tv President Obama Joint News Conference with French President Francois... CSPAN November 24, 2015 11:12pm-12:15am EST
urge turkey and russia to deescalate and resolve this matter. forcesonfirm that u.s. are not involved in the incident. the secretary just concluded a productive conference. in aalso participated meeting at the white house. began bytary expressing condolences to the french people for attacks in paris and reiterated our commitment to strengthen efforts. we spoke within hours of the and have been in contact ever since. there are several concrete steps with france and the united states sharing details on plans to the fullest extent by law.
france was the first to join in the strikes against iraq and the french are hoping to build the capacity of efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters. they are looking at ways to further expand the cooperation. they have focused on efforts , in africa, for instance, the united states presented the unique lift and refuel capabilities. it provides reassurance in response to the russian aggression. carter the words today,
as aed france for standing steadfast ally. that meeting wrapped up a short time ago. i'll be happy to take a few questions. >> the shootdown of the airplane, can you confirm that it crossed turkish airspace? also, is there a reason for there to be more discussions with the russians about avoiding conflict in the future or additional interactions with the russians? >> we're still gathering details and we are trying to figure out what happened here. i think that the secretary would today thatme point the russian flights in this area
, and opposition controlled area, carries risks and they would be better off going after isil. anything i can deescalate the situation would be good. indication the helicopter was shot down by u.s.-backed rebels? reportsve seen media regarding the helicopter. there is nothing i can confirm. >> you mentioned you are looking
at examples. can you talk about the additional steps? >> that is part of the ongoing conversation between the president and the ministers of defense. at lower levels, what additional steps can be taken, whether it is expanded airstrikes or additional steps. things toa range of consider and we have to consider the efforts. are there steps that can be taken on the part of the agency partners? issues can bether handled between the governments and there are steps that can be taken. secretary believe
the actions were justified? >> we are getting details. nato airspace and turkey has a right to defend itself. there are previous incursions that have made the turks concerned and, as a nato ally, we have concerns. we are waiting for the details andome out in this instance turkey has a right to defend the airspace. former top generals make fighters they launch and they escort them. do you think that is something the turks should have been on board with? to pose toa question the turkish government. circumstanceplex
and this is a particular circumstance with particular aspects to it that, again, this is an action the turks chose to take today and we are looking at the details. said, they have a right to defend themselves. i know there is information provided and we do not have an update the on what was provided for you previously. it is ongoing. if there is more information, we will be happy to pass this along. you said the pentagon would
intensify the fight. looking to change the rules of engagement. beyond get some examples the oil trucks of intensifying the campaign? engagement are under review and always are under review, as you would expect, in this kind of conflict. there have been changes in the rules of the engagement that we will share with you. this is ongoing and involves adjustments in every aspect, not just the rules of engagement. pointing to the effort to cousin the review how we are taking the fight to them and if
we can do it more effectively. the tankers are a perfect example of adjustments we have made. it is having an effect. >> what about special operations forces for missions. it was suggested there would be more of the same. is this part of intensifying the fight with u.s. commandos going in a direct action mission? >> the secretary spoke from the podium and said the united states would look for opportunities to deliver a blow isil.rther degrade this was in conjunction with kurdish forces. there are opportunities in the future and we will take advantage of them. the primary role of special
is a supportsyria role and it enables them and makes them more effective. if there are more opportunities for unique capabilities for the u.s. forces, if the moment is right, the secretary would take advantage of that. the idea is to enable the local forces that are the ones that clear and hold the territory. the central focus has not changed. are unique abilities and we are considering the use. not comment on the status of forces. >> why can't you? >> at some point, they will be shown in force -- in syria. >> that may be the case.
i will not divulge operational details that put them in any sort of risk from this podium. pilots?ve the update on there are u.s.-supported rebel groups on the ground who intercepted one or both. >> i have no details to pass along. >> do you expect any members of the coalition would coordinate an effort with the u.s.? is -- the this levels, for example, we made clear that, when they cross into syria, i do not know the circumstances of the situation or the forces on the ground at play in this.
