel said in conclusion, and now they "are paying very dearly for their previous lack of courage."


thanks to THE Bear

Hal... For your consideration:

The Chinese have commenced and are conducting an intentional and undeclared biological war against the United States. The coronavirus was deliberately unleashed and allowed to spread from Wuhan by the PRC with the specific intention of destroying the economy of the United States and acceding to world domination. They knew exactly what they were doing when they started a biological war on their own turf knowing that they had the tools in hand to arrest the spread in China at acceptable cost and risk, after spreading coronavirus to the unsuspecting world, especially the United States. The number of deaths in China has been arrested at a level that is both acceptable and gives their scheme cover and deception. China is now reaping the results of their deliberate attack on the American economy and our dominant position in the world.

Previous virus epidemics emanating from Wuhan provided a proven model for the 2020 attack by virus. President Trump: "The Chinese could have prevented this..." They did not because they had a plan.

The Chinese could not have done a better job of employing illegal biological warfare to conquer the USA. They let the world's travelers plant the seeds, then extinguished the virus at Wuhan. I also theorize that quantities of the virus are currently being spread covertly in the United States by Chinese agents. The action of President Trump to cutoff air travel from China to the United States in January was a temporary setback for the Chinese. They have nevertheless been successful in creating an uncontrollable epidemic in our country.

The Chinese are now in phase three of their war helping gain control of the virus in several of the countries that were "collateral damage"in the Chinese attack by virus. To defeat the US with a biological attack, all nations had to be attacked. Call it cover and deception. Italy, among many others, is now the recipient of Chinese aid—the Chinese are pursuing the good will of the world by extending a helping hand while accusing the US of planting the first seeds of coronavirus in Wuhan.

The collapsing American economy exacerbates the woeful financial condition and indebtedness of our country. In addition, our readiness to defend our national interests around the world is in deplorable condition and at home we are a nation hopelessly divided by political differences. The American response to the Wuhan virus thus far validates the wisdom of the timely Chinese biological strike. We are impotent as we now discover we were not only unprepared for a pandemic, we are apparently dependent on the Chinese for the meds required to defeat their attack by virus.

The Chinese have spent the last forty years getting ready for this moment and they are now in a position to defeat the Un-United States without fighting. Sun Tzu would be proud. A national catastrophe is at hand for our beloved country. Greatness is fading.

The Fourth Turning is right on schedule.

Comment?.... Bear🇺🇸⚓️🐻


World News thanks to Military Periscope for 20 March

USA—COVID-19 Measures Hit Missions In Afghanistan, Iraq Stars And Stripes | 03/20/2020 U.S.-led training operations in Afghanistan and Iraq have been limited in an effort to combat the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), reports the Stars and Stripes. On Thursday, a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition fighting ISIS said that training of Iraqi forces had been suspended for 60 days. A senior official with the coalition told Reuters that the decision was due to risks associated with training due to COVID-19. The move has led about 2,500 coalition troops to be withdrawn, reported Agence France-Presse. Some nations, including the U.K., have recalled troops to participate in domestic virus response efforts. Separately, the NATO Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan said in a statement that troop deployments had been suspended. About 1,500 troops and civilian personnel have been quarantined to prevent the spread of the virus. Resolute Support officials emphasized that the steps are precautionary. Access to bases has been restricted, said Gen. Scott Miller, the head of the coalition in Afghanistan, as reported by CNN. Training and advising continues, although there is a push to conduct meetings online rather than in person. U.S. Forces-Afghanistan continues to draw down to 8,600 troops as planned, said a command spokesman. Iran, which borders both Iraq and Afghanistan, has been hit hard by the epidemic, with at least 17,000 cases reported. The outbreak has led thousands of Afghan refugees there to return home, raising concerns that they may be bringing the virus with them.

