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“When the protests escalated, orders to prohibit social media posts came in more often,” Ekkachai, 33, told Reuters in an interview. Although Thai soldiers have occasionally expressed sympathy for protesters in past bouts of political unrest, the rapid expansion of social media is making it difficult to contain. It is impossible to establish how far disaffection reaches based on social media activity. Another soldier who had also posted on social media said he was looking to defuse tension rather than escalate it. “Basically, we are disguised as civilians,” a female police officer in her late 20s from the Royal Thai Police told Reuters, asking to remain anonymous.
Persons: Thais, Ekkachai Wangkaphan, Maha Vajiralongkorn, Queen Suthida, Jorge Silva “, , , ” Ekkachai, Prayuth Chan, King Maha Vajiralongkorn, Sirijan Ngathong, Paul Chambers, Anucha Burapachaisri, Prayuth, Red ”, Kiranee, Tattep Ruangprapaikitseree, Kissana Phathanacharoen, Kissana, “ We’re, ‘ Long, Chakri Organizations: Police, REUTERS, Facebook, Free Youth, Royal Thai Army, Reuters, Naresuan University, Government, Protesters, Security, Maverick Consulting, , Bangkok Metropolitan Police, of Police, Royal Thai Police, Locations: BANGKOK, Bangkok, Thailand
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States could begin sharing sensitive intelligence with Honduras about inbound flights carrying drugs, U.S. officials told Reuters, even as the Central American country faces scrutiny from Washington over drug-related corruption. A proposed memorandum of understanding on intelligence sharing, which has not previously been reported, has yet to be finalized by the U.S. and Honduran governments. Former U.S. officials and experts cautioned that sharing intelligence with Honduras about flights entering the country could prove particularly tough, given well-documented, parallel U.S. concerns about corruption inside Honduras stemming from cocaine trafficking. Navy Admiral Craig Faller, head of the U.S. military’s Southern Command, said Honduras, like other Central American nations, was seeing a surge in drug flights from Venezuela. Experts on Honduras cautioned, however, about the risks of trusting Honduras with sensitive trafficking information.
Persons: , , Charles Call, Luis Fernando Suazo Barahona, Craig Faller, Washington, Nicolas Maduro, Maduro, ” Faller, Lisandro Rosales, Juan Orlando Hernandez, Juan Antonio “ Tony ” Hernandez, Tony Hernandez, Devis Leonel Rivera Maradiaga, Honduras ’ Cachiros, “ You’re, Adriana Beltran, Amanda Azubuike, ” Azubuike Organizations: WASHINGTON, Reuters, Central, U.S, CIA, Christian, Former U.S, Honduran, U.S . State Department, Brookings Institution, . military’s Southern Command, U.S . Southern Command, State Department, Washington Office, Southern Command Locations: United States, Honduras, Central American, Washington, Honduran, U.S, Peru, Former, Venezuela, Central America, New York, America
Section 230 is the part of US law that grants broad protections to Big Tech companies to allow them to moderate their own platforms. President Trump is trying desperately to get Section 230, the part of US law that protects Big Tech companies, revoked. The NDAA is an annual defense bill that grants roughly $740 billion in spending to the US military. It means tech companies are able to decide how to moderate their own platforms, and shields them from liability for content their users post. Biden expressed support for revoking the law in January on the grounds it grants tech giants too much immunity for hosting harmful content.
Persons: Donald Trump, Trump, Joe Biden's, Read, Kamala Harris, Scott Shackelford, Biden Organizations: Defense, Big Tech, Twitter, National Defense, Trump, Communications, DOJ, FCC, Indiana University, Politico, Washington Post, Republicans
ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey ordered the detention of 82 military personnel in an operation targeting supporters of the Muslim preacher who Ankara says was behind a failed coup in 2016, state-owned Anadolu news agency said on Tuesday. Operations targeting the network of U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen have continued under a four-year-long crackdown since the attempted coup in July 2016. The detentions were ordered by the chief prosecutor in the western coastal province of Izmir, Anadolu said, adding that it also took steps to sack 848 military personnel, including high ranking officers, over links to the network. Since the coup attempt, about 80,000 people have been held pending trial and some 150,000 civil servants, military personnel and others have been sacked or suspended. More than 20,000 people had been expelled from the Turkish military alone.
