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tv   News  Al Jazeera  November 24, 2015 4:00am-4:31am EST

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been confirmed to be a russian fighter plane. what are you hearing there from russia? >> reporter: yeah. about 15 minutes ago the russian defense ministry confirmed that it was one of theirs. there are new lines coming from the defense ministry as we speak, but i can give you what the latest is. the russian account of this does differ in a couple of notable ways in what the turkish are saying. the russians are insisting that this plane had not violated turkish airspace. they says there are objective means with which it can verify this. it says the fate of the pilots is being investigated. they both ejected, but what has happened to them after that is unsure. they're also saying the plane was flying at before 6,000
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metres inside syria, not into turkey. also at the moment the russians are working on the assumption that this plane was sthot from the ground, not that it was brought down-- shot from the ground, not that it was brought down by two turkish air 16s have the russians violated turkish airspace before? would turkey consider this to be a second chance? >> reporter: you're right. there is context to this. back about a month ago towards the early part of october, 6 october i think it was, there was a spat between turkey and russia over what turkey said were repeated violations of turkish airspace by russian aeroplanes operating in the area. this caused a lot of anger on the turkish side. there were be that as it may was doors summonsed-- ambassadors
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summonsed. they said, yes, we made a mistake, it did happen and we won't do that again. following that there were rounds of discussions between the turkish military and the russian military to try and prevent exactly this sort of thing happen because the turkish were very clear about it. they said if it does happen again, we might take the kind of means that we're looking at right now the russians we know have got increasingly involved in syria just in the past few months. do you think this might change their outlook on what they - the sense that they're invololved i syria. >> reporter: i think nobody goes into a situation as complex and as comebustible as the syrian context without the expectation that at some point you might lose some of your assets. that's just a reality of
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conflict. you start bombing places overseas, there's a possibility that your planes are going to be shot out of the sky. the difficulty here is that it looks like the russian plane was downed by what is anal l an all them. they have reasonably friendly relations. at least they were until a month ago when the turkish started saying the russians were invading their space. this is going to p diplomatic ramifications, of course, and we don't know what they're going to be nor the russian reaction thanks for that. live in moscow. joining us now from brussels, nato head quarters. will nato consider it a bit too
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late? >> reporter: i think it's very important to remember that, of course, as turkey is an nato member, one of the founding principles of the 28 nation alliance is that any kind of assault or incursion into one's airspace should be seen very much as an assault on all 28 nation states. i think nato are likely to respond to this very quickly and very strongly. we have just put in some calls to our contacts at nato who say they're currently looking at all different information that's coming into them. they need to put together a full investigation before they come out with any kind of statement, which we imagine will happen quite soon. nato headquarters here in brussels has been on maximum security because of the ongoing heightened state of security here in brussels, and we know some staff are working from
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home, so there could well be some delays before we hear back from nato. but in the past, referring to some of the string of incidents that have seen russia accused of violating turkish airspace in the past, nato has been quick to respond very strongly indeed. only back in october russia was accused of violating turkish airspace on two separate occasions. the head of nato refuted the russian comments that this was, indeed, an accident. he said it didn't look like an accident at all. there was another incident shortly after that when apparently a russian meg fighter locked onto turkish f16s that were patrolling the border. there is a context to all of this, a history of apparent incursions by russian jets into turkish airspace. that is really-- has really
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worried nato alliance members and it has meant that many nato alliance members have had to reconsider their security policies when it comes to ongoing relations with russia and what is a very confused battle scene with many different players involved in that area absolutely. thanks for that. now to the a retired air force general. what do you think of turkey sthooting down this-- shooting down this plane. do you think it's justified?
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they are russian pilot or syrian pilot, if they can perceive their - i met they called them by radio because there are two different sets of radios. so it's very difficult to communicate. i don't know on what means they warned these pilots to avoid the border, but at any rate i think they were flying around 6,000 feet, from the video i'm seeing, and they ejected already. we didn't see any helicopter come through for their rescue. they will be captured by the rebels nearby we are hearing reports, unsubstantiated reports, that the syrians have captured. it's interesting if we go back to if turkey was justified in its action.
