the u.s. thanks iran as ten navy sailors are released after their boats strayed into iranian waters. ♪ i'm lauren taylor. also coming up, dozens of isil suspects are held in raids in turkey, as police make one arrest in connection with the istanbul blast. at least 14 people are killed at in a suicide bomb attack in pakistan. and the tv telephone that claim the polish government is trying to influence what is in the news. ♪
hello, u.s. secretary of state john kerry has expressed his gratitude to iran for releasing tern american sailors captured and held overnight. they freed the sailors after determines they entered iranian waters by mistake. it took place in waters in this the gulf which is home to an iranian naval vessels. the u.s. vessels were headed for bahrain. the u.s. navy said it would investigate, bringing to an end an incident that rattled nerves senior iran yoon military officer explained the reasoning behind the release of the u.s. sailors. >> translator: our final finding was that it has not been a hostile crossover meant for
espionage or the like. they reached the area dued to a malfunction of their navigation systems. >> let's go live to washington, d.c., and al jazeera's rosiland jordan. we just cently pictures of the time when those sailors were held by the iranians. this was potentially a rather serious incident which appears to have been resolved rather quickly. >> that's right. especially when you look at the fact that the sailors were made to basically surrender to the iranian authorities, apparently they were just offshore of an iranian island, and this video, which was shot by the iranian authorities and then distributed also you see that they have their passports, which isn't allowed, frankly under international treaties and conventions. the fact that the obama administration very quickly
decided that it wasn't going to try to inflame the situation anymore than was already happening on the iranian side with accusations that the sailors were engaging perhaps in nefarious activities, perhaps engaging in espionage -- >> sorry to interrupt you, we're going to go to the secretary of state who is delivering his foreign policy agenda at the national defense university in washington, d.c. >> it's a great privilege for me to be here today, i'm delighted to be in the presence of so many people currently serving our nation, all with great distinction, and it's a privilege to be at ndu. i'm also honored that the secretary of the air force, debbie james is here. thank you very much for being part of this. before i begin, i want to underscore how pleased i am that our sailors were safely returned
into united states hands this morning. [ applause ] >> as a former sailor myself, as the general mentioned, i know as well as anybody how important our naval presence is around the world and certainly in the gulf region, and i could not be, and i know the president could not be prouder of our men and women in uniform. also i want to thank the iranian authorities for their cooperation and quick response. these were always situations which, as everybody here knows, have been ability, if not properly guided to get out of control. and i'm appreciative for the quick and appropriate response of the iranian authorities. also indications suggest or tell us that our sailors were well-taken care of, provided
with blankets and food and assisted with their return to the fleet earlier today. and i think we can all imagine how a similar situation might have played out three or four years ago, and in fact, it is clear that today this kind of issue was able to be peacefully resolved, and officially resolved, and that is a testament to the critical role that diplomacy plays in keeping our country safe, secure, and strong. and that is really at the core of what i am here to talk about today. as all of you know, yesterday president obama delivered his final state of the union address. and i might add for my part with nearly 29 years in the united states senate, i have been attending state of the union messages since 1985,
ronald reagan was my first. so it was my last too. the president's agenda for 2016, it is clear from the speech he gave last night is bold, and ambitious. and i think that is particularly true when it comes to foreign policy. the reason for that is simple. in this extraordinarily complicated time, the demand for united states leadership, the demand for leadership everywhere, but the demand, particularly for leadership from what the president appropriately called the most powerful nation in the world is as high as it has ever been, and we understand that, and we accept that responsibility willingly. that is why the united states will remain more engaged in more places around the world than at any other time in history.