i cannot even hazard a guess. i think we have made it clear that training that happened, the u.s. control of those forces ended. toy would be hard-pressed discuss how it took place, if they are even involved, which i cannot confirm is the case. teams sent to turkey had any encounters with russian aircraft's? >> i cannot say with certainty. my understanding is they have not. there have been previous engagements with fire. i cannot tell you if the aircraft originated from there. i'm not aware of anything that would amount to any sort of
engagement with u.s. warplanes. >> i want to ask what led to the wasissal of general lewis and the nature of the inspector general. >> because the inspector general is looking into it, i cannot comment on the dismissal, beyond a statement put up previously. inspector general investigation is their responsibility and we have to maintain a distance. there are questions about privacy. i will refer you to a statement that was released previously. >> you said, a couple of times, that you are still looking at the facts of what happened and, very specifically, you said turkey had a right to defend the airspace and you did not answer the question.
specifically, does the united states no if this plane was shot at inside a turkish airspace? do you know? details ofathering what is happening this year, including those questions. as we sit here, the united states does not know the facts if the turks shot at this airplane. >> the united states, as does nato, and several other of our , are trying to get as much information and we cannot conclude definitively, right now, as to where the aircraft was in the circumstances that played out. we hope to have that for you. we have reports from turkey, a
.ato air lot -- a nato ally we are taking all of this into account. you heard from the secretary-general. now, on the attack against clear, youl that is are in the process of concluding a review of that. can you tell us anything about what you have found in this the humant has been and technical errors that have ?ed to this has the secretary or military been able to ensure this incident does not happen again? what have you done to make sure this does not happen again?
>> a couple of things. first of all, the investigation you referred to has been conducted under general campbell . in afghanistan, i will leave it to release more information. it will be available tomorrow. i will leave that to general campbell. the secretary has maintained that this needs to be a full and investigation and we need to learn about the mistake so that it does not happen again. that will be part of what we learned from the findings. i will leave it to general campbell to outline that tomorrow and the secretary is eager to hear what has been
found out. getting an media is update tomorrow. the secretary has been briefed on this. >> i cannot confirm key has been briefed. we are waiting to hear from general campbell tomorrow in afghanistan. do to makel you'd sure this does not happen again? >> the secretary made it clear proper protocols need to be followed around the world. there are unique circumstances in this instance we can learn from and that is the sort of thing we're looking to find out from general campbell about. mournedurks said they 10 times.the pilot >> there were warnings.
there were warnings of the give.ion was able to >> previous russian incursions were described as not being accidental. incident seem to not ?e accidental or antagonistic how would you characterize it? >> these are details we're trying to figure out, as to exactly what transpired and it has been described that they warned the aircraft in advance and that the aircraft did venture into turkish airspace. again, there were at least two previous instances where the turks made it clear they were concerned about this and nato made clear their concerns to russia. i will not characterize this instance.
we are still trying to track down details. there are previous incursions and we have heard from both the turks, the united states, and nato as a whole, concerns. are you aware of a russian incursion before? >> i mentioned before that the coalition heard warnings previously. plan, i am a flight not aware that this was going to take place. this is obviously an incident we place.her not taken we hope it will deescalate. that is an area not controlled by isil on the border with
turkey, where the have been problems with incursions in the past. russia, if they were focused on isil, this would not have happened at all. can the pentagon announced intensification of the isil fight in the weeks before the paris attacks? can you assess results of these so far? >> we apply pressure on a number of different fronts and the cutting off of the supply line. you can deftly say that is a step for it. you have seen the movement of and ition forces around is another indication of a step forward. we engage this fight.
in those instances, the coalition air supports have made a difference and coalition support overall has made a difference. we have seen progress in recent days and these are steps forward. again, there will be challenges along the way and there is no silver bullet. to tryonsider the effort to accelerate this fight moving forward and the conversation the secretary just had, we are looking to further accelerate it. >> given that you have protection of turkish airspace, to be consider the u.s.
part of the escalation in the area? and theorces are there u.s. aircraft are there to and we do nato ally torory.ider that escalate that is the purpose for those aircraft. >> you issued a statement that they have cruisers off the coast and the equivalent on board of long-range anti-aircraft missiles. how much more dangerous is it getting to operate in syrian operations against islamic state continuing at pace.