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they say it warned the plane ten times in five minutes that it had violated the airspace. do you think that's possible? >> reporter: yes. they called them the guard frequency by radio, but i think that they identify that visually, they could recognise it a syrian aeroplane or the issue of 34 the russian plane. so they can differentiate what this is. is it syrian or russian. i think they did, from the fire i can see. probably they were close to the border and they just - they have heat seeking or radar to shoot them down, but from the picture i'm seeing, it's syrian aeroplane you think it's a syrian aeroplane, but it does seem that the tar kirk and the russians
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have-- turkish-- -- it is a syrian aeroplane. it's very close to syrian plane. that's why i think when they shot it down possibly because they don't want an escalation with the russian of course absolutely. let's assume it is a russian plane, because we do have the russians and the turks saying that. what ramifications would you expect from moscow?
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condemn the accident. that's what they will do, but there will be no escalation, i think the airspace there is getting very crowded, isn't it, especially in this region, this border region. can we expect to see more incidents like this. -- it is highly likely. it's very crowded to fly over there. different frequencies and nobody controlling nobody we will leave it there for a moment. going to dubai to a security analy analyst. i appreciate that it's very early days since the shooting down of this plane, but we just heard our last guest suggesting that it's a syrian plane. what's your take on it?
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turks know what plane they shot down. each plane has a signal on it that's called the iff. this is to identify its identity and to enable other planes to recognise it, who it belongs to. so each country has a certain signal that will identify it. the turks definitely would have picked up the signal. the f16 that shot it down would have acquired its identity befo before. so definitely i don't think the turks are mistaken about the identity of the plane. now, if the russians and the syrians want to play it this way and the russians are going to be postponing it and saying it's a syrian plane just to avoid any
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escalation, it's a possibility here, but i doubt that the turks have made a mistake about identity of the aircraft they shot down let's look at the russians, if it is a russian plane or, indeed, a syrian plane, why would they be making mistakes and violating turkish airspace?
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aeroplane. when they are doing bombing and they're being shot at by other aircrafts guns, they need to have manoeuvres, left and right, and they cannot help but breach the airspace. however there's a difference between a minor breach of a few metres inside and going deep, and the turks have been complaining that the russians are having violations where its deliberate, they were not accidental and have been reoccurring. you have to remember that-- recurring. you will see in the last few days, the russians targeted villages closer to the borders.
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that was seen by many people as a strong message for turkey. so i think all these provocations have prompted to stand a strong message today to russia that it will no longer tolerate these violations and they have to come to an end. it is serious about using force to stop these violations it's interesting that you talk about provocations because the turks are saying they warned the plane that it was violating its airspace and it would take action, they warned this plane ten times in five minutes. does that sound believable to you?
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down. i think this comes from a show of arrogance of the russians over the past few months, they have invaded what they do and they have a principle that they can do whatever they want and the whole world is trying to appease them and avoid provoking them. i think turkey sends today a very strong message and turkey has been discussing these russian violations with nato for some time. so it has brought nato to this - been brought to their attention for some time, so today i think turkey will have nato behind it and justify this action
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thanks for taking the time to join us there from dubai. very interesting to get your perspectives on how and why exactly this plane was brought down. let's cross back to our correspondent in moscow. i don't know if you were able to listen to our analysist. he says it was a russian provocation. what sense are you getting from moscow about that? >> reporter: the rules of engagement that russia is operating in syria are known because they don't publish that sort of information really-- are unknown. it is often that they fly with their transponders turned off.
