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NEWS IN BRIEF

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EUROPE

14 Mar 13. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. From 1 Jan 06 to 28 Feb 13, 2,096 personnel were Wounded in Action and 6,568 were aeromedically
evacuated. (DASA, 14 Mar 13.) For February 2013 the figures were nine and 68. Of the 440 Service fatalities in Afghanistan recorded up to 8 Mar 13, 24 were as a result of insider attacks.
(Written Answer (WA), 11 Mar 13.)
Sentinel of V (Army Co-operation) Squadron collected over 20 hours of ground moving target indicator data using the aircraft’s airborne stand-off radar. Tornados from IX (Bomber) Squadron carried out further
sorties in support of Coalition Forces in the South and East. (RAF Ops Update, 12 Mar 13 – covering the period 23 Feb to 1 Mar 13.)
Task Force Helmand has six Police advisory teams involved in the development of the Afghan National Police
and five Brigade advisory teams working with the Afghan National Army. There is also one Brigade advisory team in Camp Shorabak (outside the Task Force’s area of Operations). A wide range of other units and individuals provide advice and support to Afghan Forces. (WA, 12 Mar 13.)
Reaper is the UK’s only armed Remotely Piloted Aircraft System. From 23 Oct 12 to 28 Feb 13, 24 Hellfire precision guided missiles were fired from UK Reaper in support of UK and Coalition Forces. (WA, 12 Mar 13.)
3,205 claims have been submitted to the MoD by Afghan civilians in the last three years. (WA, 12 Mar 13.)
Arrangements have been made for the rehabilitation of amputee veterans and for their long-term care. (WA, 13 Mar 13.)
An article in The Independent, claiming that the MoD has admitted that the Afghan campaign is unwinnable, was dismissed by the MoD as “entirely untrue”. (MoD, 15 Mar 13.)
Comment: The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) has published (11 Feb 13) a Report to Congress on the situation in Afghanistan. The title of the Report is ‘Afghanistan – Key Oversight Issues’, published as GAO-13-218SP of February 2013. The Report portrays a grim situation as US Forces withdraw from Afghanistan. Further useful background material can be found in the House of Lords ‘Hansard’ for 14 Mar 13, starting in Column 354 under the title ‘Afghanistan’. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 13/12, 08 Mar 13)

12 Mar 13. Mali: OP NEWCOMBE. The Armed Forces’ Minister announced (12 Mar 13) that a new call-out order has been made under the Reserve Forces Act 1996 to enable Reservists to be called out in support of UN Security Council Resolution 2085, the EU training mission and specific French requests for support in Mali. The call-out order is effective for one year, until 10 Mar 14.
Comment: The call-out order is a legal requirement, in order to protect the positions of any Reservists who may be called-out for OP NEWCOMBE. As at 12 Mar 13, three Reservists were being mobilised to deploy to Mali and a further three were being mobilised for service in the UK. The MoD anticipates that only “a small number of Reservists with very specialised skills” will be affected. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 13/12, 08 Mar 13)

15 Mar 13. Syria: Arms Embargo to Continue? During his Press conference in Brussels (15 Mar 13) the Prime Minister said: “….Francois Holland and I have agreed it is also right to look at further changes in terms of the arms embargo, because at the moment it is basically still treating the Syrian regime in a pretty similar way to the Syrian opposition.”.
The President of the European Council said (15 Mar 13) that EU leaders have asked their Foreign Ministers to assess the arms embargo on Syria during their meeting in Dublin on 22/23 Mar 13.
Comment: France and the UK have urged their EU colleagues to lift an embargo on supplying weapons to t

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