Persons: Fethullah Gulen, Gulen, Tayyip Erdogan Organizations: Anadolu, Turkish Locations: ISTANBUL, Turkey, Ankara, U.S, Izmir, Anadolu
K-Pop’s BTS Superstars Can Defer Military Service for Two Years
  + stars: | 2020-12-01 | by ( James Hookway | ) sentiment -0.94   time to read: 1 min
Fans of K-pop sensations BTS were relieved to learn that one of the seven-member band wouldn’t have to quit to join South Korea’s military for his mandatory service for another two years. The country’s national assembly Tuesday amended South Korea’s conscription law in a way that would allow BTS’s oldest member, Kim Seok-jin, who is just shy of turning 28, when he would be required to report for duty, to postpone his military service until he is 30. Currently...
Persons: Kim Seok Organizations: South
Fans of K-pop sensations BTS were relieved to learn that one of the seven-member band wouldn’t have to quit to join South Korea’s military for his mandatory service for another two years. The country’s National Assembly on Tuesday amended South Korea’s conscription law in a way that would allow BTS’s oldest member, Kim Seok-jin, who is just shy of turning 28, when he would be required to report for duty, to postpone his military service until he is 30. Currently top of the Billboard Hot 100 with their song “Life Goes On,” the members of BTS already were riding high. Many took to Twitter, Instagram and other social-media channels to celebrate, posting images and videos of the seven members together along with various emoji. “I hope I will be able to experience a BTS concert before Seok-jin begins his military service.
Persons: Kim Seok, Mr, Kim, Jin, , Son Heung Organizations: South, National, Twitter, Tottenham Hotspur
Australia will jointly develop hypersonic cruise missiles with the United States in a bid to counter joint development of the highly destructive, game-changing technology by China and Russia. Military analysts said the move was a response to the perceived threat from China's hypersonic weapons development but would have little impact on deterring Beijing's pursuit of the technology. It also comes amid reports that China has made progress in developing high-end military weapons, including hypersonic missiles and drones. In addition, Russia is pursuing two hypersonic weapons programmes – the Avangard and the 3M22 Tsirkon. "China's development of hypersonic missiles and other advanced missiles is highly motivated, and Australia's decision to develop the missile will not push China to develop more."
Persons: Linda Reynolds, Reynolds, , Mike Cassidy, China's, Michael Kratsios, Jon Grevatt, Janes, Grevatt, Zhou Chenming, Zhou Organizations: Military, Australian, Australian Defence Force, Air Force, US Air Force, US Department of Defence, US Congressional Research Service, Russian Ministry of Defense Locations: China, Russia, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia, United States, Russian, Asia, Pacific, Beijing
Special-operations forces have become the top option for policymakers because they're highly capable and can operate with a small footprint. So with everyone gearing up for great power competition, how do Chinese special operations measure up against the US's and what are the biggest difference between the two? US special operatorsUS Army Special Forces members perform an airborne operation near Mont Saint Michel in France, May 18, 2019. Crucially, Chinese special-operations units have more than doubled in number in the last two decades, showing that Chinese leaders are paying close attention to the high-reward, low-cost characteristics of special-operations units. Both special but not the sameChinese Navy Special Forces, or "Jiaolong Commando," repel onto a ship during an exercise.
Persons: Benjamin Cooper, Sun Tzu Organizations: People's Liberation Army, US, ISIS, PLA, US Army Special Forces, . Air Force, Delta Force, 75th Ranger Regiment, Special Forces Groups, Air Commandos, National Mission Force, China, Twitter, Special Reconnaissance, Chinese Navy, Air Force, Rocket Force, Navy Special Forces, US Special Operations Command, American, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, Air, Squadrons, Foreign Military Studies, Nanjing Massacre Museum, REUTERS, Special Air Service, SAS, British SAS, Communist Locations: Syria, Mont Saint Michel, France, Daily China, Gulf, Aden, Yemen, China, Nanjing, Jiangsu province
The Navy has decided to scrap the USS Bonhomme Richard, the amphibious assault ship that caught fire over the summer in San Diego, officials announced Monday. Navy Secretary Kenneth Braithwaite said the decision was made after officials determined the damage was too extensive and the cost of repair too high to justify salvaging the vessel. Investigators believe the fire may have been intentionally set but the Navy has yet to formally declare it a case of arson. Following an extensive review, the Navy concluded that rebuilding the ship would cost more than $3 billion and take between five and seven years to complete. The Navy has already started preparations to tow the USS Bonhomme and begin harvesting parts for other ships.