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that might explain the turkish claim that this plane was warned several times and did nothing and that was why they shot it down, but, of course, the russians are not saying that their plane violated their airspace but they stayed on their side of the border. the implication of that would be that if it was shot down, it was shot down by turkey into the syrian airspace and that would be a very different matter for the russians to consider it's not, of course, the first time that we've seen a russian plane, if indeed it is confirmed to be a russian plane, it's not the first time it has violated turkey airspace. >> reporter: no. you're right. there's some context to this. in october there was, in early october, a series of instances that the turkish got very upset about. they said that russian planes had been violating turkish
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airspace on numerous occasions. they said, essentially, well, i can read some of the quotes that came out at the time about this. erdogan, the turkish president, said an attack on turkey means an attack on nato. he took this serious seriously. nato got involved and it was said that they would not speculate on the motives behind the violations, but it didn't look like an accident. we've senile several of them. nato said it was extremely danger ashen and unacceptable. the russians admitted that they had done this at the time. they said it was pay mistake that only lasted-- it was a mistake that only lasted for few second at most and was down to bad weather and it wouldn't happen again. so there is a background to what we're seeing right now and that is that the russians have on previous moments, previous times, they have admitted
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violating turkish airspace. on this particular instance they're insisting they didn't thank you for that. let's bring our viewers a quick reminder about what we know about this incident so far. we've got turkey saying that it has shot down a russian military jet close to the border with syria. these are pictures of that jet coming down in the border region. turkey is saying this because the plane violated its airspace. turkish military saying that it warned the pilot of plane before it shot the jet down. russia has confirmed that it was an su24 plane. crossing to our correspondent in turkey. that that's-- he is on the border. getting a few more details of the incident and what happened within the last hour, what are you hearing there?
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screw the turkish officials said that the moment the russian fighter jet violated the turkish airspace, they have been in touch with the plane, given the pilot ten warnings in five minutes and that when the warning was ignored, their fighter jets shot down that plane. the witnesses on the ground say that they saw the auto pilots ejected from the plane. we know that some turkmen fighters operating in that area have been deployed in the mountainous area to search for the two russian pilots. this is an area where there has been some intense fighting in latakia. there has been intense fighting between the syrian army and the rebels over the last few days. the army army has been trying to see some mountainous areas
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because they know in order to capture those areas it would give them more leverage into pounding different parts. over the last few days when the syrians backed by the russians pounded those areas, the turkish government was very concerned, summoning the russian ambassador saying that they are very worried about what's happening and that if the air strikes continue, serious problems will follow it appears that they have carried out that warning by shooting down this plane. what implications do you think we're going to see, not only from russia but also from nato which wasn't consulted about this. >> reporter: well, there will definitely be ramifications. it is going to strain ties between turkey and russia, and also nato will have to call for a meeting to discuss this because it is something that has to be contained otherwise we
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might see further strained ties between the turks and russians. as we speak there has been a military offensive launched by the syrian rebels in that particular area in latakia, but also in the southern parts of aleppo. different factions united. they said that they have recaptured some of the areas they lost over the last 48 hours. in the mountains of latakia and in the southern parts. what we're seeing now, so you have a russian plane shot down by the turkish air force, you have syrian rebels on the offensive against the syrian army in aleppo and also in latakia. these are things that will suggest seeing more escalation on the ground. this comes at a time when the international community was hoping to build or stitch together an international united front against i.s.i.l. which is
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controlling some of the areas not far from where i stand on inside syria on the border with turkey when you talk about the united front, it's simply going to mean more planes in the sky, more crowded airspace and with the battle so close to turkey's border on turkey's border, one can only expect to see more of these kinds of incidents. >> reporter: this incident today highlights the fact that there's going to be serious discussion between the key players, the turks, rations, nato, americans and the french have stepped up their campaigns against i.s.i.l. about rules of engagement, what to do, what to target and also when it comes to fighter jets flying over the skies are because one of the problems you will definitely have in the coming days is if the russians and the syrians will continue, for example,