the president's primary responsibility as all of you know, is and always has been to protect the people of our country, protect the american people. he underscored that again last night. and i know that each of you here can relate to that, because ndu's mission is to educate, develop, and inspire national security leaders, not all of them from our country, but to inspire national security leaders, and many of you here today have already contributed significantly to our nation's security and safety, including some of you on the front lines of battle, and we are grateful, very grateful for that. the goal of keeping our country safe for american officials, but i know i'm talking to visiting officers from various parts of the world, the goal for all of you, with respect to your own countries and at the core of
everybody's foreign policy is to have a strategy that most effectively represents the interests and values of your nation. that is our role. certainly a big part of achieving that is addressing the immediate crises of the day, and believe me they arise suddenly without anticipation. i was yesterday sitting with secretary of defense carter to my left, and with the secretary of foreign affairs and defense from the philippines to our right, when we got a message regarding our two vessels in the gulf and the fact that they were at farsy island. so things can change in a nanosecond. as we plan for the coming year, we are focused on looking for long-term solutions, not the crises of the day, but on finding a way to lay the ground work for security and stability
for decades to come. some people look around at the daily headlines, and they suggest that the world is increasingly chaotic. and doomed to disorder. well, i'm about to enter my fourth year as secretary of state, and let me make it clear from all that i have experienced, from all that i have seen, i strongly disagree with that judgment. yes, there are challenges. when are there not? but as i travel the world, as i talk to foreign ministers, prime ministers, presidents, people all across this planet, i don't sense an unravelling of the global fabric. on the contrary. i see a world that in critical areas is actually coming together. now obviously in some respects 2015 was a year of turbulence and tragedy, but the fact is, we
also saw and measured remarkable advances in every single corner of the globe. we witnessed barriers that have long divided nations begin to break down. we reached historic agreements on climate change, the iran nuclear program, trade. we made progress on issues that have seemed intrackable for years, and in some cases decades. we hadn't talked to the iranians in 35 years. we are working, making progress in various sectors of economic diplomacy, as well as straight-forward, security diplomacy. and the key word that i ask you to focus on is progress. progress. obviously our work isn't over. it's far from over. it's never going to end from one administration to another.
we witnessed a process of transformation. but this is a very different century we arer entering from the last century. a century of two major wars, and major conflict in iran, afghanistan, and iraq. so as we look to the year ahead, we have a unique opportunity to build on what we have achieved in a number of critical areas. now obviously, a top priority is the conflict in syria. to deal with the refugee crisis that it has spawned, and the violent extremism to which it has contributed. let me just say a word about that quickly. much if not all -- no, i suppose much is the most accurate assessment -- of the conflict of
the last century was a conflict between nation states. it was much of it defined by what henry kissinger has defined as the balance of power of the great gain. but that is not what is defining the conflict that we see today. i think most of you would make the judgment that there is not the same sense of threat that nation states are ready to put it all on the line given the stakes and the types of weapons that we have today which do act as deterrent. but what we are seeing today are non-state actors, who have a very different sense of the stakes, who don't react the same way to the concept of deterrence. many of whom have decided, by the way, that they just as soon die as live. which is not the norm for most
people's judgment. so our strategy is different. our strategy with respect to syria certainly is threefold. but what we're seeing emerge is really a transformation that represents not a clash of civilizations, because there is nothing civilized about daesh. it's barbaric. it's a step backwards in time, not by years, but by centuries. and it represents a clash not of nations but of culture, a clash of people who have been left behind and who find some false notion of explanation for their acts and the hijacking of a great religion or the distortion of the most fundamental notions of how people should choose to
live. so with respect to daesh, we have first of all, intensefied our campaign. first through a 65-member international coalition that we have mobilized to degrade and defeat the terrorist group known as daesh. isil some people call it, but there is nothing us latic about it. daesh is literally the embodiment of evil. psycho paths who murder and rape, criminals in many cases who torture and pillage and call it the will of god. earlier this week we heard about one terrorist, a member of daesh whose mother pleaded him to leave the group because she
thought he was going to get killed. he turned her in, and by his own hand publicly executed her. to quote the president these killers and fanatics who have to be rooted out, hunted down, and destroyed, period. and we will do that. our efforts are directed both at daesh's core networks in syria and iraq and at straggling attempts to establish branches and inspire attacks elsewhere in the world, including in the united states. and we have known from the moment that we formed our international coalition in the fall of 2014 -- and by the way it merits remembering that this coalition has only been at this for a little over a year now. we knew that success was not going to be measured in a matter of weeks and months. it would be measured in years as it was with al-qaeda. and i said at the time, 2014, that it would take some time. so did the president.
