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tv   The Situation Room  CNN  February 5, 2015 2:00pm-4:01pm PST

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ries out its vow of earth-shattering retaliation for the murder of its captured pilot. isis in america. a cnn exclusive. we are taking you inside the fbi's counterterrorism center to learn how the terrorists are using social media to find recruits and targets right here in the united states. and brave escalation as bloody fighting rages in ukraine, the u.s. and its allies call on russia's president putin to remove his troops and tanks. but what happens if he doesn't? i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." breaking now, a key u.s. ally follows through on its vow of retribution for the gruesome murder of a captured pilot burned alive in a cage by isis. with support from american war planes jordan today flew waves of u.s.-made f-16 jets against isis targets in syria and it's warning that the strikes are only quote, just the beginning. the state department deputy spokeswoman is standing by along
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with our correspondents and analysts. let's begin with our pentagon correspondent barbara starr. she has the very latest. >> reporter: wolf tonight king abdullah of jordan leading his military in his new war, stepped-up war against isis. nearly two dozen jordanian f-16s taking off today against some 20 isis targets in those strongholds in eastern syria. the jordanians targeting isis weapons sites, personnel, anything that could be found to in the words of experts, inflict significant damage on isis. very interesting the jordanians living up to a long-time military tradition, writing messages on those bombs before the planes took off. some of the messages included this one, saying islam has nothing to do with your actions and a couple of verses from the koran. one of them saying and i quote here drop upon them stones of fire and they will turn their
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back and run. jordanian military personnel you see there writing these messages on the bombs before they took off. all of this coming as king abdullah paid a condolence call on the family of the jordanian pilot who lost his life to isis in such a brutal way, making sure that he paid his respects to the family and telling them that these missions these air strikes are under way. all indications as you said the jordanians and king abdullah are not done. there will be more. >> just to be precise, jordan was launching these bombs against these isis targets in syria with u.s. war planes providing protective cover, is that right? >> reporter: that is correct. u.s. war planes as happens in every mission over iraq and syria, it's a package of war planes. the u.s. providing key support with its own f-16s to jam isis communications. f-22 advanced air force fighters
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flying cover, other war planes in the air providing intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance because the key issue right now, isis is dispersing they are trying to disappear into the woodwork not show themselves not present any profile to attack so these intelligence and surveillance planes are helping every other plane in the air locate the critical isis targets. wolf? >> barbara's at the pentagon. we will get back to her. let's get to a cnn exclusive now. we broke the story about the fbi is investigating americans who are communicating directly with isis and they want to launch an attack inside yes, inside the united states. our justice correspondent pamela brown is here. you are learning more about this threat. you are also getting new information coming in about a case in minneapolis that all of us have been following. what are you learning? >> we are just learning the fbi arrested a 19-year-old minnesota man as part of a terrorism investigation. he allegedly lied to investigators about his travel overseas to turkey a known
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gateway to syria. this comes amid grave concern in the fbi that young people here in the u.s. are being influenced by terrorists overseas and we sat down with a man who is leading the fbi's counterterrorism efforts and he shared disturbing insight into how terrorists like isis are reaching into american homes. of all the weapons used by terrorists one of the most dangerous is social media. >> they are using it successfully to spot assess identify target folks outside of war zones. they are using it in europe and using it in the united states. >> reporter: when you say target folks, how young are we talking? >> we have seen across the globe kids as young as 13 recruited by isil. >> reporter: 13. >> 13. >> reporter: are they actually in direct contact in some of these cases with isis militants who are overseas in syria that are reaching out to them directly? >> what we have seen is
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individuals in syria reaching directly into the united states starting in public chats on different social media platforms, and then moving to private chats where they continue to recruit, inspire and coerce individuals either to travel overseas or even worse, to conduct an attack here in the united states. [ speaking a foreign language ] >> reporter: michael steinbach, head of the fbi's counterterrorism division says isis is also using facebook and twitter to identify potential american victims. >> i'm wondering, is it an assumption or is there actually intelligence to back it up? >> there certainly is intelligence indicating that foreign terrorist organizations are using social media not only to spot and assess but select targets, targeting military targeting law enforcement, targeting government officials. >> reporter: that threat led the fbi to issue a string of warnings urging u.s. government employees to scrub their social media profiles of any
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information terrorists could use to find them. everyone is on social media these days. how do you get through the noise of someone who is just mouthing off versus someone who is a legitimate threat? >> that's the trick of law enforcement and the trick of the u.s. intelligence community, to work through that using data using strong analytical skills but it's a full-time job and it's a challenge. >> reporter: something else he said that really struck me. he said there has been a deliberate focus by isis leadership to use social media to recruit people with sophisticated and specific skills like engineers and accountants, people to run the business end of their caliphate. >> pamela brown, good reporting. thank you very very much. it was a display of savagery that was beyond shocking even for isis. a captured pilot burned alive while locked in a cage. but why would isis commit and publicize such a horrific act? brian todd is joining us here in "the situation room." he has been looking into this.
