01 Dec 17. Argentina no longer looking for survivors from missing sub. Argentina’s Navy said Thursday it is no longer looking for survivors among the 44 sailors aboard a submarine missing for 15 days, though a multinational operation will continue searching for the vessel.
Hopes of finding survivors had already dimmed because experts said the crew had only enough oxygen to last 7 to 10 days if the sub remained intact under the sea. The Navy also had said an explosion was detected near the time and place where the ARA San Juan made its last contact with shore Nov. 15.
The San Juan, a German-built diesel-electric TR-1700 class submarine, was commissioned in the 1980s and was most recently refitted in 2014.
Navy spokesman Enrique Balbi said the rescue mission had “extended for more than twice what is estimated for a rescue.”
“We’ve had 28 ships, nine aircraft, 4,000 people involved, 18 countries supporting,” he told reporters. “Despite the magnitude of these efforts, we’ve been unable to find the submarine.” (Source: Defense News)
01 Dec 17. Saudi Arabia reportedly shoots down another Houthi ballistic missile. Another ballistic missile launch was cited coming from Yemen toward Saudi Arabia, according to Col. Turki-Al-Malki, the official spokesperson for the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen.
In a statement from the Saudi government, Al-Malik said a missile launched Thursday was intercepted and destroyed without causalities while en route to the city of Khamis Mushait. He believes this latest launch is further evidence of a “consistent stream of weapons smuggled into Yemen” and a violation of U.N. Security Resolution No. 2216, which calls for an end to violence in Yemen and imposes sanctions.
The Associated Press reported that Saudi Arabia has on multiple occasions intercepted missiles fired by Houthi rebels, who are trying to take over Yemen. The Saudis are leading a predominately Gulf-Arab coalition to restore Yemen’s ousted government.
In February 2017, the Houthis claimed to have successfully launched a ballistic missile for the first time at the Saudi capital of Riyadh. Last month, Saudi Arabia stated a ballistic missile headed toward one of its major international airports was shot down, though as with the recent interception, no damage or casualties were reported.
While Iran has indicated political support for the Houthis, the country has denied materially supporting them.
The conflict between Saudi Arabia and the Houthis has displaced 3 million civilians and killed more than 10,000 others, with AP reporting that the conflict is pushing the Arab world’s poorest county into even more extreme poverty. (Source: Defense News)
01 Dec 17. US official: Niger OKs armed drones for takeoff from its capital. A U.S. official says the Pentagon has received permission from the government of Niger to begin flying armed drones from the capital, Niamey.
The arrangement, which has not been publicly announced, reflects an expanding U.S. military campaign against extremists in Africa and is based on a recently signed U.S.-Nigerien memorandum of understanding. It was first reported by The New York Times.
The U.S. official says armed drone flights could begin as early as next week or at least by the end of December. The arrangement limits the drones to defensive missions. The official was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and so spoke on condition of anonymity.
A Pentagon spokeswoman, Army Maj. Audricia M. Harris, said she could not comment on drone arrangements.
“The government of Niger and the U.S. stand firm in working together to prevent terrorist organizations from using the region as a safe haven,” she said. “For operational security reasons, I will not comment on specific military authorities or permissions.”
The U.S. military has been targeting a number of extremist groups in Africa, including Boko Haram, al-Shabab, the Islamic State group and an ISIS splinter group known as Islamic State of the Sah