USA—Trump Plans To Use Defense Production Act To Address Shortages Of Medical Gear Cable News Network | 03/20/2020 President Trump has announced that he will invoke the Defense Production Act to help alleviate the shortage of medical supplies that could hinder responses to the ongoing outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), reports CNN. Trump announced the move on Wednesday during a press conference on the administration's efforts to combat the outbreak. The Defense Production Act was established in 1950 during the Korean War in response to production shortages of key equipment. The law would allow the federal government to steer production in the private sector to fill gaps in the supply of masks, ventilators and other medical supplies, reported the Washington Post. On Monday, top health officials said that there was not enough stockpiled medical equipment to address the anticipated need as the COVID-19 outbreak continues. USA—Textron Furloughs Thousands Of Workers To Prevent Spread Of COVID-19 Wichita Eagle | 03/20/2020 Textron Aviation has announced that it is furloughing 7,000 workers in an effort to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), reports the Wichita Eagle (Kan). The company said it was taking additional actions to combat COVID-19, including limiting large group meetings, increasing daily cleaning of facilities, restricting travel and canceling participation in several global events. Production will also be adjusted in response to declining demand for aircraft, said Textron. The furloughs are scheduled to run from March 23 until May 29. Each employee will only be furloughed for four weeks on a rolling basis, reported Defense News. The move will allow the company to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 "through social distancing while continuing to support [its] customers," a Textron spokeswoman said.

USA—Army Reserve Cancels Battle Assemblies Amid COVID-19 Outbreak Army Times | 03/20/2020 The head of the U.S. Army Reserve has ordered the suspension of all battle assemblies for reserve units to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), reports the Army Times. On Wednesday, Lt. Gen. Charles Luckey announced the move, which includes a ban on non-essential travel, in a social media post. The order is in effect through the end of March, although it could last longer, reported the Stars and Stripes. Battle assemblies are training events for reserve units that occur on a monthly basis. Some units may need to continue to conduct certain activities, which will be decided on a case-by-case basis, Luckey said. Meanwhile, the Army has begun postponing rotations through the its combat training centers, reported Breaking Defense. The 81st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, Washington Army National Guard, was the first unit to have its training canceled. The unit was scheduled to deploy to the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif. That brigade will now be available to the state of Washington to support the response to the COVID-19 outbreak there, which is one of the largest in the U.S.

USA—Navy Seeks To Update Warship Software At Sea C4ISRNet | 03/20/2020 The U.S. Navy is set to test whether it can push out new software to ships at sea without the assistance of dedicated installation teams, reports C4ISRNet. The first test is scheduled for 2021, when the Navy will attempt to update the command, control, communications, computer and intelligence (C4I) systems on the carrier Abraham Lincoln, Navy officials revealed earlier this month. Navy ships can currently install security patches while at sea. Larger updates have not been available due to concerns that an error could have unexpected consequences. The service is developing digital twins of the computing environments for each ship, which will allow software tests on the replica digital environment to work out any bugs. The Lincoln was the first to receive a digital twin in the fall of 2019. To receive such over-the-air upgrades, ships must be equipped with the Consolidate Afloat Networks and Enterprise Services (CANES) tactical afloat network, officials said. The capability would enable upgrades, additions or new capabilities to be rapidly implemented without the ship having to come into port. United Kingdom—2 Injured In Suspected Paramilitary Attacks Belfast Telegraph | 03/20/2020 Two people have been injured in separate paramilitary-style attacks in Northern Ireland, reports the Belfast Telegraph. Late Wednesday, a man was shot in the leg by three attackers who called at his home in the Creggan area of Londonderry, said police. He was taken to the hospital, where his condition was stable. Separately, a man in Ballymena was attacked with a machete by five men who broke into his apartment, said police. Northern Irish police described both attacks as bearing hallmarks of paramilitary-style assaults, reported BBC News. There were no immediate claims of responsibility.