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what are you discovering? >> tonight we are learning more about the isis mindset, the reasons why they chose to make this pilot's death so gruesome. experts say there could be symbolism, messaging and even strategic thinking behind the idea of killing this man in such a horrible fashion. it's not like they needed to prove how brutal and depraved they are. the beheadings of at least 20 hostages were convincing enough. but this distinct change in execution tactic the burning alive of jordanian pilot mu'ath al kaseasbeh seems to take isis to a new level. >> this is an escalation and it's different. >> reporter: analysts say it's impossible to understand the minds of its leaders but they offer some possible reasons for the horrific nature of this killing. there could be symbolism in burning the captured pilot. before that moment in the video, images of destruction, possibly from coalition bombings are shown. >> it appears that they are trying to create this perverse moral symmetry between this pilot and the coalition dropping
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bombs from the sky, dropping fire from the sky, i'm sure they would say, and then his being burned alive in turn. >> reporter: experts say isis may have wanted to show a different kind of cruelty here because this was a combatant against them as opposed to the aid workers and journalists they beheaded. they may have felt there was value in showing other potential enemies this is what happens when you take to the battlefield against us. >> this is a tactic that worked before for isis in iraq. they put out a series of brutal videos last year and that did have an impact on iraqi soldiers who turned and fled from mosul when isis advanced on the town despite the fact the iraqi army vastly outnumbered isis at the time. >> reporter: unlike previous videos this one doesn't feature the british isis executioner known as jihadi john possibly because it's geared toward a different audience. but there could be a much more blunt, unvarnished explanation for the brutality of this murder. that this particular group of
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terrorists just enjoys the cruelty. >> there is some element when you watch this that it's just sickening and makes you think there is also just a cruelty for cruelty's sake. >> reporter: was this part of the cruelty? people gathered in roqqa watching the pilot's death on a big screen outside. it's not clear if they did this on their own or were forced to watch. did isis think all of this through? many analysts say this latest killing could well backfire on the group, instead of scaring potential combatants away from fighting them it seems to have steeled the jordanians' will to fight them harder. as for recruitment, that remains to be seen. some analysts say the burning alive of the pilot will turn off some potential recruits. in the meantime the teenagers who want to kill just in the name of jihad may actually be energized by this. >> indeed brian, even some groups who were opposed to jordan and they are enemies of the united states have come out against this brutal murder of this pilot, like iran hezbollah,
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right? >> reporter: it's extraordinary, really, the unity behind the idea of condemning this murder. the iranians are not allied with jordan in the region they called the pilot's killing quote, inhumane and un-islamic. hezbollah, the terror group backed by iran have a tv station which called this quote, the most gruesome of many atrocities committed by isis. >> thanks very much brian todd reporting for us. let's go in depth right now. joining us the state department deputy spokes woman, marie harf. thanks for coming in. what were the targets today of these jordanian and u.s. air strikes in syria? >> well i think what you saw today was jordanian resolve really strengthened even more after this horrific murder of their pilot, and you saw them take the fight as they have been directly to isil. obviously we are fighting alongside with them. we have been targeting isil leadership isil training isil weapons caches and that is certainly going to continue. >> is it going to -- continue is one thing. what about intensify? >> absolutely. i thisnk the jordanians have
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spoken to this. if isis was trying to shake our resolve or jordan's resolve, i think they have done the opposite. the jordanians have been incredibly forceful in their response and have said this will intensify. you heard king abdullah speak about it directly. >> so far jordan and some of the other coalition partners have been willing to use their fighter jets to bomb isis targets in syria but not isis targets in iraq. has that changed? >> well we have had a constant ongoing conversation about who will target where and who will take the fight to isil whether in iraq or in syria. we are confident we have enough fire power from the air in both places to really inflict serious damage on isil. we already have and we helped push them back out of areas particularly in iraq but that will certainly continue. >> that's largely u.s. air power. why are these other coalition partners like jordan reluctant to bomb isis targets in iraq? >> i think you saw jordan today not showing any reluctance about going directly after isil -- >> in syria. in syria. >> that's true. that's right. but there are other rules, these
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countries are playing inside iraq. there's a variety of roles they are playing. we have enough fire power to push isil back. >> they will intensify air strikes. what about ground toops? any indication that jordan some of the other middle eastern allies of the united states may be willing to introduce combat ground forces to try not only to degrade isis but to destroy isis? >> we have been focused on with ground troops the iraqi forces on the ground the kurdish forces and the syrian opposition. having other countries help train them those are the ground forces we really think will be the most effective given that they are from the area they are fighting on the ground alongside their neighbors. that's what we are focused on. >> would you agree, as all military analysts seem to agree, that the u.s. and its coalition partners are not going to be able to destroy, not simply degrade, destroy isis unless there is some ground combat forces that go into places like mosul and other places where isis is strong and destroy them? >> absolutely. but we have always said those ground forces have to be native ground forces whether the iraqi
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forces kurdish forces or syrian opposition. that's why we are so grateful to countries who said they will help train the syrian opposition and why we are working with the iraqis to get them back on their feet up to speed and up to strength with weapons and training so they can push back on the ground. >> training the syrian opposition 5,000 or whatever that's going to take a long time right? >> it is. this is a long term effort certainly. we are focused in iraq on pushing them out of key areas. we already have helped the iraqis do that in many areas as we talked about over the last few months. syria is a longer term challenge, certainly. we are starting to vet, we will soon begin training the first batch of the syrian opposition under our train and equip program. that will continue to grow. >> you have confidence in the iraqi military? as we know they simply abandoned their positions, their weapons and ran away when isis came into iraq. >> i think a lot has changed since then. they know the threat they're facing. i think they are willing to stand up and fight for their country. we have seen that in places like mosul and baghdad, in places all over the country really pushing back on this horrible very
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serious threat and we are going to work with them so they can. >> are you supplying weapons, the united states directly to the peshmerga, the kurdish fighters or do those weapons first have to go to the iraqi government in baghdad and then go to the north? >> well it all has to be coordinated with the iraqi government in baghdad but we have provided assistance to both the iraqi security forces and the kurdish security forces. >> directly? >> all coordinated, all coordinated but we want to get it there as quickly as we can and that's been our goal obviously given the threat. >> because as you know, senator mccain, chairman of the armed services committee, he says and i'm quoting him now, there's a huge bureaucratic bottleneck in the state department preventing this coalition from getting the weapons they need. >> i think nothing could be further from the truth. we are expediting every request we get for assistance whether it's from the iraqis whether it's from the jordanians. that might have been what senator mccain was talking b about. >> the king was complaining when he was here the other day, that the u.s. was not providing
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jordan the weapons, the supplies it really needs to get the job done. >> we are expediting every single request, trying to do this as quickly as possible. we have one of the largest security assistance relationships with jordan of any country in the world. just this week my boss secretary kerry, signed a new memorandum of understanding with the jordanian foreign minister who will be on your show later to increase this relationship. >> i just want to be precise. you expedited it since the murder of this jordanian pilot? >> we have been expediting it since the fight against isil and the coalition really has gotten up and running. we have been expediting it for months quite frankly. this is a process that takes some time but we are getting them what they need as quickly as we can. >> my conversations with some jordanian officials, they have been frustrated but let's see if that situation improves. one final question. the status of that american female aid worker who is being held by isis. what can you tell us about that? >> well we know that we will do everything we can, as the united states government to get americans who are being held overseas back. that is our obligation. we use every tool possible.
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we don't talk about a lot of those details for the privacy of the family obviously, aand the sensitivity of the situation but we are working every single hour, every single day to get americans home. >> i want you to stand by. we have a lot more to stand about. the situation in ukraine is now getting much much worse. grave in the words of a senior u.s. official. much more on ukraine. also more on what's going on in this war against isis.
