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NEWS IN BRIEF

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EUROPE

20 May 13. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. Reaper is the UK’s only armed Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS). As at 11 May 13, 335 Hellfire precision guided missiles and 51 GBU-12 laser guided bombs had been released from UK Reapers in Afghanistan. (Written Answer (WA), 20 May 13.)
On current plans, the Afghan National Army Officer Academy mentor team will have eight ‘female only’ positions filled by MoD personnel. (WA, 20 May 13.)
“We are currently reviewing the provisions provided to support locally employed civilians, including interpreters, as we draw down our combat mission in Afghanistan.” (WA, 20 May 13.)
The Government does not record total figures for insurgent or civilian casualties. (WA, 21 May 13.)
13 MoD civilians have been awarded the Civilian Service Medal (Afghanistan) for their work in support of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). (MoD, 21 May 13.)
As UK Operations in Afghanistan draw down, Operational Commanders are identifying the equipment that is no longer required. (WA, 22 May 13.)
UK and ISAF Forces will continue to operate in a combat role, albeit a reducing one, until the end of 2014. (WA, 22 May 13.)
Comment: A Drummer (i.e. Private) from 2nd Bn The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers was killed outside his barracks
in Woolwich on 22 May 13. Two alleged murderers (both said to be known to MI5) are under arrest. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 13/21, 27 May 13)

22 May 13. Mali: Defence Secretary’s Visit. The MoD recorded (22 May 13) the Defence Secretary’s visit to Senegal and Mali; to witness the work of personnel from all three Services. A key component of the UK contribution has been the Sentinel R1 aircraft which returned to RAF Waddington after nearly four months and over 60 missions. The Defence Secretary also visited the Royal Marines and soldiers from 1st Bn Royal Irish Regiment based at Koulikoro.
Comment: The EU Training Mission in Mali is under command of a French Brigadier General and is expected to continue for around 15 months. Over 200 instructors are being deployed as part of 500 staff from 22 EU members States. The draw-down of some 4,000 French combat personnel in Mali has begun, ahead of the deployment of 12,600 UN peacekeepers (the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSM)) on 1 Jul 13. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 13/21, 27 May 13)

22 May 13. Syria: Sanctions Discussed. The Armed Forces’ Minister said (21 May 13) that the UK has not provided any specific internal security training, public order training or training in the use of heavy military equipment to Syria since President Bashar al-Assad came to office in July 2000. The small number of Syrian personnel who attended initial Officer training and Staff Courses between 2000 and 2008 will have been exposed to UK doctrine on these topics. The Defence Equipment Minister said (21 May 13) that the UK wanted “Europe to review all options” and that the sanctions regime should be reviewed again; given that the UK had “taken no decision at present to send arms to Syria”.
Comment: The above Written Answers followed a comprehensive Statement on Syria by the Foreign Secretary (Hansard, 20 May 13, Column 903) and preceded discussion in the House of Lords (Hansard, 22 May 13, Column 837). The House of Commons also debated Syrian sanctions (Hansard, 21 May 13, Column 1175). The Foreign Secretary attended (22 May 13) a meeting of the Friends of Syria in Amman. Hosted by the Jordanian Foreign Minister, the meeting was also attended by the French and Turkish Foreign Ministers and the US Secretary of State. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 13/21, 27 May 13)

22 May 13. Croatia: Presidential V

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