China—Modifications Planned To Make JL-9 Trainer Carrier-Capable Global Times | 03/20/2020 Guizhou Aviation Industry Corp. plans to modify its JL-9 Mountain Eagle jet trainer for carrier operations, reports the Global Times (China). Recent promotional materials released by the company show the JL-9 operating with aircraft carriers, leading to speculation that Guizhang is planning to modify the aircraft for carrier operations, reported China Central TV. In addition, the company released a statement on Monday indicating that it was determined to "win a new victory in developing and producing the naval version of the Mountain Eagle." The JL-9 is currently used to train Chinese navy carrier pilots, but it can only operate from land-based facilities. China commissioned its second aircraft carrier, the Shandong, in December, increasing the need to efficiently train carrier pilots, analysts said. A carrier-based trainer jet would support this goal. The upgrade could require significant airframe and engine modifications, experts said. China might also seek a carrier-based variant of the twin-engine JL-10 jet trainer, although that aircraft would be more expensive, analysts said.

Philippines—Communist Leader Rejects Government Cease-Fire Philippine Daily Inquirer | 03/20/2020 Philippine communist rebel leader Jose Maria Sison has rejected the government's cease-fire, calling it premature, if not a trick, reports the Philippine Daily Inquirer. On Wednesday, the Duterte administration declared a unilateral cease-fire with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People's Army (NPA), as part of efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The move requires all government forces to cease operations against the rebels from March 19 to April 15. On Friday, Sison rejected the move, calling it cover for increased operations in the northern Luzon region, he said in an interview from exile in the Netherlands. The administration denied any ulterior motive in the declaring the truce and on Friday reiterated its call for the NPA to observe it, reported the Manila Times. As of Friday, the Philippines had confirmed 217 cases of the virus, resulting in 17 deaths, reported the GMA News.

Malaysia—Army To Help Police Enforce COVID-19 Lockdown The Star | 03/20/2020 Malaysia has announced that the military will deploy to help police enforce a partial lockdown intended to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), reports the Star (Kuala Lumpur). Soldiers have been alerted and will begin assisting police on Sunday, said Defense Minister Ismail Sabri. On Wednesday, authorities announced a partial lockdown restricting movement outside of the home except for obtaining necessities, receiving medical care and performing official functions, reported the Kyodo news agency (Tokyo). As many as 30 percent of people are not observing the order, said police. Malaysia has the largest number of COVID-19 cases in Southeast Asia, with 900 confirmed and two deaths. Most cases have been linked to a single gathering at a mosque south of Kuala Lumpur.

India—Planned Purchase Of Tejas Mk 1A Fighters Takes Another Step Indian Ministry Of Defense | 03/20/2020 The Indian Defense Acquisition Council (DAC) has given the go-ahead for the procurement of additional Tejas light combat aircraft (LCA) fighters, reports the Indian Ministry of Defense. The move must still be approved by the Cabinet Committee on Security before a contract can be finalized, noted Flight Global. That could take another year. Deliveries are scheduled to begin three years after contract signature. The US$5.3 billion deal approved on Wednesday covers 73 single-seat and 10 two-seat trainer Tejas Mk 1As as well as sensors, equipment, spare parts and two years of service support, company officials said. The updated Mk 1A configuration features the Israeli Elta ELM-2052 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar; MBDA ASRAAM air-to-air missile; unified electronic warfare suite; onboard oxygen-generating system (OBOGS); improved avionics; and a Cobham in-flight refueling probe. The decision came a day after Hindustan Aeronautics conducted the first flight of the baseline Tejas in the final operational clearance configuration. HAL has built 37 Tejas jets so far: two technology demonstrators; six prototypes; eight limited series production aircraft; two naval prototypes; 16 initial operational clearance Tejas Mk 1s; and four final operational clearance Tejas Mk 1s.

Afghanistan—25 Security Personnel Die In Insider Attack In Zabul Province TOLONews | 03/20/2020 At least 25 Afghan security personnel have been killed in an insider attack in the southern Zabul province, reports Tolo News (Kabul). On Friday, two dozen troops at a joint police and army headquarters near Qalat were shot as they slept, provincial Gov. Rahmatullah Yarmal told Agence France-Presse. Sources said that between six and eight police officers carried out the attack and then fled in two military Humvees and a pickup truck, taking weapons and ammunition with them. At least 14 soldiers and 10 police officers were killed, said a provincial official. Four others were reportedly missing. The attack came a day after the defense ministry said it would be switching to a more aggressive posture to confront the Taliban.