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as fighting rages in ukraine, the united states and allies are stepping up the pressure on russia. in kiev today, secretary of state john kerry said the u.s. is able to track russian heavy
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weapons and soldiers sent across the border and the u.s. wants them all, all of them pulled back. the state department spokeswoman marie harf is standing by. we will discuss what's going on. first, let's go live to our chief national security correspondent jim sciutto. he is in kiev for us. he has been traveling with the secretary of state. what's the latest, jim? >> reporter: let me tell you, i have been covering this ukraine story for a number of months and i have never heard such dire assessments of the situation on the ground in eastern ukraine by u.s. officials, by ukrainian officials. they describe a grave escalation, particularly in the last several days and there is no doubt as to who they place the blame for this. they don't talk about pro-russian separatists backed by russia. they talk about russia russian forces russian weapons and an uptick in those weapons going in which is really turning the tide against ukrainian forces there. so when we reached out to russia with that assessment and got yet
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another denial from moscow have a listen to how secretary kerry and the ukrainian prime minister pushed back. >> kremlin spokesman took particular issue with you saying that there are russian forces inside ukraine escalating the situation. he said there are no russian tanks or army in ukraine. these accusations are not true. i wonder if you could react to that. >> mr. prime minister is it true that as the kremlin just said today, there are no russians on the ground? >> it seems to me the only country who strongly deny clear military russian boots on the ground is russian federation and personally president putin. if they need i can give them my gloves. >> reporter: he was using humor but it was bitter humor. i was just a couple of feet from the ukrainian prime minister as
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he said that and i could practically feel his blood pressure jumping as he described it. later he made another joke but a difficult one, saying that he almost laughs when he gets peace proposals from president putin. he says he doesn't even want to touch them. that gives you a sense of what the groundwork is here for a possible negotiated settlement. there's a lot of skepticism from the ukrainian side. >> we know that when the ukrainian president poroshenko was in washington last september, he was asking the obama administration for military assistance aid, lethal weaponry. they still want it. do they expect to get it any time soon? >> reporter: well they certainly didn't get it on this trip. i also asked prime minister that very question. i said was he disappointed that you have secretary kerry here, the french president, the german chancellor and yet no new punitive sanctions against russia and none of that military aid. he did not say he was
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disappointed at least not in public but he did say that listen we don't want these weapons for offensive reasons. we want them simply to defend our country. another plea as of yet, that plea has not been answered. >> jim sciutto, we will get back to you. thanks very much. let's go back to the state department deputy spokeswoman, marie harf. what about the u.s. doing what ukraine really needs, weapons? will the united states start providing weapons to the ukrainian military? >> well we are continuing. in fact the administration is having a discussion about what else we can do to help the ukrainians. obviously secretary kerry was just there, heard from them directly about what more they might need and that conversation is ongoing. certainly we have been incredibly concerned by the escalation of violence particularly over the last few days and weeks, and that's all part of the calculation. >> why not provide them weapons? many members of congress are sending you letters, congressman adam schiff the ranking democrat on the house intelligence committee is circulating a letter they all want the administration to start providing weapons to ukraine in
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the face of what they call russian aggression. why not? >> this is certainly russian aggression. we are very clear that we want to help ukraine push back on this. i think as we have talked about, we have to look at what makes the most sense strategically. our goal has always been deescalation but as i said we have been increasingly concerned. we are talking inside the administration about what more we can do and we will keep having that conversation. >> so far, the u.s.-led sanctions on russia have not had much of an effect on putin, have they? >> they have had a pretty big effect on the russian economy. >> putin willing to commit what you call aggression in ukraine, he has continued to do so. >> that's right. we will keep putting the pressure on with the ultimate goal of changing the calculation. he has a choice to make here. on the one hand the russians signed up to the minsk agreement and talk about ways to deescalate and on the other hand they pour armored vehicles tanks, really heavy weapons into ukraine. the spokesperson saying there's no new weapons there just defies logic. you can see them. they are not stealth weapons. we will keep putting the
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pressure on. >> you anticipate the administration the president of the united states imposing additional economic diplomatic military sanctions if you will on russia? >> we have always said there will be additional costs if they continue the escalation. i don't have anything to preview obviously but the conversation continues. we will keep putting pressure on president putin to get him to make different decisions. >> are the european allies like germany, france italy, are they on board? >> they are. >> on increasing sanctions? a lot of people in europe don't even like the current sanctions on russia because it's hurt their own respective economies. >> they obviously have an economy very closely tied to russia's but we have talked to the eu and our partners about increasing sanctions. they have increased them along with us over time. and they may do so again as well. we will continue talking about this. i know our european partners are meeting with the ukrainians and russians today and tomorrow to see if they can make progress on the diplomatic side. >> here's one down side of providing weapons to ukraine.
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u.s. air force general warned that giving ukraine lethal military equipment in his words could cause an even stronger reaction from russia. >> there's a variety of factors we take into account when deciding what kind of assistance we can give. obviously the general speaks to one factor here. but we are considering all of them. the secretary had that conversation today. i can imagine we will have many more conversations inside the administration about what else to do. >> the meeting monday with the visiting german chancellor angela merkel and the president, that will be critically important and ukraine will be at the top of the agenda. >> absolutely. >> thanks very much for coming in. >> happy to be here. coming up amazing stories from survivors of that taiwan plane crash. one man says he lived because he unbuckled, yes, unbuckled his seat belt at the last second. later, a new isis video may show the most wanted woman in france. is it the widow, the widow of that paris kosher supermarket gunman? at ally bank no branches equals great rates. it's a fact. kind of like shopping hungry equals
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we're learning dramatic new details about that deadly airliner crash that was all caught on camera. passengers who survived are telling us now how they got out alive and in some cases, helped save others as well. cnn's ana koren is joining us live from taiwan. what is the very latest? >> reporter: we are learning extraordinary tales of these passengers who virtually walked away unscathed from transasia flight 235 that clipped that bridge and then crashed into the river. we're at the hospital where many of those survivors are
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recovering. the dean of the hospital is expected to give a press conference here shortly and will be joined by some of those patients but for the search and rescue teams, they will be back in that river, those divers heading back there to scour the waters in search for the 12 people still missing. the search goes on. divers scouring the water for bodies. missing passengers who plunged to their deaths in a harrowing plane crash that is now being seen around the world. another victim found in the mangled cabin of the transasia plane. rescuers fear other bodies may have been swept down river away from the crash site. where suitcases lay among the wreckage. some of the bags may belong to these chinese tourists. this newly released hotel security video shows the haunting hours before they boarded flight 235. crash survivors now are
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revealing more about the flight's final moments. amazingly, 15 people came out of the crash alive, including this toddler. a 72-year-old man who spoke with cnn affiliate eetv. >> translator: something was wrong with the engine because i always take this flight. i told the girl beside me to quickly release her seat belt hold on to the chair in front and cover her head with clothes. not long after, the plane went down. >> reporter: unbuckling their seat belts may have saved their lives. a first responder who rushed into the aircraft shortly after the crash told a local newspaper quote, many passengers were tangled up in their seat belts and hung upside down. some even passed away in that position. in addition to those on board, two people were injured on the ground. the driver and the passenger of a taxi that was clipped by the plane as it went down. the driver phoned his company moments later and a recording of