missions are continuing today and we are not going to slow down the pace. our mission continues. we have a memorandum of understanding in place that has, up to this point, proven successful in keeping aircraft and cruise safe. say.ews anything the russians due to bolster the assad regime will be considered counterproductive. we are worried about additional weaponry entering. we expect the russians to abide by the memorandum and make sure the skies over syria remains safe. understanding of was signed on behalf of all the coalition members and it would be turkey covered under that. turkishis was not
airspace, would this be a violation? coalition covers only syrian airspace and it is a limit of the memorandum of understanding. airstrikes in syria in the east? plan. me double check the my understanding is they are heading to the persian gulf. i do not know if there are plans in the eastern area at this particular time. it did not come up in the course of the conversation today. let me check and see if there's anything further i can get you on that. it covers syrian airspace and
the turkish jet shot down the airspace,t in syrian they would be in violation? >> i will not get into hypotheticals. the memorandum of understanding deals with safe and her action of aircraft over syrian airspace shipprofessional airman wseates protocols that cre can employ to prevent something from happening over syrian airspace. that is the purpose of it. what turkey informed us of doing today was defending their own airspace and, as the nato ally, we take that with a great concern. obviously, will track down the downls -- we will track the details and work with turkey to track down what happened here
and whether or not something like this can be avoided going forward. the initial focus should be to deescalate. last question, and then, i have to run. >> were you able to hear anything going on inside the distress call or the response? that and i will come back. >> i'm not aware of everything. my understand is that we were made aware and we could hear there were warnings. of a response from the russian pilots? >> i'm not aware of any. i cannot say that did not happen. pentagoncerned is the with these events? it seems like things are building with tension and
russians moving things into play. how concerned is the pentagon that things could spiral out of ?ontrol what, if anything, are you trying to do to prevent that from spiraling out of control? a have concerns and there is risk for miscalculations and misjudgment over syria and that neighborhood. if the russians were focused on it ast against isil, opposed to targeting opposition groups to the regime, that would be a step forward and would the conflict this.- the focus, for us, is the fight against isil. if the russians can shift attention to isil, that would be the best for everyone.
including people in syria. if the russians exerted their influence with political transition, that would be a step there are risks for miscalculation. there are risks for misjudgment. we want to work with a number of actors to move this fight against isil forward. at the same time, strike some sort of political and diplomatic resolution to the syrian civil war that has taken over. i have to run. all right. week, secretary carter's predecessors offered a number of criticisms and said that the united states needs to do more to destroy islamic state.
obama's former secretary of , said thatke vickers he treated islamic state like the taliban. has carter spoken to predecessors and does he share the sense of urgency? had think carter has urgency about this since he took the job and, as he has detailed view, taken several steps in the past weeks and months to assess the situation and look at what is working in the fight against isil and what is not working to make adjustments to ramp things up, whether it is an air campaign, special operations forces, and serious steps that we think it further enable local forces to ultimately prevail in the fight.
with regards to his predecessors, the secretary has had conversations in the past with several of his predecessors and has a good relationship with a long list of people and has worked with many of them very closely. i know he respects them and their views on these issues. so, there are a host of different ways since he has taken over the job. he has his own views with what has happened on the ground and he believes that the changes that we are making will intensify and accelerate this fight and there may be more opportunities to do even more in that regard. there are going to be further adjustments to this fight and the secretary is going to lead the effort. thank you very much.
>> american history tv has ontured programs that begin thursday inside a world war ii museum. the alliedth invasion and soldiers from both fronts. friday night, the road to the white house rewind looks back at a presidential campaign. have the president of the honor guard on the history cemetery and notable people buried at the cemetery.
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honored to welcome to the white house before in happier times than this but as americans, we stand by our friends in good times and in bad no matter what. on behalf of the american people, i want to once again express our deepest condolences to you and all of the people of france for the heinous attacks that took place in paris. we are here today to declare that the united states and france stand united in total solidarity to deliver justice to these terrorists and those who sent them and to defend our nation's. us attacks that took place in paris. we are here today to declare that the united states and france stand united in total solidarity to deliver justice to these terrorists and those who sent them and to defend our nation's. in that spirit, with heavy but strong hearts, i welcome you here today. francois, with your understanding, my statement will be longer than usual. i have been traveling and this is an important moment for our nations and for the world. this barbaric terrorist group, isl or daesh, and his murderous ideology poses a serious threat to all of us. it cannot be tolerated. it must be destroyed. and we must do it together.