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pounding rebel positions in lataki or near aleppo you are going to be inching towards the turkish border. this is something that will raise more concerns within the turkish authorities. there is also something that will push all the parties to try to find a protocol about what is going to be the best way to tackle i.s.i.l. which controls areas near aleppo, near lata are kia and harris scarfe-- latakia and also near syria. turkey for the time being have voiced many concerns about how to move forward. they say that while we do generally want to take on i.s.i.l., but we don't want to see i.s.i.l. defeated and then we see some kurdish affiliated factions taken over because turkey has been accusing many of the syrian turkish factions operating on the ground affiliated with pkk which it
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considers a terrorist organization. so very delicate times and i think this will definitely put more pressure on the international community to find a way to the crisis in syria absolutely. turkey's involvement in the syrian, northern syrian, is so complicated. it does, doesn't it, push again to the fore front this idea of a buffer zone. what's turkey's feelings on that? >> reporter: the syrians - sorry, the turks have been repeatedly asking for a safe zone in the 90 kilometer area where on the syrian side i.s.i.l. has expanded, and the rationale of the turks has been this. we would like to have a safe zone where civilians could converse but also we would like to ensure there's no-one operating on those areas very close to turkey. the international community and the americans, in particular,
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were not really excited about that idea saying that the top priority for the time being is to step up the pressure against i.s.i.l. in cubani, in ha;; ika and also not far from the southern part of aleppo. you have two different narratives here. this is exactly what the americans are trying to do, to come to some sort of compromise with the turks. launch a military action but also take into account some of the strategic concerns or security concerns of the turks who have made it quite clear that they have two problems of the i.s.i.l. is a problem, but also kurdish syrian factions is also a red line. they don't want to stuart a military operation to pave the way for their foes to take over those areas. i think that the turks once they get guarantees from the americans about how to tackle the border area, the buffer zone or the safe zone, that's where
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they will step up their campaign against i.s.i.l. that you shows it's just another step of turkey getting increasingly drawn into this battle in syria. -- just shows that >> reporter: about three days ago i was driving in areas not far from here when i saw one of the villages coming under attack. we found out later that basically it's a village taken over by i.s.i.l. and some factions backed by the turks started launching a major offensive to push i.s.i.l. from those areas. in fact, they managed to control two villages in aleppo and they are on the offensive trying to retake different areas, but the turks for the time being are waiting for more guarantees from the international community that this is going to be a coordinated campaign that has
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clear vision, which is basically what the turks have been saying. we want to defeat i.s.i.l., but we would like to sea bashar al-assad step aside and a moderate opposition take over. the general sentiment amongst the international community of the french and the americans in particular, is not to solve the problem in syria but take on i.s.i.l. to the point where we've been hearing different reports fer different key players in this region about how to move forward. turkey says bashar al-assad should go. the americans could be in favor of plan b which is basically bashar al-assad stays in power for a short transitional period and then the elections are held and whoever wins takes over. this is not accepted by the turks, but also by some key regional ties like saudi arabia and also the syrian opposition.
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a very delegate task facing the international community as it is trying now to find a permanent way out of the crisis in syria, but also to find what is going to be the efficient way to take on i.s.i.l. which has over the last two years expanded, taken over huge swathes of lands in syria and iraq live for us there on the border between turkey and syria. thank you very much indeed. going back now to rory in moscow. of course, russia has confirmed that it is one of their planes. we have heard that two pilots were ejected from that plane as it was shot down. any word from moscow as to what happened to those pilots or, indeed, on this incident? >> reporter: no.
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let's do a quick stock check in terms of the information from the russian side of things. confirmation from russia came through about 4 are 5 minutes ago-- 45 minutes ago that this was a russian jet that had been - well, they assumed shot down from the ground. the plane in absolutely not violated turkish airspace. the two lots, they think they par chuted out. they are trying to work out where they are now. that's as much information that this we have. you can bet that behind the scenes right now there's a fewerous amount of activity going on. the first thing, of course, they're going to be doing is trying to work out where those two pilots are and if they are safe. but parallel to that there is going t

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