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the call shows the dispatcher had a hard time grasping what had happened. >> translator: as i was getting on the expressway a plane flew by and hit me. >> a remote controlled model plane? >> translator: my car is completely wrecked. >> a remote controlled model plane? >> translator: not a remote control plane. a small plane. >> reporter: maintenance crews gave the okay for that plane to take off just minutes before it crashed. it really is quite tragic. authorities here focusing their investigation very much on engine failure as the cause of the crash. >> i assume the people there in taipei and taiwan where you are, they must be stunned. they have all seen this dramatic video. it must be stunning to them they are so close to this bridge and to that little river. >> reporter: yeah it really is quite extraordinary. we were down at the banks of that river where that overpass
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bridge was literally above us and to think that this enormous plane had clipped it with its wing had hit that taxi i mean for those people that driver and that 26-year-old passenger to get out alive is just extraordinary. then for it to crash into the river and to see it break up the debris that was pulled from the river and then carted on to trucks and taken away for the investigation, to think that anyone survived is just amazing. but almost a quarter of the plane did that. so people here very grateful that there were survivors. obviously there's a lot of pain a lot of loss as the families of the dead now gather here to recover the bodies. >> anna stand by. with us now in "the situation room" the former national transportation safety board managing director peter goles, our aviation analyst miles o'brien and the former commercial airline pilot and aviation consultant alistair rosenshine. i want all of you also to stand
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by for a moment. we are getting more information. i want to take a quick break. much more on what happened in taiwan with that plane crash right after this. if a denture were to be put under a microscope we can see all the bacteria that still exists. polident's unique micro clean formula works in just 3 minutes, killing 99.99% of odor causing bacteria. for a cleaner, fresher brighter denture everyday. no matter who you are, if you have type 2 diabetes, you know it can be a struggle to keep your a1c down. so imagine ... what if there was a new class of medicine that works differently to lower blood sugar? imagine loving your numbers. introducing once-daily invokana®. it's the first of a new kind of prescription medicine that's used along with diet and exercise to lower blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes. invokana® is a once-daily pill that works around the clock to help lower a1c. here's how: the kidneys allow sugar to be absorbed
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we're following the investigation into the transasia airways crash that killed at least 32 of the 58 people on board. they are analyzing data from the plane's so-called black boxes and some of the 15 passengers who survived the crash are
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describing how they managed to get out alive and they helped others as well. our aviation and safety experts are here in "the situation room." peter, let's talk to you first. taiwanese officials say they should be this is similar to this kind of flight recorder data flight recorder they will be making it available to french investigators as early as tomorrow. what will we learn from that? >> i think we will see exactly what happened did the engine quit when did it quit and what were the pilots' response to that. by certification standards, they should have been able to fly the plane out with the failed engine. >> no doubt that that one engine failed, because the propeller wasn't even moving. >> apparently so. right. >> what could cause that? >> well it could be any number of mechanical things. tr turboprops need to be maintained. they are delicate engines. they are not quite as robust as jet engines. so you need to watch it. this company has a terrible safety record. >> which company? >> transasia. >> really. so you blame the company and its
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record as opposed to the aircraft itself? >> it is an appalling safety record over the life of the company. >> really. >> yes. >> all pilots they are supposed to know how to deal with one, if it's a two engine plane, two props, if one of them goes out they are supposed to know how to deal with that right? >> it's something you train for, something you do in the simulator and something that has to be done exactly right almost to the second when it happens. if you have a situation where, for example, that propeller is windmilling on the dead engine might as well be the lid of a trash can out there. it causes a lot of adverse yaw as they call it meaning it will send it in one direction. it can be impossible to recover from that if you don't put the propeller's edge on. it's called feathering. did the auto feather system work and if it didn't did the crew do manual feathering to allow this plane to be recovered -- you can recover from this if you do it right. >> alistair what's your analysis? the plane takes off, is in the air for a few minutes, maybe three or four minutes and all of a sudden they lose one of the engines. what does the pilot do next?
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>> well when you lose an engine you have to keep the aircraft going straight so you apply the opposite rudder the rudder on the live engine and you know pilots know that the dead foot that is the foot that's not applying the rudder pedal, indicates which engine has failed which in this case would have been the left-hand one. can i say as they were pulling the engine out of the water i noticed that the propeller was feathered. it was in the feathered position. so that was either done automatically or manually. aircraft as your previous spokesman has just said should fly perfectly well with one engine out. it does require you to do certain actions in short order very quickly, and according to your training. it's possible this aircraft seems to be carrying a third pilot, this was a training flight and that's not unusual either. but again, you have the experienced captain in the left-hand seat or the experienced first officer, one or the other, would take control
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if one pilot isn't managing it well. but this flight was quite erratic from the moment from the 1250 foot point in its climb and it appeared to have stalled which caused that rapid roll to the left as it hit the bridge. >> we heard on that audio, miles, that pilot calling out mayday mayday engine flameout. right? >> flameout indicating clearly something wrong with that left engine. we don't know what and that's why we need to look at the maintenance records of this airline. there are some reports that it had just come out of maintenance which is always a time when a pilot double and triple-checks his aircraft before he flies it. >> peter, what do you make of this one surviving passenger who said the reason he survived is because he took his seat belt off and he crouched down. if he would have been in his seat belt he would have been hanging there like so many of the other passengers who died. the recommendation from him, he saw what was going on and he took his seat belt off. >> unfortunately, that's a dangerous anecdote. the reality is today's seats in
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aircraft are very protective. they are designed to withstand 16 gs. they save lives. people should keep their seat belts on but they ought to be prepared to do what's necessary once the plane comes to a stop. >> alistair what do you make of that passenger saying he survived because he removed his seat belt? >> well i don't buy into that at all. this is anecdotal evidence. it's not scientific. you know we know that safety belts save lives. if you remember when seat belts became mandatory in cars especially sports cars owners of cars were saying that was dangerous because if an aircraft rolls and catches fire you're not thrown clear. i don't buy into that at all. passengers should most definitely keep their safety belts done up tightly. >> thanks very much, guys. we will stay on top of this story. more coming up later. coming up now, a new isis video may show one of the world's most wanted female terrorists. is she the widow of that paris
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supermarket gunman? right at the top of the hour a new peace plan to end what the u.s. is calling a grave and dire situation. but will it stop? the russian president, vladimir putin. the real question that needs to be asked is "what is it that we can do that is impactful?" what the cloud enables is computing to empower cancer researchers. it used to take two weeks to sequence and analyze a genome; with the microsoft cloud we can analyze 100 per day. whatever i can do to help compute a cure for cancer, that's what i'd like to do. (vo) after 50 years of designing cars for crash survival, subaru has developed our most revolutionary feature yet. a car that can see trouble... ...and stop itself to avoid it.