but in the end, mark my words, not as a matter of bragging, but as a matter of fact, daesh will be defeated. every country in the region that surrounds iraq and syria is opposed to daesh. iran, jordan, lebanon, qatar, turkey, down to the emirates, saudi arabia, and way beyond, which is why we have a coalition of 65 nations. the progress we have already made towards that end of defeating them is undeniable. last month iraqi forces with coalition support retook most of the provincial capitol of ramadi, further reducing the area controlled by terrorists. in the past half year, the coalition and its partners have worked with iraqi forces to liberate tikrit, and hundred
thousand sunni have been able to return. we have been able to free sinjar, remove terrorist command frers the battlefield, including nearly a dozen leaders in the past few weeks alone. and we have worked together to cut off the terrorist's supply lines, to take away their resources, to deprive daesh of more than 40% of the territory it once occupied in iraq. daeshing has not been able to seize a major town or city since last may. and the coalition is stepping up the pressure even further. we are intensifying air strikes in northern syria, assisting our partners along the border between syria and turkey, and helping to squeeze daesh's remaining strong holds in mosul and raqqa, and we are opening the aperture for further cooperation with others in the region, including russia. meanwhile we are doing more every day to prevent foreign
fighters from joining daesh, and to stop those who do from returning to their home countries and engaging in rrorist activities. we are also doing more to rebutter ris propaganda, to try up revenue resources. we have opened a number of facilities on a global basis, one in the emirates, another opening before long elsewhere, that will help deal with the challenge of social media management in an effort to be able to take away the recruitment and the loan wolf challenge. we know more than ever about daesh's sources of income, and that has allowed us to be more strategic in our efforts with greater impact on daesh's ability to be able to sustain itself. there is no question that we have significantly degraded daesh's ability to profit from the oil that it controls, and we have made anyone who might consider doing business with
them think twice. so degrading and defeating daesh is the first pillar of our strategy. the second is to work with our partners to prevent the violence from spreading. just the other day we had a significant meeting with respect to libya, and you can anticipate additional efforts with respect to daesh's efforts to spread its tentacles into libya and elsewhere. and that is one reason why we are now providing a record amount of humanitarian assistance, more than 4.5 billion to date, which is more than any other nation in the world, directly to deal with the problem of displaced people out of syria, and iraq. and we are doing more to strengthen the defense capabilities of jordan, lebanon, and other -- friends in the region. this is really important work, and i guarantee you it's going to continue. but the main reason for these
efforts is the outrageous human suffering that this war has visited upon syrians and their neighbors. many of you may have seen the so-called caesar pictures last year. more than 10,000 photographs, each individual, so not repetitive, but individualized showing massive torture, starvation, extraordinary government policy by the assad regime decision to barrel bombing of children and innocent families, schools, hospitals, not to mention the fact that there was wide-spread use of gas, which we thought we had outlawed as an instrument of war after world war i. this is precisely why we are expanding our focus now and our response to the worst refugee crisis that the world has seen since the second word war.