United Arab Emirates—More Seeker 400 UAVs Ordered Defence Web | 03/20/2020 The United Arab Emirates has placed an order for additional Seeker 400 uncrewed aerial vehicles from South African firm Denel, reports Defence Web (South Africa). The contract was announced during the Unmanned Systems Exhibition (UMEX) in Abu Dhabi in February, although it was reportedly signed before the show. The US$5.7 million deal covers six UAVs, two ground-control stations, six electro-optical payloads and the integration of sensors, including a synthetic aperture radar and satellite communications suite, and integration of P2 air-to-ground weapons. A Seeker 400 was displayed at the show with an enlarged nose to fit a synthetic aperture radar and a dorsal hump for a beyond-line-of-sight satellite communications link. The U.A.E. currently operates the Seeker 400 as well as the previous generation Seeker II and Seeker 200 UAVs.

Syria—2 Turkish Soldiers Killed In Rebel Attack Anadolu News Agency | 03/20/2020 Two Turkish soldiers have been killed and one injured in a rocket attack in the de-escalation zone in northwestern Syria, reports Turkey's Anadolu Agency. On Thursday, the troops were conducting an engineer reconnaissance operation on the M4 highway in Idlib when they were attacked, said the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Opposing Sides, as reported by the Tass news agency (Moscow). The identity of the attackers was unclear. Both Turkish and Russian media indicated that the rebels were not part of an umbrella group of Turkish-allied Syrian rebels. Such attacks are rare in the region where Turkey has positioned itself as the champion of the rebel cause. Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), which is dominated by Al-Qaida's former Syria affiliate, and Hurras al-Deen share jihadist views and have controlled most of Idlib since January 2019. Those groups have been hesitant to participate in Turkish-led efforts in the province, noted analysts.

Libya—5 Civilians Killed In Shelling South Of Tripoli Agence France-Presse | 03/20/2020 Five civilians have been killed and five wounded in artillery attacks in southern Tripoli by forces loyal to eastern military leader Khalifa Haftar, reports Agence France-Presse. On Wednesday, Haftar's forces attacked areas near Ain Zara and Bab Ben Ghachir as part of an effort to punch through front lines of the Government of National Accord (GNA). The attacks included artillery strikes that struck civilian areas, a GNA-backed leader told the Libyan Express. The attack broke a cease-fire imposed to help respond to the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Somalia—Army, AMISOM Liberate Town In Lower Shabelle East African | 03/20/2020 Troops from the African Union mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Somali army recently recaptured a key town in the Lower Shabelle region from Al-Shabaab, reports the East African (Kenya). On March 17, AMISOM and Somali army troops captured the town of Jannale, about 56 miles (90 km) southwest of Mogadishu, the mission said. It was the first major town to be recaptured this year. The town, which has a population of around 30,000, had previously been a hub for Al-Shabaab activity. Several Al-Shabaab terrorists were killed and wounded during the operation, AMISOM officials said. The A.U. mission is currently working with the Somali military to recapture key towns in the region as part of its plan to wrap up operations and turn security responsibilities over to local security forces.

Mali—29 Soldiers Killed In Militant Attack In Northeast Reuters | 03/20/2020 At least 29 soldiers have been killed in a suspected militant attack in northeastern Mali, reports Reuters. On Thursday, the army initially said that two troops had been killed in an attack on a military camp in Tarkint, about 75 miles (125 km) north of Gao. It later updated the figures to 29 killed and five injured No further information about the attack was provided. Malian forces are fighting an array of armed groups, many loyal to ISIS and Al-Qaida, in the northern and central regions, while smugglers also operate in much of the north. Separately, Malian officials said on Thursday that elections scheduled for March 29 and April 19 would go ahead despite rising violence and concerns about the coronavirus, reported Agence France-Presse.

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