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compare these photos. let's take -- take a look and see how experts are trying to assess whether this is a photo of hayat boumeddiene. on the left that's what she looked like. this is the image from the video. could this be the same woman? >> it's possible. what they will do -- they only have her eyes to work with comparing the second photo. they will be looking at the shape, size color, eyebrows formation of the eye and just working on that. the other part they will work on is who is associated with that. if she's in a group of men and they are speaking french are the authorities in france aware of who that group is and whether she had ties and it would be circumstantial that she's not with them. >> it's believed that she fled to syria days before that attack in that kosher supermarket. what do you think? is there a chance this could be her? >> wolf french intelligence
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services have been looking into that possibility. so far, tonight they have received no indication yet that it is her in this video. no evidence. of course it's difficult to make any kind of match because she's got a scarf, this woman in this video, wolf. 100 french women have travelled to fight in syria and iraq to join isis and other groups. it could be somebody else. i'm pretty skeptical. i think they would make a bigger song and dance about it if it was her who had joined the group and actually identifying her. >> presumably it would be good publicity, good pr good social media buzz if this was hayat boumeddiene? >> it would be a very big deal indeed. likely to roll out the red carpet for her, put her in a video, get her to talk about the paris attacks and isis could take overership erownership over the attacks and get her to call on french
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women and men to come and join their ranks in syria and iraq. >> the new video, this isis video as you know tom, it's calling for more attacks against french police officers french soldiers. is there an effort to go after westerners in general by isis? >> i think it's the same old message from them. they have been calling for that for months if not years. definitely in the last few months. every time they have called for it whether it be in france or other countries, it has happened. it has been followed up by people carrying it out. i agree with what paul said a minute ago that if that was really her, you would think they would want to exploit her, let her show her face prove it's her, talk about the french attack. did i it we did it we're great. you don't have that. >> they still might do that in the coming days. >> you would think. but why not already? >> we will see if they do. tom, thanks very much. paul. with u.s.-built warplanes and
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happening now, punishing isis. a key u.s. ally launching new air strikes and promises more to come. how far will jurorordan go to retaliate? i will ask the country's foreign minister in an exclusive interview. russia blame. as the battle for ukraine escalates, suggestions that putin is lying lying about his role in the conflict. cnn is on the ground for a visit by john kerry. life and death choices. new information about the survivors of a plane crash.
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did their seat assignments help keep them alive? we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you are in "the situation room." breaking now, the jordanian military says today's air strikes in syria are "just the beginning." the united states is helping its critical ally in the middle east retaliate against the terrorists for the murder of a captured jet fighter pilot. we're standing by to get new information on jordan's role in the war against isis. the foreign minister he is joining us live this hour for an exclusive interview. we have our news makers correspondents and analysts. they are here to cover all the news that's breaking right now. first, let's go to the pentagon. our correspondent barbara starr has the latest. >> reporter: tonight, jordan going after isis personnel,
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weapon sites. the real question is will it be enough? jordanian f-16s took to the skies over syria striking nearly 20 isis targets in an isis strong hold deep in eastern syria. it came as king abdullah paid a condolence call. bombs carrying messages islam has nothing to do with your actions and versus from the koran, drop upon them stones of fire and they will turn their back and run. king abdullah posting this a wartime commander delivering jordan's vow of receipty tiretribution. >> we are in coordination with allies in the coalition to make sure that we go after the targets and that we hit them and
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hit them hard. >> reporter: the jordanians and u.s. had been working for days to develop a list of isis targets, even as isis tried to hide from the bombs. >> they are disbursing. they are not as bold as they once were. they are not traveling in large -- what might be described as conventional masses. >> reporter: u.s. warplanes, including f-22s and f-16s flew alongside providing intelligence and reconnaissance jamming isis communication. it may be just the beginning of jordan's response. >> what needs to happen is an effort where u.s. advisers are with them every step of the way helping them plan missions helping them direct forces helping them do things that they are not used to doing on their own. >> reporter: the u.n. commissioner for human rights and king abdullah's cousin saying bombing is not enough. >> what is needed the addition
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of a different sort of battle line, one which principally by muslim leaders and muslim countries and based on ideas of the reassertion of traditional islam and the everyday narrative of muslims. >> reporter: now tonight there is every reason to believe exactly what you said wolf. jordan king abdullah they are not done. there will be more air strikes in the coming hours and days. wolf? >> barbara starr at the pentagon, thank you. frnls joining us now, the foreign minister of jordan live from ahmann. thanks very much for joining us. first, our deepest condolences to the family there for the horrific death of that jet fighter pilot. please pass along our condolences to the family on behalf of all of us here at cnn. let's get to the news right now. what are the targets -- what targets can jordanian fighter aircraft hit today against isis targets in syria?
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>> well thank you very much for your condolences, wolf. it's good to be on your program again. today, as barbara said in her report we had a multitude of targets ranging from weapons and ammunition depots to training camps. you mentioned in your report and so did barbara that this is the beginning of jordan's response. it's actually the beginning of our retaliation over this horrific and brutal murder of our brave young pilot. but it's not the beginning of our fight against terrorism and extremism. we have been in this for a good few weeks, and we have been fighting terrorism for a number of years. yes, we are upping the ante going after them with everything that we have. but it's not the beginning and it's not the end. >> there's a lot more to come. what's next? >> well as you know it's difficult to divulge military plans and strategies on the air.
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but we are, like i said going after them in every possible way wherever they are. we will have to teach them a lesson. we have been teaching them a lesson. i think if there was any doubt by anyone that these terrorists are brutal murderers, barbarians, that doubt is gone. if there was any doubt that this is an organization that has anything to do with any religion on the face of this planet that doubt has gone. if there was any doubt as to who the enemy is we all now know very clearly in the ugliest possible way who this ep meenemy is. >> is it fair to say that so-called jihadi john, the spokesman on the video, threatening to behead hostages is it fair to say that he is on your target list? >> everyone is on our target
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list. we don't specify. but as you know they conceal themselves very well. they are cowards at the end of the day. but, again, i think it's very very important to see that the country today is united in its response to the brutal killing of our pilot. united also in this effort which is our war at the end of the day. we are extremely fortunate to have friends and allies as part of a coalition. but we are at the forefront. this is our fight. and we work collectively with our friends and allies. this is how the outcome will be guaranteed. >> i know your strikes today and so far the jordanian air force strikes have been against isis targets in syria. are you ready to expand those targets against isis targets also in iraq? >> wolf we have been saying from day one, if you remember his majesty the king and all of us have been saying that isis
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has completely obliterated the geographic border between iraq and syria. they are moving back and forth as if there is no political border. when you want to effectively go after extremists and terrorists you have to assume that there is no border. we have been attacking targets in both countries as far as we are concerned. the coalition actually knows that isis is in iraq and is in syria. you have to go after them in both countries. don't forget wolf if i may just remind that when we say this is a global war or a third world war by other means there are almost 80 nationalities, foreign fighters fighting alongside this renegade group. we have seen incidents in australia, ottawa the incidents in paris. so this is a global war. it requires a global effort by the international community. >> as you know, a lot of military analysts are saying you can, through air power, you can
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degrade isis' capabilities but you can't defeat them, you can't desdroitroy them. that will require ground troops. is jordan ready to commit ground troops to defeat isis? >> it will require everything wolf. this is a fight along multiple tracks. you have the military track, which is as a result of the clear and present danger. you have a security of the region and the countries in the region. but you also have a very long-term fight, the ideological fight. in terms of military strategy people can give you both sides of the argument. we know the sustained air campaign in the last few weeks has doe gradeegraded. they are on the run and they are hiding. we know they are moving from location to location. we're on top of them. >> who is supporting isis right now? they are getting money, support from some outside sources,
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right? >> right. i don't know if it's outside sources or not. let's look at the facts as they are on the ground. they are in control of a vast territory. they have serious access to funds -- to serious funds. they also have access to sophisticated weaponry. so let's not fool ourselves. they are there. but, listen the collective will of the international community will certainly overpower and we shall prevail. >> i assume the people of jordan are united behind king abdullah right? >> they are united behind their king behind their leader. they are united in their resolve to defeat these terrorists because these terrorists are a threat to all of us. and any doubt that was there by a few fempeople is gone. they saw they don't belong to a religion or faith or humanity. they claim to be muslims.