Persons: Bonhomme Richard, Kenneth Braithwaite, ” Braithwaite, Eric Ver Hage, Braithwaite, Ver Hage Organizations: Navy, Monday, Naval Base San, Investigators, Navy Regional Maintenance Locations: San Diego, Naval Base San Diego, Japan
Islamists attack three French military bases in Mali
  + stars: | 2020-11-30 | by ( Tiemoko Diallo | ) sentiment -0.99   time to read: +1 min
FILE PHOTO: An armoured vehicle is parked outside the French military base at the Malian airport in Gao, March 9, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney/File PhotoBAMAKO (Reuters) - Al Qaeda-linked Islamist fighters rocketed French military bases in Kidal, Menaka and Gao in northern Mali within the space of a few hours on Monday morning, a rare sign of coordinated raids on international forces. The only damage was to a United Nations base in Kidal, which is next to the French base, Romiguier said. The mayor of Menaka, Nanout Kotia, told Reuters he had heard explosions coming from the direction of the military camp outside town, but could not give any more details. French forces killed Bah ag Moussa, a military leader of al Qaeda’s North Africa wing, on Nov. 10.
Persons: Joe Penney, rocketed, Thomas Romiguier, Romiguier, Al Thabat, al Qaeda, , Gao, Nanout Kotia, Bah ag Moussa, al, Bamoussa Diarra, Iyad, Jama’at Nusrat al Organizations: REUTERS, United Nations, Reuters Locations: Malian, Gao, BAMAKO, Al Qaeda, Kidal, Mali, al, Menaka, al Qaeda’s North Africa, Islam, Burkina Faso
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Trump administration is poised to add China’s top chipmaker SMIC and national offshore oil and gas producer CNOOC to a blacklist of alleged Chinese military companies, according to a document and sources, curbing their access to U.S. investors and escalating tensions with Beijing weeks before President-elect Joe Biden takes office. Slideshow ( 2 images )Reuters reported earlier this month that the Department of Defense (DOD) was planning to designate four more Chinese companies as owned or controlled by the Chinese military, bringing the number of Chinese companies affected to 35. A recent executive order issued by President Donald Trump would prevent U.S. investors from buying securities of the listed firms starting late next year. “The Company has no relationship with the Chinese military and does not manufacture for any military end-users or end-uses.”The DOD, the Chinese embassy in Washington and CNOOC did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The directive is unlikely to deal the firms a serious blow, experts said, due to its limited scope, uncertainty about the stance of the Biden administration and already-scant holdings by U.S. funds.
Persons: Trump, CNOOC, Joe Biden, Donald Trump, SMIC, , Donald Trump’s, Biden Organizations: WASHINGTON, Reuters, Department of Defense, Federal, China Construction Technology Co Ltd, China International Engineering Consulting Corp, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp, China National Offshore Oil Corp, U.S, DOD, U.S . Commerce Department, Communist Chinese Military, Pentagon, People’s Liberation Army, Giants, China Telecom, China Mobile, Congress Locations: Beijing, China, Washington, crosshairs, U.S, Hikvision, Hong Kong, American
A recent Chinese military training guideline tries to close gap between today's Chinese troops and the rapid move toward advanced weapons systems. Unlike Russian and American defense forces, China's military has not seen real combat since the 1980s, leading to a lack of warfare knowledge. A military insider said that more than 70% of the document was based on US military guidelines for joint operations. Military observers and an insider said a lack of real combat talent remained a serious barrier to meeting those challenges. But his experience could be dated to four decades ago," said a military insider, who requested anonymity, referring to Gen. Li Zuocheng, chief of the PLA Joint Staff Department.
Persons: Zhou Chenming, Xi Jinping, Li Zuocheng, Li, Miao Hua, Li Huohui, Zheng, GREG BAKER, Liang Guoliang, Xi, Liang, Zhou, Antony Wong Tong, Vladimir Putin, Wong Organizations: People's Liberation Army, PLA, Communist Party, Central Military Commission, CMC, Military, PLA Joint Staff Department, Getty, Hong, Liberation Army Air Force, Visual China, Getty Images, Soviet Union Locations: Beijing, China, Vietnam, Taiwan Strait, AFP, Hong Kong, South China, India, Zhuhai, Getty Images Macau, Russia, Chechnya
Georgia voters will decide control of the US Senate in two Senate runoff elections set to take place on January 5, 2021. Georgians have the option to vote by mail, early in-person, or on Election Day itself. On January 5, 2021 Georgia will determine which party controls the US Senate with two runoff elections. Here's how to vote in the runoff elections:When is the deadline to register to vote in Georgia? The last day to vote in the Georgia Senate runoffs, Election Day, is on Tuesday, January 5, 2021.