this is the unity of purpose that brings us here today. on your visit here last year, you said the french love america. we love the french. sometimes, we americans are two -- too shy to say so but we don't feel shy today. we americans love france because we dedicate ourselves to the same ideals, that all people deserve life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. france is our oldest ally. you helped us win our independence. we helped liberate france from fascism. we owe our freedom to each other. we love france for your spirit and your culture j and youroie de vivre.ie
since the attacks, americans have recalled their own visits to paris at the eiffel tower walking along the sein and we know these placese, these are part of our memories woven into the fabric of our lives and our culture. i am very grateful to the french people for the hospitality they have always shown me. when they walked with michelle welcomedenthe they michelle and my daughters to the first visit of the city of lights. from my bed in the residence is a picture of me and michelle in luxembourg gardens kissing. [laughter] those are the memories we have a of paris as early on i had no gray hair. when tragedy struck that evening, our hearts broke, too. in that stadium, in the concert hall, in those restaurants and cafes we see our own. in the face of the french people, we see ourselves that's why so many americans have embraced the blue, white, and
red and that's why americans held candlelight vigils and have come together to sing la marseillaise how the french we remember how the french after 9/11 and today we stand with you. [speaking french] it's been noted that the terrorists did not direct their attacks against the french government or military, rather they focused their violence on the very spirit of france. by extension, and all liberal democracies. this was an attack on our free and open societies. where people come together to celebrate and sing and compete and targeting venues where people come together from around the world, killing citizens of nearly 20 countries including america, this was an attack on the very idea that people of
different races and religions and backgrounds can live together in peace. in short, this was not only a strike against one of the world's greatest cities. it was an attack against the world itself, the same madness that has slaughtered the innocent from nigeria to the sinai, from lebanon to iraq. it is a scourge that threatens all of us and that's why, for more than a year, united states, france, and our coalition of some 65 nations have been united in one mission -- to destroy these terrorists and defeat their vile ideology. today, president hollandee and i i president hollande and reviewed our progress. we have airstrikes combined with local partners on the ground have pushed isl back from territory in iraq and syria.
today, president hollande and i agree we must do more together. u.s. assistance has supported recent french strikes in syria and we will keep stepping up that coordination. as we saw with the attack in mali, the terrorist threat goes beyond isl i. will sign isil.ond we will sign legislation this week to sustain our support including airlift and intelligence to allies like france as we work together to root out terrorists networks in africa.
we will do even more to prevent attacks at home. we will build in a recent intelligence agreement come of the unite states will quickly share threat information with france and in the wake of harris and with the threats in belgium, there is a growing recognition among european nations that they need to ramp up additional efforts to prevent the flow of foreign terrorist fighters. as part of that, i am calling on the european union to finally implement the agreement that has been long in the works that would require airlines to share passenger information so we can do more to stop foreign terrorist fires -- fighters from entering our countries undetected. i'm prepared to send teams of our experts to work on this with our european partners to make sure we redouble our efforts together. regarding the broader crisis in syria -- president holland and i agree that the russian strikes against the moderate opposition only bolsters the brutality that has fueled the rise of isis we agree that russia could play more constructive role. if it were to shift the focus of its strikes to defeating isil. likewise, president hollande and i agree the best way to bring peace to syria's through the principles reaffirmed in vienna
which require active russian support for a cease-fire and a political transition away from assad to a democratically elected government that can unite the syrian people against terrorists. finally, fran and i understand himancoi -- and i understand one of our greatest weapons in the fight againstois isl is the strength and resilience of our people. i want to speak directly to the american people. what happened in paris is truly horrific.