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well at the end of the day, it's our fight. we can't find ourselves on the defensive every time you have a new terrorist or extremeist organization and defend islam and say this. islam by definition is a religion of peace and harmony. these people don't represent islam. they don't represent any religion on the face of the planet. >> i want to clarify. out there in social media and the internet there are suggestions that king abdullah himself, he is a trained military man, a helicopter pilot. he may be in a jet fighter and sit in the cockpit. is that true? >> his majesty the king has a military background. he is supreme commander of the armed forces. he commands the troops. he sets policy. i think what you saw there today in social media is creativity.
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>> that's not true. what about the united arab emirates. they suspended air strikes after your pilot had to bail out, was captured by isis. they didn't think the u.s. search and rescue operations were good enough. do you believe the u.s.-led search and rescue operations are good enough? i assume you are worried. we hope it doesn't happen another jordanian pilot could be lost. >> your report indicated that we are working very very closely, our two military are working very closely with each other. the uae is a key partner in the effort. so are many other arab and muslim countries and european countries and especially all our friends in the coalition. as you know coalition has over 60 members in london on the 22nd of january, the small group, the 21 countries who are effectively engaged in combat operations met and logistical support met. think our resolve is up wavering. there was a procedural
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discussion that was taking place between the uae and the u.s. i believe the discussion is ongoing. but the uae is a crucial partner in this. >> we know -- think we know. you can correct me if i'm wrong. following when his plane went down, the jordanian pilot, there was a rescue operation, right? but it didn't succeed. can you share information about what was attempted? >> of course i can't, wolf. everything that could have been done was attempted and was done. whether immediately after his plane went down or in the six weeks of emotional turmoil that we all lived until the tape came out with the horrific end. but as you know -- i think we're all on the same sheet. >> the video came out the other day. within a few hours, jordan said
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that you knew he had been killed back on january 3. when did you actually learn that he had been killed on january 3? >> wolf these are terrorists. they are extremists. when they captured our pilot, we knew that the chances of getting him back safe and sound were very very slim. given their history and their brutality and the hostages they have killed in the past. there was a glimmer of hope. we were getting reports he could be alive. no one will tell you that we knew for a fact that he was killed. we had suspected it all along. there were messages bits and pieces of information that indicated that he may still be alive. when they started sending messages when the japanese hostages came into the picture, that they will not kill him if the woman we held here as a prisoner on death row was
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released, we knew that it might not be true but perhaps there was a glimmer of hope. when we saw that video, i think that's when we all learned for sure that this was the end. >> when you were asking through intermediaryies for proof of life that the pilot was alive, you assumed he wasn't. but you had that glimmer of hope is that right? >> that is absolutely correct. when we asked for proof of life and we got none our suspicions were almost confirmed. but we had no facts within our reach. >> i know from my conversations with officials here in washington when king abdullah was here the other day, you were here in washington you had to cut short the visit unfortunately because of that video. the king was asking for an acceleration in u.s. military assistance to jordan. what do you need from the united states right now? are you frustrated that the u.s. isn't providing the arms the weapons, the financial aid that jordan needs in this war?
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>> no frustration whatsoever. we have an exemplary relationship. we're partners. while his majesty was in washington and i was with him, we signed a renewal of the mou which sets the ceiling of financial assistance to jordan by the u.s. it went up from $660 million a year to a billion a year split between military and economic assistance. the u.s. has been stallworth with jordan. there are certain more requirements that are needed. these are being processed across the board. the appropriations house and senate foreign relations, we are very blessed to have this fantastic relationship between our two countries across the
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board. everything that we need, everything that you need because at the end of the day we're together in this is being processed and hopefully accomplished. >> basically, you are getting what you need. is there anything -- any specific request that is not yet been accepted by the obama administration and congress? >> no. there is nothing that has not been accepted wolf. this is what i'm trying to say. there is an intensive effort these days which requires more and these requests are being processed, the mill tauritary detail i can't get into them. we have fantastic open channels of communication, military to military administration to administration. i think everybody is talking to everybody. we want to see this through in a very effective way. >> i know that there are -- how many millions of refugees -- iraqi refugees you have had to take in from the war in iraq syrian refugees you are taking in. how many refugees has jordan been forced to accept over the past several years?
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>> well not forced to accept. but circumstances have forced us all to accept. we have still from the remnants of the iraqi war about 300,000 iraqis in jordan since the eruption in syria, almost four years ago, today we have 1.5 million syrians in jordan half of whom are registered refugees. the others are economic migrants who came here and cannot go back. you are talking about 21%, 22% of the population. this is an awesome and extremely cumbersome burden on our already drained and strained infrastructure. but it's way short of what's needed. your country has been fantastic. but more is needed if jordan is going to shoulder this responsibility on behalf of the international community. >> jordan has been one of the united states' best friends in that part of the world. foreign minister thanks so much for joining us. our deepest condolences to you.
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we will stay in close touch. >> thank you so much. still ahead, a grave escalation in the battle for ukraine. a new warning from the united states as secretary of state john kerry travels to the war zone. he turns up the heat on russia. will speak about that and more with a key member of the house foreign affairs committee. he is walking into the situation room. thanks for joining us. why do we do it? why do we spend every waking moment, thinking about people? why are we so committed to keeping you connected? why combine performance with a conscience? why innovate for a future without accidents? why do any of it? why do all of it? because if it matters to you it's everything to us. the xc60 crossover. from volvo. lease the well-equipped volvo xc60 today. visit your local volvo showroom for details.
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the united states is warning of a grave escalation in one of the deadliest european wars in years. today, the setting of state john
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kerry was in the ukrainian capital increasing pressure on russia for a new cease-fire even as the u.s. weighs sending lethal aid to ukrainian septaaccept separatist separatists. jim sciutto is on the ground there. what's the latest on this dangerous situation? >> reporter: wolf i will tell you the latest. france and germany, they met with the ukrainian president and they will fly to moscow to try to rescue a peace agreement out of the war on the ground here a plan presented by the russian president described to me earlier by a western official not as a peace plan, as a cynical document. they will be dealing with the president in russia who has made and violated peace agreements before. all this while russian forces and russian-backed forces escalating violence on the ground.
