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tv   Inside Story 2018 Ep 38  Al Jazeera  February 8, 2018 10:32am-11:01am +03

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against the prime minister is the attorney general and he consults with the state attorney the state prosecutor said recently admitted that about half of the police's recommendations and with nothing. north korea's been showing off its armed forces on the eve of a display of unity at the winter olympics in south korea but international media weren't invited to the military parade in pyongyang and no t.v. pictures have been shown yet competitors from the north have already arrived at the games and chant they're due to march in the opening ceremony athletes from the south rescue crews in taiwan are hoping to find more earthquake survivors braving powerful aftershocks to enter buildings on the brink of collapse in the port city of fall again dozens remain missing after the magnitude six point four tremor on tuesday at least nine people were killed and many injured and eight people have been killed after a road collapsed at a subway construction site in southeastern china rescue crews. say three people are still missing. those are the headlines on al-jazeera do stay with us inside story
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coming up next thank you for watching. over you. more than one hundred people killed in just one day in syria's rebel held areas of eastern ghouta and they were supposed to be part of the so-called deescalation zones but the bombing has intensified so what triggered this and who can stop it this is inside story. going to. the in and welcome to the
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program for the truce was supposed to bring temporary relief to hundreds of thousands of syrians suffering from severe food and medicine shortages instead of russian and syrian government forces launching a new wave of as strikes and shelling plunging besieged rebel held areas into even more despair more than one hundred people have been killed in the past twenty four hours in eastern guta just outside the capital damascus and province activists have described it as one of the most violent days in the nearly seventy a conflict the region saw get it right the syrian government and his russian and i are supposed to be in the so-called deescalation zones part of a russian led cease fire deal for territory held by the rebels the u.n. says the increasing violence is making a mockery of the zones and has called for a month long truce to allow the delivery of eight now the four deescalation zones were created after many rounds of talks in kazakhstan's capital asuna and were
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meant to reduce violence protect civilians and ensure humanitarian access to mainly opposition held areas russia turkey and iran who signed the deal act as guarantors at the exact borders of those zones remain unclear but they come apart and the tukey a province western areas of aleppo and northern areas of hama the second zone he's eastern guta in the northern countryside of damascus where over four hundred. hundred thousand people have been besieged by government forces for the past four years the third deescalation zone is in parts of northern homs and finally the last one is further down to the south along the border with jordan so let's bring in our guests for today's inside story joining us in moscow dimitri for lawsky political analysts who researches russian affairs in the middle east in beirut he shams a banner a retired lebanese army general and joining us also from our raised in italy joshua
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landis director of the center for middle east studies at the university of oklahoma gentlemen thank you for being on inside story welcome to the show dimitri in moscow if i can start with you russia was the main guarantor of these yes collation zones and now is leading the onslaught of airstrikes in the early province and civilians are bearing the brunt of the strikes what happened to russia wanting to reach a compromise in syria well i think if we look at what's the russian general policy in syria it's important to look at what's happened in sorts you just recently and this conference that took place is pretty much it's is a pos for all for the single austin associate peace process and by russian standard there has been as a success there has been a right now there is a way for creating a constitution to syria somehow transitional body and so right now russia pretty much feels that it's on the path for bringing this here and reconstruction to syria
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and the same time in doing so no no in terms by sweating for how they may talk plays out on the social and asked on as you say and talk of reconstruction when at the same time they're bombing these areas in syria. well again russia even thought to put it has announced that they're going to start to his drone troops from the country it is now want to moscow is never about to leave a syria and the bases there will stay for many many decades for now and russia with the one stop bombing syria unless this seventy five percent of the tories are right now pretty much will be controlled by a damascus i mean we could speak about the northern part of the syria will the so-called the buffer zone created by washington will remain intact but the majority of syria's seventy five percent will be right now very much tied by bashar assad to russian until the control over there is useful joshua landis the agreement on the deescalation zones had many people thinking that the war in syria could finally be
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winding down where the cease fire is ever meant to hold in your view with the cease fires were really negotiated by the for the united states because everybody wanted to fight isis united states was very eager to fight isis isis is now largely destroyed and all the great powers are trying to grab as much land as they can the united states has grabbed twenty eight percent of syria in the north with most of its oil and good resources turkey is grabbing a screen and wants to consolidate it lip. and syria of course is trying to take the last pockets of rebel resistance and that's why the who does being pounded they're moving down towards the jordan border and of course making a big push to keep the turks from taking much of it live so they're trying to take back to the province this is the end game as people jostle for control turkey in
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america right leverage assad wants as much of his country as it will get his. view on this the first weeks of twenty eight hundred certainly have been. very bloody of a very bloody period in syria's seventy a civil war. what do you think the strategy is here from the assad government and its russian i why we seeing this new push this aggressive push at a time when they are. winning militarily on the ground when they have regained so much territory. of course. try to find peaceful solution and try to play the role of. sushi and stand. on the land you have to make venice to break again and and the military success. look at the map
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in syria or find. the. american controlled region especially where the courage and west side of. syria especially the. north and free. and hama and homs. moscow is play to. is playing the role of the sponsor of find a solution it's normal that military escalation is normal especially. after the shutdown and you know they took advantage. took advantage from this for a straight operation and all of that to solve the problem of