Persons: David Perdue, Jon Ossoff, Kelly Loeffler, Raphael Warnock, There's, Sen, Johnny Isakson, Republican Kelly Loeffler, Democrat Raphael Warnock, Kamala Harris, Joe Biden, Bill Clinton, John Bazemore, Georgia runoffs, Georgia Senate runoffs Organizations: Georgia Public, Democratic, US House, Republican, WNBA, Democrat, Ebenezer Baptist Church, Electoral, AP, US Postal Service, Military, Postal Service, Georgia Senate Locations: Georgia, Ebenezer, Atlanta, Gwinnett, Lawrenceville
From the get-go, President Donald Trump has miscast or exaggerated the military's role in his administration's crash program to develop COVID-19 vaccines. The military theme originated in the May 15 announcement of the creation of Operation Warp Speed. But it has been Trump, not Perna, who has miscast the military's role. "There will not be this vision that some people have that there will be Army trucks driving through the streets delivering vaccine," Perna said October 27. The prominence of military officials in Operation Warp Speed has drawn scrutiny on Capitol Hill, where some have questioned whether an outsize military leadership role would marginalize public health agencies.
Persons: Donald Trump, Trump, Gustave Perna, Kevin Lamarque, Perna, Democrat Joe Biden, McKesson, Evan Vucci, Paul Mango, Matthew Hepburn, Democratic Sens, Elizabeth Warren of, Mazie Organizations: Army, Manhattan Project, Pentagon, Health, Human Services Department, Pentagon's Defense, Research Projects Agency, Army Materiel Command, Trump, US Army, White House, REUTERS, Twitter, Democrat, National Guard, Disease Control, McKesson Corp, National Institutes of Health, Human Services, Capitol, Democratic, Armed Services Locations: WASHINGTON, Bethesda , Maryland, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Hawaii
Thai protesters challenge king's military command
  + stars: | 2020-11-29 | by ( Jiraporn Kuhakan | Patpicha Tanakasempipat | ) sentiment -0.97   time to read: +2 min
BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thai anti-government protesters challenged on Sunday King Maha Vajiralongkorn’s personal control over some army units to condemn the military’s role in politics. Hundreds of protesters gathered to march to the 11th Infantry Regiment, one of two units that were moved under the king’s command in 2019. “In a democratic system, the king is not responsible for directing command of the military.”Protesters accuse the monarchy of enabling decades of military domination. Parit is among several protest leaders who already face charges under lese majeste laws against insulting the monarchy after his speeches at previous rallies. The Royal Palace has made no comment since the protests began, but the king has said that despite their actions the protesters are loved “all the same”.
Persons: Maha, , ” Parit, ” Chiwarak, lese, Prayuth Chan, Prayuth Organizations: Sunday, 11th Infantry Regiment, , Locations: BANGKOK
BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thousands of anti-government Thai protesters marched to an army barracks on Sunday to challenge King Maha Vajiralongkorn’s personal control over some army units. Slideshow ( 5 images )It was the latest act of defiance against the king by protesters who have broken taboos by criticising the monarchy. The Thai constitution says the monarchy must be revered and laws ban insulting the institution. Protesters accuse the monarchy of enabling decades of military domination. Video shared on social media showed soldiers taking down a giant picture of the king and queen at the entrance to the barracks before the protest.
Persons: King Maha, , Arnon, “ We’ve, hmself, Prayuth Chan, lese Organizations: Thai, 11th Infantry Regiment, King’s Guard, Foreign Ministry Locations: BANGKOK, Arnon Nampa, Thailand
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed speaks during a media conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, October 29, 2018. However, TPLF leader Debretsion Gebremichael told Reuters in a text message on Saturday evening that TPLF forces would fight on, raising the prospect that the conflict could drag on. The flow of refugees and attacks by the TPLF on neighbouring Eritrea have also threatened to destabilize the wider Horn of Africa region. They add to the 117 warrants issued for senior military officers it says are connected to TPLF since the conflict broke out. EXPLOSIONS IN ERITREA’S CAPITALSix explosions were reported in the Eritrean capital, Asmara, on Saturday night, the U.S. State Department said, although it was not immediately clear if they were related to the Tigray conflict.