this fall, president obama will most a summit in new york, and this event will be the culmination of a rigorous effort to strengthen the humanitarian system for delivery of help to be able to secure new funding and increase opportunities for resettlement and humanitarian administration around the world, a comprehensive effort for millions of syrian refugees, but also for those from any country who qualify for refugee status. in that vein, i am pleased to announce that we have plans to expand the u.s. refugee admissions program in order to help vulnerable families and individuals from el salvador, guatemala and -- honduras, and
offer them a safer way to travel. and avoid making them pray for one of the great scourges of the world today, which is human trafficking, and many, many people, 20 million plus living in a state of modern slavery. global efforts also need to focus on ways to better integrate refugee into foreign communities? order to regain their dignity after the horror they have endured. that is why measures to help refugees build self reliance through education and opportunities for local employment are so important, so that the men, women, and children who come to our nations are better equipped to contribute to the communities that welcome them. now after this speech, i will be heading to silver spring,
maryland where i will meet with a group of dedicated americans who work in one of our resettlement centers, helping refugees integrate into their new communities in the united states. this critical work has been conducted against a backdrop of some pretty nasty politics. with people making statements on the refugee issue that seem designed to scare our citizens, but have no basis in the facts. let me be very, very clear, we can both maintain the highest security standards and live up to our best traditions as americans, by welcoming those in need of help to our great country. that is who we are. that is what we do. that is how we wrote our history. that's how we became who we are. and we dare not turn our backs on future people, generations
seeking the same set of opportunities. we have the ability to protect ourselves even as we remain a country that welcomes migration. and that is why, while i am in silver spring, i wil also meet with a group of refugee, newly arrived, some well established, in order to hear about their experiences, and to emphasize how welcome they are in our nation. now the refugee crisis is not just a syrian problem, or a european or an african problem. it is a global challenge of historic proportions and dimensions and it tests our values, our self confidence, and our very humanity. we have to do all that we can to respond effectively. and the most effective response of all, my friends, involves the
pursuit of peace. i said to my staff at the state department engaged in the syrian conflict at the end of last year, you know, i'm tired of going out and bragging that we're the biggest donor to refugee needs. write a check. help the refugee. we can keep writing checks and set up a new camp. the question is, can we make peace and end this endless supply of refugees? in the past four and a half years one syrian in 20 has been killed or wounded. one in five is a refugees. one in two has been displaced. and there will be no end to this crisis, no end to the pressures on lebanon, on jordan, on turkey, no end of the flow of people to greece and europe and germany, no end to this crisis
unless there is an end to the conflict itself. one person standings in the way of that. and that is bashar al-assad. that is why the third pillar of our strategy is to de-escalate the conflict in syria, and that can only happen through a political transition. every leader i have met with, says to me, there is no military solution. you have got to have a political solution. i mean i suppose you can sit there and make the argument there is military solution, and wind up like the roman historian who wrote of cartage, they made a desert and called it peace, sure. but if you want to hold the country together. if you want to restore the secular, united syria that once was. if you want to bring people together in a way that allows
sunni and shiite, and christians all to live together, then you need a political transition and a political settlement. last november, in vienna, the united states and other members of the international syria support group, finally agreed upon a series of specific steps to stop the bleeding in syria, to isolate the terrorists and to help the syrian people begin to rebuild their country. now i can't standing here before you today and tell you this is going to work. i know how it could. but it's going to require the cooperation of countries in conflict. it was monumental that we were able to bring saudi arabia and iran to the table together to join in this, and it is important that both have said they will not allow their current differences to stand in the way of working towards a
settlement. in december we and the other members of the united nations security council passed a resolution, endorsing the work of the vienna support group, bringing the full weight of the global community behind this process. so for the first time, every one of the major international players has come around a table together with a specific timetable for negotiations between the responsible opposition and syria's government, and because of the hard work of all of those parties, those talks are now slated to begin later this month on january 25th. it will be difficult. it will require good faith effort by russia, iran, by all of the players, to push for the implementation of the geneva communique. but it is not to be missed by anybody here that even iran put
forward an important contribution to the dialogue in a peace plan that called for a unity government, constitutional reform, a ceasefire, and an election. and that is part of what has been embraced by the vienna support group. so obstacles to peace always remain. there is always an obstacle to peace, look at the frozen conflicts we have in the world, but the need for settlement is clear. and the more progress we make towards that goal, the easier it will be to mount a truly effective and sustained and unified effort against daesh. daesh benefits when great powers are squabbling amongst each
other. in addition to our efforts in syria and iraq another major priority for the coming year, involves iran and the implementation of the joint comprehensive plan of action that we agreed on last summer in vienna. >> you are listening to secretary of state john kerry. this is al jazeera america live in new york city. i'm del walters. we want to get you caught up now on some of the other stories that are happening at this hour. there is new video coming in right now of those u.s. sailors that were taken into cusdy in iran. iran handing over the sailors this morning after they spent the night in the arabian gulf. their navy boats were traveling from kuwait to bahrain, when they ventured into iranian waters. >> these are always situations which as everybody here knows have an ability