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a deal later on with the question of turkey turkey was given you know a price you know for example. of was given a free again light from moscow. yellow light from washington for example i think. and north of syria will be like separated i think i think. they are several fronts as you say they are several fronts as you say and i just want to come back to what happened in it late over the weekend you say that the current offensive we're seeing from the. syrian government and russia is normal militarily and at the same time we're seeing that the rebels are not backing down i mean the rebels you know were involved in an incident this weekend weather said to have used a a man portable add defense system to shoot down a russian warplane this is considered
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a sophisticated weapon his bare where would they have found this you know this weapon what kind of support are the rebels getting right now and where is it coming from. i am not right now who gave those missiles to the rebels and when i believe. some of the said and most of them was given by providers wood and the three like because they were provided by several to physically do weapons but. not to use it on a new order the other. day some observers said they were. from syria. military bases but this. this solution is difficult. to
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believe first of all the city and rules you. mark at the first system of city was not. they took such a second there where. force. no i didn't do that ok now i see your point. yes i see your point i just want to hear from joshua landis on this because that we want to talk a bit more about this incident in italy. and joshua where are the rebels getting their support from right now where is it coming from and how concerned should the russians and the syrian government be that they have access it seems to such sophisticated weaponry well. we don't know
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exactly where the weapons come from the foreign minister of saudi arabia said a year ago that it was going to supply the syrian rebels with a ground to air missiles to shoot down russian planes it's quite possible that it actually did it and it wasn't just. threatening it could be turkey it could be many places where these get smuggled in clearly the rebels desperately need these sorts of ground to air missiles in order to neutralize soviet planes the soviets and seventy soviets excuse me the russians have said that they're just simply going to fly their planes higher in the air where they won't be vulnerable to these missiles so this is a deterrent but it won't make a big difference i don't think this is the end game syria is trying to push the rebels from it live into turkey and get rid of them a dirty does not want that to happen is going to help the rebels push back a little bit property dimitri do you agree with the josh where they about the what
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russia's end game is in syria right now and i also want to ask you about you know whether russia is concerned or not about the type of weapons the rebels seem to be using now and the fact that they're not backing down despite the intense says strikes and you know the intense offensive against them. well first to answer your question about the weapons again there has been always concern about this kind of weapons in russia. there are some ideas that the weapons are common for probably from the loot it's a storage it's all across the syria through the syrian army or the perhaps coming from ukraine or might be somehow the transport of things to cut three sort saudi or turkish efforts so we don't want to know but in russia there is differently concern about it and i think one of the reasons if you look at what's happened the plane is very much this whole. astrogation when the plane got shot down seven primarily because the plane was flying a lower than
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a russian social expect that. and said there is also has been some human factor as many people russians say and so that's pretty much have been kind of violets fault as well because the russians promotional the rebels they always have this kind of weapons it's only what's on the matter when they use their will the russians for the make mistake for the plane to got shot. if and if seen in charms of. the intensifying fighting well right now it's pretty much a full look at the lip it's very much one of the last remaining stronghold in syria and those remain fractional so fred bulls are still fighting there always that they will fight into day and they these people just have nowhere to go they didn't just have to fight that's they couldn't get back from his territory they can give up so they can do anything right so for them fight and last resort and obviously right now fighting is have been intensified and you are some distance while. in beirut just coming back to the current government strategy the assad government strategy right now and looking specifically at eastern ghouta on the outskirts of damascus
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which has been under siege now for almost four years by government forces that strategy doesn't seem to have worked they are some reports now suggesting that the assad regime could be considering a ground offensive there how risky would that be. yeah first of all let me tell something whoever about the missile whoever provide the surgery by this method or other and when. those missiles. deliver it to search around the borders of turkey whether two years or three years ago so why i started what is a thirty two of us first of all at the north of syria. second i think there's from the situation and north of syria and turkey involvement and i fried it's neck and bury big again and success and that
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aleppo and the south and the north of hama it's very important to put a talk to protect the. highway between aleppo and damascus and every day they can make. an order to solve the problem on the table right later on with the. second. side of damascus it's only two places two fronts that syrian army is fighting and now the syrian army is in a situation of break of relax he has only two fronts. threaten damascus itself every day every week some training to damascus why not take advantage for this time and to let
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a big offensive i guess to solve a little right to to push away the letters around from them and let's move the discussion forward now because with all of this happening across syria the united nations has said it's investigating reports of another chemical weapons attack in rebel held areas seen. the u.s. has accused the syrian government of continuing to use these types of weapons bombs suspected of containing careen were reportedly dropped in duma in eastern town photos say and this was followed by another attack later in the town of said i can be neatly province activists video appears to show people being treated for suffocation and if our smell was reported the syrian government denies it was behind these attacks joshua landis donald trump last year when there was another chemical weapons attack in syria launch as strikes there was a targeted strike in response to two that as strike at the to the chemical weapons