Persons: Abiy Ahmed, Michel Euler, Abiy, TPLF, , Debretsion Gebremichael, , Debretsion, ” Debretsion, Mengistu Haile Mariam, Mengistu Organizations: Ethiopian, REUTERS, Reuters, Fana TV, Abiy, U.S . State Department, State Department Locations: ADDIS ABABA, NAIROBI, Tigray, Paris, France, Mekelle, Sudan, Eritrea, Africa, Asmara
Then, the aircraft demonstrated its "ability to safely release" a mounted AGM-158 separation test vehicle, according to Air Force Global Strike Command spokesman Lt. Col. David Faggard. Members of the 412th Test Wing's 419th Flight Test Squadron, Global Power Combined Test Force, carried out the proof-of-concept over Edwards Air Force Base, California, on November 20. A B-1B Lancer during the demonstration with a JASSM over Edwards Air Force Base in California, November 20, 2020. In May, bombers from Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, also held their first-ever training mission over Sweden near the Arctic. Editor's note: This story has been updated to attribute additional treaty compliance details to Air Force Global Strike spokesman Lt. Col. Dave Faggard.
Persons: David Faggard, Faggard,, Tim Ray, Ethan Wagner, Ray, Kingston Reif, JASSM —, Reif, — Oriana Pawlyk, Dave Faggard Organizations: US Air Force, Air Force Materiel Command, Boeing Co, Air Force Global Strike Command, Squadron, Global, Force, Edwards Air Force Base, House Armed Services, Projection Forces, South China, Ellsworth Air Force Base, Air Force, Arms Control, Edward's, Ship, Navy missile, Engineers, Twitter, Air Force Global Locations: California, Pacific, South, South Dakota, Sweden, Syria
ADDIS ABABA/NAIROBI (Reuters) - Ethiopian federal forces have taken “full control” of the Tigray region’s capital Mekelle, the military’s chief of staff Birhanu Jula said in a statement posted on the military’s official Facebook page on Saturday evening. Authorities had said earlier that government forces were in the final stages of an offensive in the region and would take care to protect civilians in Mekelle, a city of 500,000 people. There was no immediate comment from the Tigrayan forces in the northern region who have been fighting government troops. Claims from all sides are difficult to verify since phone and internet links to the region have been down and access has been tightly controlled since fighting began on Nov. 4.
Persons: Birhanu Jula Organizations: Ethiopian, Authorities Locations: ADDIS ABABA, NAIROBI, Tigray, Mekelle
ADDIS ABABA/NAIROBI (Reuters) - Ethiopian forces will take control of the Tigray region’s capital Mekelle in coming days, the military said late on Friday, a day after the Prime Minister announced the “final phase” of an offensive in the region. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri/File PhotoFederal forces seized control of Wikro, a town 50 km (30 miles) north of Mekelle and “will control Mekelle in a few days”, Lieutenant-General Hassan Ibrahim said in a statement. Reuters was not immediately able to reach the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) for comment, or to verify the statement. The Ethiopian military has been fighting rebellious local forces in the northern region of Tigray, which borders Eritrea and Sudan. The Tigrayan region saw those trials as discrimination.
Persons: Hassan Ibrahim, Abiy Ahmed, Tigrayan, Abiy, , Boultie Tadesse, , Billene Organizations: Ethiopian, Amhara Special Force, Dansha Mechanized, Military, REUTERS, Tiksa, Federal, Reuters, U.S, Embassy, Defence Foreign Relations Locations: ADDIS ABABA, NAIROBI, Tigray, Mekelle, Danasha, Amhara, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Asmara, Sudan, Addis Ababa
ADDIS ABABA/NAIROBI (Reuters) - Ethiopian government forces began an offensive to capture the regional capital Mekelle in the rebellious northern Tigray region on Saturday, said a diplomat in direct contact with residents, and the leader of Tigrayan forces. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri/File PhotoDebretsion Gebremichael, leader of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), told Reuters in a text message Mekelle was under “heavy bombardment”. The Ethiopian military is using artillery in the assault, he said in a subsequent text message. MILITARY OFFENSIVEThe Ethiopian military has been fighting forces in the northern region of Tigray, which borders the nations of Eritrea and Sudan, since Nov. 4. The Tigrayan region saw those trials as discrimination.