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secretary kerry arrived in ukraine in the midst of what state department officials called a grave escalation on the ground. ukrainians described as barbaric attacks on civilians. the culprit they made clear, russia. a massive influx of russian heavy weapons and russian soldiers. moscow's recent denial to cnn from the kremlin spokesman sparked a bitter response. >> he said there are no russian tanks or army in ukraine. these accusations are not true. i wonder if he could react to that and also just answer if you believe the u.s. in the west can have a reasonable negotiation with a counterpart who has a die metically opposed view of the facts on the ground before you get to potential solutions moving forward? >> mr. prime minister is it true that as the kremlin just
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said today there are no russians on the ground in -- >> it seems to me the only country who strongly deny clear military russian boots on the ground is russian federation and personally president putin. if they need i can give them my glasses. >> reporter: following secretary kerry in a remarkable show of diplomatic muscle the president of france and the chancellor of germany who met with ukrainian leaders. the immediate focus, a state department official tells cnn, a new cease-fire to stem the growing blood shed. so far, no new round of economic sanctions and no military aid for ukrainian forces. now overpowered by russian forces who have captured hunts of square miles of territory
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since the failure of the peace agreement last september. >> to get peace, you have to defend your country. and you have to deter russia. not allowing russian troops to move further and further. >> reporter: the westward move raising concerns in washington where lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are pushing the administration to answer ukraine's call for military help. >> allowmoscow may feel emboldened to challenge the nato alieps. >> reporter: u.s. officials are considering a new round of sanctions, a number of options against the russian economy. they are also considering reconsidering the possibility of military aid to ukraine. no immediate decisions on either of those fronts. the focus now on simply stopping or slowing the fighting. >> jim sciutto for us, thanks
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very much. let's dig deeper. joining us adam kinzinger of illinois a member of the house foreign affairs committee. congressman, thanks for joining us. i know this is a huge issue for ukraine. do you want the administration to immediately start providing weapons to ukraine? >> i think we have to. i think it's time. we have talked about this for a year. the president came to congress and said look you can't defend freedom with blankets. >> the president of ukraine? >> came and said you can't defend freedom with blankets. this is a military that hasn't had any influx of new military equipment since the breakup of the soviet union. it's a country that gave up its nuclear weapons under this promise of freedom and integrity. now i think the united states is in a position to say, look you need to have the tools and the ability to defend yourself. we're not giving -- we're not giving ukraine weapons necessary to invade into russia just to defend their territory. >> anti-tank weapons. you are a veteran.
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here is the question. is the ukrainian military up to the job of standing up? if you believe russian troops have moved in in big numbers into ukraine, can the military even with u.s. weapons do the job? >> i think that's a good question. i think on top of the weapons, it's going to take side by side probably training on the weapons to ensure that they there are battalions able to take back a lot of urban fighting by the way, which is dangerous fighting. so i think there needs to be beyond just giving weapons and saying see you, we're going home, there needs to be american trainers on the ground. >> you would support u.s. military advisors to ukraine to help the military? >> yeah. >> are you ready to increase u.s.-led economic financial political diplomatic sanctions against russia? so far they don't seem to have had much of an impact? >> i would. the question is have they had an impact? i guess you can't tell what hasn't happened. russia is playing a price with low oil prices.
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one of the best things we can do is talk about the natural gas that we have in this country, helping europe development their own energy resources, etch porting some of what we have. it counters the russian weapon of energy. that's why you see europe in some cases unwilling to take strong strong stands against russia because they are concerned about the economic side of things. >> are we on the verge of another cold war? >> i'm afraid we are. i think this is something that we probably don't recognize yet. i think russians think we are. look at what happened in georgia. i have been to georgia. i have seen russian troops occupying the territories. this is another movement about that. if russia finds themselves getting away with the an exation of cry mere ya or the battle in eastern ukraine, what's next? the biggest fear is estonia, lithuania. >> the nato ally is attacks, all nato allies must come to their defense. >> that's what you hope. that what works as the biggest deterrent. if putin feels unchecked in
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ukraine and georgia and other places will he -- we don't know who he is. this guy may be crazy enough to challenge a nato alliance. maybe he thinks he can get away with it. >> if he were to do that the other nato allies i think would respond. then we go beyond cold war, we go into hot war. represent kinzinger, thanks for coming in. coming up investigators one step closer to figuring out what caused that deadly plane crash. we have new details, new information coming into the situation. our "name your price" tool helps -- oh, jamie you got a little something on the back of your shoe there. a price tag! danger! price tag alert! oh. hey, guys. price tag alert!
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breaking now, jordan making good on its vow to avengs the death of its fighter pilot burned alive in a cage by isis. forces have carried out more air strikes inside syria. this hour jordan's foreign minister just told me this is only just the beginning of his country's retaliation. he says his country's resolve is unwavering. jordan will hit isis every possible way. let's dig deeper with our counter counterterrorism expert peter mudd and james reese and bob baer. phil we heard the foreign minister say, that border between iraq and syria has been so ydyied up they will go
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after isis targets in syria and iraq. >> it shows resolve that we were uncertain about. you have the emotional response in syria. clear reason why syria is the headquarters for isis leadership serious location of the murder of the pilot. go across the border you get into a different kettle of fish. a location where the americans interest fein intervened. you are going into a sensitive area that's governed by a shia government. member jordan is a sunni state. this is a show that the jordanians are in the game maybe more than we expected. >> peter, isis propaganda they like this notion that they are fighting the united states. when jordan gets in there and fights them that's a different set of propaganda challenge for them isn't it in. >> yes and no. they regard these arab regimes as puppets of the united states. they will say the saudi king is
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basically a puppet of the united states. the jordanian king is. it's not a new propaganda problem. that's how they see the world. >> colonel, is there a possibility there can be a strong coalition of arabs -- arabs that will go in there and destroy isis? >> wolf i believe there can be and i believe king abdullah and the jordanians can lead the other arab nations and start to take the lead. like i said the last couple nights allow the united states to step back in this true military consulting role instead of being the leaders. >> colonel, you think this is a turning point, is that right? >> i do. i think what it does is it puts the arab states on notice. king abdullah said this is tragic this is unbelievable this is not our religion. it gives him a chance to challenge the saudi arabias, the united arab emirates and kuwait.
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it's kind of like put your money where your mouth is. >> bob baer the latest video we have seen from isis features a masked man lighting a flame but not that so-called jihadi john. is this significant at all? >> no. you know this is the best they can do in terms of propaganda. really the decision was to burn that pilot. as colonel reese said this has infuriated the arabs at all levels devout muslims, the rest of it they went way beyond on this. i think that's why we are seeing the king abdullah receive so much support in jordan. unquestioned. remember jordan was a country that stayed out of the 2003 invasion of iraq. now things are different. now they will go after these people. i think you will see a lot of gulf arab support as well whether it's money or actual troops. this is exactly what we want to
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happen is sunni arabs to go after this movement and destroy it rather than the united states. >> philip mudd the jordanians are vowing they will do their best to crush isis and they will launch air strikes galore. >> i think they are saying that. if you step back and look at the targets that we have we have been going after this target since the summer. isis has been imbedding for three or four years. to think you can overnight turn a switch on with air strikes and defeat al qaeda and turn it back i think is not proper. we have to look at the jordanian commitment to go into iraq and say this better be around for months or years, because we're going to be at this for a long time. >> i think you are right. stan by stand by. we have new details on the horrifying plane crash. did seat belts make a difference as to who lived and who died? [ male announcer ] eligible for medicare? that's a good thing, but it doesn't cover everything.