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attack use at the time and many have seen as a key test of trump's leadership on the world stage do you think we could see the u.s. take a similar action now that there are new reports of chemical attacks use against civilians it's possible the u.s. the u.s. seems to have made a small distinction between nerve gas which was used in the conscious rule and where the united states responded very big risks that had been prescribed in the original deal with syria in two thousand and thirteen the chlorine which is not quite not is anywhere near as deadly but of course is is very bad is very widespread it's used for swimming pools cleary water it's used for pharmaceuticals it's all over the place very hard to keep it out of syria and the united states i think it's reluctant to get drawn in to. reprisals against
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syria on the use or e'en. but it may do it it's unclear what washington's policy is right now it seems to be going through. a period of change and i saw tillerson and others say that they want regime change and that they're going to stay in syria until our side is removed from government and that there are free elections one by either you win this is a very mew policy and i'm not sure it's really sunk in yet right it washington is all that different corridors of power again we'll see dimitri what would the russian reaction be if the u.s. were to decide to get for further involved in the syrian conflict in response for instance to this reported chemical weapons attack well i think you're it's interesting if we'd look at the u.s. policy in syria in the right perspective and we'll measure we'll do measure like
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it's u.s. involvement or the past few years i mean the end for many in russia right now what's happened was the creation of a buffer zone and trump strikes in and your last year is very much seemed out on the open to begin to russians thought that the would trump policy towards syria will be different than obama's and right now it is people actually think that trump was actually going to take more aggressive stance towards syria and this pretty much has been proven recently by this creation of the buffer zone at the same time i think that russians are pretty confident that the united states will not strike syria as happened here last year and pretty much they believe the whole u.s. so you influence for i mean it was on this double buffer zone speaking of changing policies on syria is russia today still intent on having bashar al assad remain in power in syria because at one point they seemed to be flexible almost on the idea of assad not being in power what's what's their position right now on bashar assad . well. thanks us of such lee great question because if you look at
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general what how russia thief's syria and i think there has been a very mistaken consideration that russia has made all that bets on bashar i mean like for russia there's only one thing that matters for russia is when in syria are liable and still a stable client state that could supply this sort of foothold for its navy bases for its basis and some fluency in the middle east and doesn't really matter whether it's bashar asad or somebody else but it has to be somebody who is loyal to russia right now because that there is nobody you know or such alternative that's very pro russian in syria and i think in the coming years some of the problem of bashar streaming power and then we'll see how it goes hisham jaber what is your view of russia's endgame in this now is beyond syria what it what do you see as russia's endgame in this region right now in the middle east and who do you think is benefiting from prolonged russian involvement whether it's in syria or why there
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are areas in the region. and syria for the first time. to clear the. mediterranean bed the. naval base and start those. you know. a new way russia didn't come to syria to live tomorrow a lot of interest. want to influence in syria and the don't want by syria but want. to go and syria seems a very rich. region you know of oil. and natural the we we saw and. you know of the fighting there around.
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all the resources i knew way syria one. in that area and cape it's not much. and there is a. want of it's a part of the city and what i thought stay in the regime or not. russia but isn't a large part of the syrian. people. want not. to moscow and protect its interests and what what russia want ok well let me give the last word to joshua landis in a wrestle and josh i want to come back to the current situation in syria today this civil war is now entering its seventh year we've seen in the last forty eight hours more than one hundred people killed in italy been eastern ghouta civilians really bearing the brunt of this conflict the humanitarian situation is disastrous as the
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u.n. has said. where does this all leave this current escalation where does this leave peace efforts whether it's. whether it's sochi whether it's geneva can maybe a negotiated solution still in syria or is this war only going to be won and settled on the battlefield. i think it's going to be settled on the battlefield it seems quite clear both geneva is really a good process geneva is looked up on asking for assad's removal it doesn't look like he's going to remove a stunt is really a vehicle for getting the surrender of the remaining rebel groups and that's going to be done with this fight on the ground and that's why you're seeing the war escalate now because there's a scramble for the last bits of syria as everybody tries to get leverage america turkey trying to increase their their hold on syrian territory and assad is racing
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to drive the rebels out and not to give any more pretext to turkey to take more land or to the united states to increase its position in syria so this is the i think we're seeing the end of this and there is an all out rush to grab the last bits of syria that are held by rebels so in the end unfortunate situation for the civilians there thank you all for taking part in this discussion dimitri effort off ski his bear and joshua landis thank you for being on inside story and thank you for watching as always you can watch this program again any time by going to our website sad al-jazeera dot com for the discussion go to our facebook page that's facebook dot com for sash a j n side story and of course you can also join the conversation on twitter i handle that a.j. inside celery for me for me back to bill and the whole team here at inside so i
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is. my brain and this story needs to be turned asia's largest catholic country is witnessing a dramatic rise in teenage pregnancy al-jazeera has teams on the ground to bring the mood winning documentaries. and live news on air and online. the mounting human cost of war nearly two hundred syrians are killed in just three days as the government and its russian back as increase their attacks from the air . and welcome to al.

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