Persons: Gebremichael, Mekelle, Billene, TPLF, Abiy, Tigrayan, Debretsion, , Boultie Tadesse, Organizations: Ethiopian, Amhara Special Force, Dansha Mechanized, Military, REUTERS, Tiksa, Reuters, Ethiopian National Defense Forces, U.S, Embassy, Defence Foreign Relations Locations: ADDIS ABABA, NAIROBI, Mekelle, Tigray, Danasha, Amhara, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, Addis Ababa, Asmara
ADDIS ABABA/NAIROBI (Reuters) - Ethiopian troops have taken “full control” of the Tigray region’s capital Mekelle, the government said on Saturday evening, a major development in a three-week-old war that is sending shockwaves through the Horn of Africa. He said police were searching for the leaders of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), who have been fighting federal forces in the northern region since Nov. 4. The army chief of staff, Birhanu Jula, also announced that government forces had taken control of Mekelle, in a statement on the military’s official Facebook page. State television said that federal forces were in full control of the city by 7 p.m. Abiy accuses Tigrayan leaders of starting the war by attacking federal troops at a base in Tigray.
Persons: Abiy Ahmed, , Abiy, Birhanu Jula, Tigrayan Organizations: Ethiopian, , Federal, Authorities, Northern Command Locations: ADDIS ABABA, NAIROBI, Tigray, Mekelle, Horn of Africa, Sudan, Eritrea
ADDIS ABABA/NAIROBI (Reuters) - Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said on Saturday that military operations in the northern region of Tigray have been completed, shortly after he announced federal troops had seized full control of the regional capital Mekelle. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri/File Photo“I am pleased to share that we have completed and ceased the military operations in the Tigray region,” he said in a tweet. Federal troops had taken control of “the airport, public institutions, the regional administration office and other critical facilities,” Abiy said. State television said federal forces were in full control of the city by 7 p.m. Abiy accuses Tigrayan leaders of starting the war by attacking federal troops at a base in Tigray.
Persons: Abiy Ahmed, Abiy, , ” Abiy, Tigrayan, Billene Seyoum, Debretsion Gebremichael, Mekelle, Billene, TPLF, ” Debretsion, Filippo Grandi, Dominic Raab Organizations: Ethiopian, Mekelle, Amhara Special Force, Dansha Mechanized, Military, REUTERS, Tiksa, Federal, Authorities, Northern Command, Reuters, Ethiopian National Defense Forces, Eritrean, United Nations, U.S, Embassy Locations: ADDIS ABABA, NAIROBI, Tigray, Danasha, Amhara, Ethiopia, Mekelle, Horn of Africa, Sudan, Eritrea, Addis Ababa, Asmara, British, Tigrayans
Ethiopia says its military now controls the Tigray capital
  + stars: | 2020-11-28 | by ( ) + 0.00   time to read: +5 min
Ethiopians gather to show their support to federal government forces fighting against the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) at Abebe Bikila Stadium in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on November 17, 2020. Ethiopia's military has gained full control of the capital of the defiant Tigray region, the army announced Saturday after Tigray TV reported that the city of a half-million people was being "heavily bombarded" in the final push to arrest the region's leaders. "The United States is gravely concerned about the worsening situation in the Tigray region," the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Kelly Craft, tweeted after the reported bombardment began. As Ethiopian forces moved in, Maj. Gen. Hassan Ibrahim vowed to capture the city "on all fronts." The Tigray region has been almost entirely cut off from the outside world since Nov. 4, when Abiy announced a military offensive in response to a TPLF attack on a military base.
Persons: Birhanu Jula, Abiy Ahmed, Humanitarians, TPLF, Kelly Craft, Pope Francis, Abiy, Hassan Ibrahim, Antonio Guterres, Filippo Grandi, Grandi, Abiy's Organizations: Tigray TV, United Nations, Ethiopian, African, Ethiopian News Agency, International Committee, Cross, Umm, Associated Press, AP Locations: Tigray, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Mekele, United States, U.S, Maj, of Africa, Sudan, Umm Rakouba
ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - The Ethiopian military has seized control of the town of Wikro, 50 km (30 miles) north of the Tigray region’s capital Mekele, state-affiliated Fana broaDcaster reported on Friday, after the prime minister announced the military was beginning the “final phase” of its offensive. “The Ethiopian National Defense took control of strategic locations to capture Mekele city,” Fana reported. Reuters was not immediately able to reach the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) for comment, or to verify the report. Claims by all sides have been impossible to verify because phone and internet connections to the region are down and access to the area is tightly controlled.
Persons: ” Fana Organizations: ADDIS ABABA, Reuters, Ethiopian, Ethiopian National Defense Locations: ADDIS, Wikro, Tigray, Mekele, Fana,
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