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12 Jun 17. Political Appointments: Ministry of Defence. Ministerial appointments within the Ministry of Defence (MoD), following the General Election (8 Jun 17) were announced (12-14 Jun 17):-
. Secretary of State for Defence (Defence Secretary): The Rt Hon Sir Michael Fallon KCB MP.
. Minister of State (Unpaid): The Rt Hon Earl Howe PC.
. Minister of State: J M Lancaster Esq TD MP.
. Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and Minister for Defence Procurement: Mrs H M M Baldwin MP.
. Parliamentary Under Secretary of State: The Rt Hon T M Ellwood MP.
Comment: Ministerial responsibilities for Messrs Lancaster and Ellwood are to be “confirmed in due course”. The Rt Hon M A Penning MP is amongst those Members who have left Government. (Mr Penning was previously the Armed Forces’ Minister.) (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 17/23, 19 June 17)
12 Jun 17. Iraq and Syria: OP SHADER. On 7 Jun 17 a Reaper killed two terrorists planting booby-traps in Raqqa while a Tornado and a Typhoon
attacked two Daesh-held buildings South-West of the city. On 9 Jun 17 Tornados struck a Daesh position in Eastern Raqqa while on 10 Jun 17 a Reaper attacked a group of terrorists engaged in a fire fight with Syrian Democratic Forces and Typhoons engaged two tunnel entrances. On 11 Jun 17 Tornados attacked two targets in and around Mosul while other aircraft hit seven Daesh positions in Raqqa. (MoD, 12 Jun 17.)
Comment: ‘IHS Markit’ reports (13 Jun 17) that at least 71 allegations of the Islamic State using chemical weapons have been recorded since July 2014; 41 in Iraq and 30 in Syria. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 17/23, 19 June 17)
12 Jun 17. Qatar: Regional Tensions. The Foreign Secretary met a number of his Gulf counterparts during the past week, as Foreign Ministers engaged with allies on the tensions in the region. The Foreign Secretary met with the Qatari Foreign Minister, followed by talks with the Foreign Ministers of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE. (FCO, 12 Jun 17.)
The Foreign Secretary reiterated that Qatar must engage with its neighbours in the region “on their concerns about extremism and build on the progress already made to address the scourge of radicalism and terrorism in the region, in partnership with its Gulf allies.” (FCO, 16 Jun 17.)
Comment: Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain are leading a blockade of Qatar which they accuse of supporting Islamist terrorism, a charge denied in Doha. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 17/23, 19 June 17)
14 Jun 17. Libya: Arms Smuggling. The Foreign Secretary welcomed (14 Jun 17) “the UN Security Council’s decision to unanimously adopt the UK drafted Resolution targeting arms smuggling in the high seas of the coast of Libya….The UK is committed to bringing this conflict to a close and give the Libyan people that security and political stability they deserve.”
Comment: The UN Security Council adopted Resolution 2357 (2017) on 12 Jun 17. The Resolution extended “the arms embargo on the high seas off the coast of Libya” for a further 12 months. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 17/23, 19 June 17)
16 Jun 17. Aircraft carrier boss Ian Booth ‘to take Trident post.’ A leading figure behind Britain’s two new aircraft carriers could take charge of building the replacement fleet of Trident submarines, The Times has learnt. An announcement is expected soon, ending months of uncertainty about who will lead the biggest and most prestigious defence procurement project, and Ian Booth, managing director of the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, was said by two sources to be the preferred candidate for the job. The Ministry of Defence has been searching since last year for someone to take up the post of chief executive of its new submarine delivery agency but headhunters have run into diffic