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tonight aviation officials are getting ready to reveal what they learned from the black box recorders recovered from the wreckage. we are hearing more chilling accounts from the people who remarkably survived. let's go go toto rene marsh. >> reporter: this was the plane's path. this is the overpass that the plane clipped on its way down.
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we have seen this jaw dropping video. but tonight, we are hearing amazing stories of survival. taiwan's president at the bedside of survivors of transasia flight 235. the final seconds caught on dash cam. >> mayday, mayday. >> reporter: it narrowly escaped landing into buildings. at least 30 people died. miraculous miraculously more than a dozen survive. >> shortly after takeoff, i felt something wasn't right. something was wrong with the engine because i always take this flight. >> reporter: from a hospital bed, this 72-year-old survivor tells how he helped fellow passengers escape. >> translator: i told the girl beside me to release her seat belt, hold on to the chair in front and cover he had head with clothes. not long after, the plane went down. >> reporter: he unbuckled seat
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belts as the water rose in the cabin. this man fought his way out of the wreckage then searched the water for his son. after three minutes, he found the toddler. local media reported his lips were blew his heart not beating. he performed cpr. his son survived. this father credits a last minute seat change for their survival. after hearing a strange sound, his family moved to the rear right side of the plane. you can see the aircraft dips left. reports say that side sustained the most damage. >> often, your seating and where the plane breaks open and whether you can get out of the plane from where you are seated can determine whether or not you survive. having your seat near the greatest concentration of exits so you can get out if there's an opportunity to do so. >> reporter: inside this taxi two more survival stories. the plane's wing smashed the windshield. the 52-year-old driver and his
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passenger injured but alive. just after the crash, he reported to his dispatcher a plane clipped his taxi. the details hard for even the dispatcher to believe. at this point, investigators have secured the wreckage the plane's recorders have been successfully downloaded the a transcript of the pilot's full conversation is now being drafted. meantime, all models of this plane have been grounded for a thorough safety inspection. the focus will be on the engines. when you look at the statistics for this airline, four crashes in the past 20 years, not a stellar safety record. >> thanks for that report. a quick break. we will be right back. ♪ (flute plays throughout) ♪ my new website on squarespace is designed to help you
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people on the go. hr.. a texas size uproar after a florida senator called texas a crazy state. >> congress is usually a place where people are angry they say things and express things by saying my friend from florida or the gentleman from texas. rarely do they actually say what they mean. this week one congressman did and he's not backing down. >> reporter: it should have been a humdrum hearing ahead of house republicans 67th vote to repeal defend or change obama care.
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>> i don't know about in your state which i think is crazy state and i mean that just as i said it. >> very defamatory statement and i will not stand here and listen to it. >> reporter: it quickly got weird and ugly. >> well fine you don't have to listen. >> reporter: taking on the entire state of texas for not joining in obama care exchanges. >> you can leave in you choose. i told you what i think about texas. i wouldn't live there for all the tea in china and that's how i feel. >> there's no reason at all to impugn the people governor of the state of this country and i will await the gentleman's apology. >> you will wait until hell freezing over for me to say anything in an apology. i would apologize to you if i was directing my comments to you. i was commenting about the state that you happen to be a resident. i will not apologize.
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>> gentleman from texas controls the time. i just do not see the value in a member of this rules committee hurling invective toward a state and its people and governor. >> reporter: when michael burgess colleagues got wind they were livid. 24 joined together to issue a statement. don't mess with texas. >> it's a great state. evidently, we've got to defend our honor. >> reporter: congressman pete session gaves a lengthy defense. >> if texas were its own country it would have the 13th highest gdp in the world. >> i want to thank the gentleman from texas for the wonderful commercial for texas. >> reporter: what texans want for congressman hastings who was impeached as a judge and office
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is an apology. no dice. he doubled down. >> evidently i touched a nerve in deep in the heart of texas. >> reporter: he just kept going. >> one of their cities have a law that says women can only have six dildos and the certain size of thing. if that ain't crazy, i don't know what is. >> hastings just straight up messed with texas. >> reporter: he said after jon stewart picked up the fight he's getting a lot of attention. >> somebody called me from texas and told me because of my comments they were going to cancel their reservation to disney world. how absurd is that. >> reporter: at least he's self-aware he is from florida, home of hanging chads. sheer what he said about his own state. >> consider the fact i'm a
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native floridan and dislike it. i wouldn't live in a lot of places. texas happens to be one of them. i have cautioned about living in florida and when i retire i'm not sure i'm going to stay there. >> maybe the first person to leave florida to retire. this is war of words. in the 1800s during the debate leading to the civil war a member of the house caned a member of the senate into unconsciousness. >> gloria is with us as well. >> what can i say? >> how embarrassing is all of this? >> i think it's hugely embarrassing. you have a member from the state of florida, who by the way, was elected, reelected last time with 82% of the vote who says that when he retires he's going to leave the state of florida. you have a texas delegation that's on the floor of the house acting like it's the alamo.
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then the question is as you watch all this you think who are we electing? don't they have anything better to do? this is a rules committee that should have a certain amount of decorum and you have this sort of charges about the state of texas. by the way, he didn't say it with good humor. it was pretty pointed. >> i will say that when i talked to him today he did say he thought this was funny. he said he has people calling him from his background saying they couldn't believe how funny it is. he is trying to laugh it off even as he refuses to apologize. you're right about the decorum. this was hearing about not just obama care but the reason they were going after each other state by state is texas, the governor has not gotten into the so-called exchange. that's what it was about. >> hastings made the point which
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is i'm really not insulting you because i would have to apologize. what i'm doing, which is not so bad, is insulting the millions of people who actually in the state of texas. >> it sort of reenforces the problem a lot of americans have with congress that it's not functioning the way it's supposed to. >> sure absolutely. this was part of a hearing that making congress function which i won't get into the weeds on that. usually even when they are about to whack each other over the head they still say so by calling them their friend from whatever sate. this is something so unusual. we don't hear this. >> there's no hell to pay. 96% of the members of the house got reelected in 2014. say whatever you want. your chances are you're going to get back into office. >> spokesman for congressman aaron shock was just fired for
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posting some racially charged comments. >> that's a serious manner. it's hard for members of congress or any employer to police people's social postings. these were racially charged postings on his facebook page. the question that i have is if he posted that on his facebook page, didn't he sound like that around the office or did anybody from the office see these things on his facebook page and reported it congressman before this. >> you have to be careful what you post nowadays. >> absolutely. this was a staffer who posted things that are outrageous and racist. again, this is aaron shock, the congressman this staffer worked for has not had a great week. it's hard to police anybody's social media page. >> thanks very much. you can follow us on twitter. tweet me at wolf blitzer.
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thanks for watching. erin burnett outfront starts right now. breaking news. jordan ups the ante vowing to go after the militants with everything they have. the deadly plane crash. one passenger's story of survival. why he told others to unbuckle as they were crashing. new details in the driver killed in that train crash. why couldn't she get off the tracks in time? let's go outfront. the breaking news.