News Briefs – May 8, 2019

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T-6 Texan II crashes at Sheppard AFB

A T-6 Texan II from Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, crashed just before 2 p.m., May 1, southwest of Hastings, Okla.
Both crew members ejected safely and have returned to base. The aircraft was performing a pilot instructor training mission at the time of the accident.
An investigation is underway. Officials have asked that anyone who may find debris in the area that may be related to the accident to contact Sheppard AFB Command Post at 940-676-2616. For safety reasons, please do not touch or move the material.
 

U.S. increases military pressure on Iran with military moves

The White House says the U.S. is deploying additional military resources to send a message to Iran.
White House national security adviser John Bolton said May 5 that the U.S. is deploying the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force to the U.S. Central Command region. That area includes the Middle East.
Bolton says the move is in response to what he calls “a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings.” He isn’t providing details, but says the U.S. wants to send a message that “unrelenting force” will meet any attack on U.S. interests or those of its allies.
He says the U.S. isn’t looking to go to war with Iran but that it’s fully prepared to respond to any attack. AP
 

Venezuelan FM: Russian military presence could be expanded

Venezuela’s foreign minister says the country may expand the presence of Russian military specialists there, as Moscow and Washington accuse each other of interfering in the country’s crisis.
Russia has had deep military cooperation with Venezuela over the years, including supplying weapons and aircraft. It sent military advisers to the troubled South American nation this year as tensions grew over opposition leader Juan Guaido’s attempts to oust President Nicolas Maduro.
The United States recognizes Guaido as interim president.
Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza spoke in Moscow on May 6, a day after meeting Russia’s top diplomat Sergey Lavrov, who is to meet U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo later in the day.
Arreaza told reporters “at present, there is a commission of (Russian) specialists in Venezuela, it could be expanded.” AP
 

Erdogan: Turkey not seeking alternatives to ties with West

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Turkey’s decision to purchase Russian-made S-400 missile defense systems doesn’t mean that it is seeking “alternatives” in its relations with the West.
Erdogan spoke May 6 during a NATO meeting in Ankara attended by alliance Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.
The comments came amid a deepening rift with the United States, which says the Russian missiles pose a threat to the U.S. F-35 fighter jet program of which Turkey is also a partner.
Erdogan said Turkey developing ties with “various countries and regions are not an alternative to each other,” adding his objection to “such controversies being fired up over the S-400s.”
Stoltenberg told state-run Anadolu Agency before his arrival that it was important that NATO allies purchase equipment that is compatible with each other. AP