Protection & Nationwide Safety — Russia claims hit on HIMARS, US pushes again

As Russia continues it brutal barrage of airstrikes on Ukraine, the Kremlin boasted its navy had destroyed a U.S.-supplied heavy artillery system known as HIMARS. The White Home, nevertheless, stated that hasn’t been confirmed. 

We’ll share the Biden administration’s response plus particulars on the Japanese prime minister’s upcoming journey the US and what it means for the 2 international locations’ protection ties. Additionally: Extra on a rocket assault on a U.S. base in Syria. 

That is Protection & Nationwide Safety, your information to the newest developments on the Pentagon, on Capitol Hill and past. For The Hill, I’m Ellen Mitchell. A pal ahead this text to you?

Feds: No proof Russia destroyed US artillery system

The White Home on Wednesday stated there was no affirmation of experiences from Moscow that the Russian navy had destroyed a U.S.-supplied heavy artillery system known as HIMARS in Ukraine. 

The Russian Protection Ministry on Tuesday stated in a progress report that missile and air strikes launched within the east of Ukraine destroyed “two launching ramps for U.S.-manufactured HIMARS multiple-launch rocket methods (MLRS).” 

Not so quick: Nationwide safety spokesperson John Kirby, in a name with reporters, stated Wednesday, “I’ve seen Russian claims that they hit a HIMAR system, and in response to this, now we have no info to substantiate that report.”  

Kirby added that the Russians have launched related experiences earlier than, suggesting it’s a part of President Vladimir Putin’s disinformation marketing campaign that paints Russia’s greater than 10-month assault on Ukraine as a defensive navy operation. 

Earlier: The Kremlin’s claims adopted a devastating assault on a Russian navy base in territory it occupies in japanese Ukraine, the place Russian officers stated a minimum of 63 of its troopers have been killed after coming underneath fireplace from what it stated have been U.S.-provided HIMARS. 

Pentagon response: Reached for remark, a Pentagon spokesperson stated they “are conscious of the experiences however are unable to substantiate the accuracy right now.” 

“Now we have deferred to Ukraine to talk to their very own operations as they defend themselves from Russian aggression,” the Protection Division spokesperson stated. 

A resupply: Kirby stated that the Biden administration may present Ukraine with extra HIMARS, which stands for Excessive Mobility Artillery Rocket System. 

  • Congress accredited a $45 billion assist package deal for Ukraine final month, coinciding with a historic go to by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to talk on the Capitol and meet with President Biden, who additional introduced an extra
    $2 billion in help, together with the coveted Patriot missile protection battery.  
  • “The US is dedicated to making sure that the courageous Ukrainian folks can proceed to defend their nation in opposition to Russian aggression so long as it takes,” Biden stated on the time.   

Learn the remaining right here 

Japan PM eyes deeper protection alliance with US

President Biden will host Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on the White Home subsequent week as Japan boosts its protection spending amid rising safety dangers in East Asia relating to North Korea and China. 

The president will welcome Kishida on Friday, Jan. 13, to debate a “vary of regional and international points” and to “deepen ties” between the 2 nations, in keeping with a Tuesday assertion from White Home press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. 

Assembly particulars: Through the assembly, they are going to talk about North Korea’s nuclear arms buildup and frequent missile checks, Russia’s conflict in Ukraine and Chinese language aggression over the self-governing island of Taiwan. 

“The leaders will have fun the unprecedented energy of the U.S.-Japan Alliance and can set the course for his or her partnership within the 12 months forward,” Jean-Pierre stated. 

Why it issues: The assembly comes simply weeks after Japan introduced a historic change from a self-defense solely navy coverage, adopting a nationwide safety technique to permit for counter-attacks in a shift to extra offensive footing. 

Kishida’s Cupboard final month additionally accredited a 2023 protection price range boosting safety spending by 20 p.c to the equal of $55 billion. 

The brand new price range is a part of a five-year plan that can push annual spending to
$73 billion and make Japan a nation with the third-largest protection price range after the U.S. and China. 

Learn that story right here 

Rockets goal US base in east Syria

Two rockets focused a U.S. base in japanese Syria on Wednesday however didn’t trigger any casualties, the U.S. navy introduced.  

The morning assault on Mission Help Web site Conoco, utilized by American troops and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), “resulted in no accidents or injury to the bottom or coalition property,” in keeping with a press release from U.S. Central Command. 

Timing: It isn’t but identified what group was behind the assaults and nobody has but claimed accountability, although the strikes come shortly after the third anniversary of a U.S. drone assault that killed Iran’s elite Quds drive chief Gen. Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad. 

Condemnation: “Assaults of this type place Coalition Forces and the civilian populace in danger and undermine the hard-earned stability and safety of Syria and the area,” CENTCOM spokesman Col. Joe Buccino stated within the assertion.  

Earlier: Mission Help Web site Conoco, a U.S. navy outpost subsequent to a pure fuel discipline, was final attacked in August when a number of rockets landed inside its perimeter, minorly injuring one service member.  

Roughly 900 U.S. troops are primarily based in Syria, and assaults on the bases that home them will not be unusual as Iran-backed militia and Islamic State fighters stay within the space.   

Learn that story right here 


  • The Middle for Strategic and Worldwide Research will maintain a digital dialogue on “Unanswered Questions on North Korean Management, at 9 a.m. 
  • The International Coverage Analysis Institute will host a chat on “The place is Somalia headed,” at 10 a.m. 



That’s it for immediately! Try The Hill’s Protection and Nationwide Safety pages for the newest protection. See you tomorrow!