i understand that people worry that something similar could happen here. i want you to know that we will continue to do everything in our power to defend our nation. since 9/11, we have taken extraordinary measures to strengthen our homeland security. our counterterrorism, homeland security, and law enforcement professionals, federal, state, and local our tireless. they have prevented attacks and they have saved lives. they are working every hour, every day for our security. they did so before paris. they do so now and they will not stop. they are the best in the world. it's not just our security professionals who will defeat isl and other terrorist groups. as americans, we all have a role to play in how we respond to threats. groups like isl cannot defeat us on the battlefield, they try to terrorize us at home against soft targets come against civilians, innocent people. even as we are vigilant, we cannot and we will not succumb to fear. nor can we allow fear to divide us. that's how terrorists win. we cannot give them the victory
of changing how we go about living our lives. the good news is americans are resilient. we mourned the lives lost in fort hood, the boston marathon, in chattanooga but we did not waver. in our communities have come together and we have gone to ball games and going to concerts and gone shopping and men and women who want to serve our country continue to go to military recruiting offices. we are vigilant, we take precautions, but we go about our business. for those who want to harm us, or actions have shown that we have too much resolve and too much character. americans will not be terrorized. i say all this because another
part of being vigilant, another part of defeating terrorists is upholding the rights and freedoms that define our two great republics. that includes freedom of religion. that includes equality before the law. there have been times in our history, in moments of fear, when we have failed to uphold our highest ideals. and it has been to our lasting regret. we must uphold our ideals now. each of us, all of us, must show that america is strengthened by people of every faith and every background. related to this, i want to note that oz debts that under president hollande, france intends to welcome 30,000 more syrian refugees over the next two years.
in the united states, refugees coming to america go through up to two years of intense security checks including biometric screening. nobody who sets foot in america goes for more screening than refugees. we are prepared to share these tools with france and our european partners. as francois said, our humanitarian duty to help refugees in her duty to -- and our duty to our security, those duties go hand-in-hand. on the statue of liberty, a gift from the people of france, there are words we know so well. "give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to be free." that's the spirit that makes us americans. that's the spirit that binds us to france. that's the spirit we need today.
in closing, i want to salute the people of paris for showing the world how to stay strong in the face of terrorism. even as they grieve, people have begun returning to their cafes and riding the metro and going to stadiums to cheer for their teams. crowds have tattered -- have gathered including a mother who brought her children. she said, to let them see we should not be afraid. as one parisian said, paris will always be paris. next week, i will be joining president hollande and world leaders in paris for the global climate conference. what a powerful rebuke to the terrorists it will be when the world stands as one and shows that we will not be deterred from building a better future for our children.
a so, president hollande, my for fellow americans, let's remember we face greater threats to where we have like before. -- to our way of life before. fascism, communism, a first world war, a second, a long cold war. each and every time, we prevailed. we have prevailed because our way of life is stronger. because we stay united. because even as we are relentless in the face of evil, we draw on what's best in ourselves and in the character of our countries. it will be no different this time. make no mistake -- we will win and groups like isl will lose. standing with allies like france, we will continue to show the world the best of american leadership.
viva la france and god bless the united states of america. mr. president -- pres. hollande: ladies and gentlemen, please allow me to thank the president of the united states, barack obama, for the solidarity he has shown immediately as we found out about the terror attacks. he was the first one to call me. it was very late in france, 2:00 a.m., when he called. the president of the united states. he expresses solidarity toward france and his emotions and his compassion. him on that night, he meant to tell me that united states stood by france.
that the help that could be provided to france would have no limit on that we had a duty, a joint duty, to pull our forces together and fight terrorism. him i do not forget either all of the american people -- who sent messages over the last couple of days. the french colors, the french flags, all of them in many gatherings, they let candles and places that represent france here in the united states. our national anthem was sung in official ceremonies. it is true that 9/11, we all felt american. but after the 13th of november, americans felt french.
our two peoples together emerged as one, sharing the same emotions and also the same willingness to fight for freedom and defend their values. we are not too similar peoples, we have our own culture, our own background. we share the same trust, the same faith and freedom. -- faith in freedom. it is france that came under attack on the 13th of november. friends, for what it is, -- france, for what it is the , country which we consider unique in the world because france [indiscernible] [inaudible] the world. france came under attack for what it represents, for what it
stands for, its culture, our way of living as well as our values, our principles but by targeting france, the terrorists, the murderers are targeting the world. in these cafes and restaurants as well as the concert venue, there were men and women, most of them young who came from 20 countries at least. and they shared the same passion for life and is the reason why they were murdered. my thoughts are with the friends and family of the un-american -- of the young american student who came as well to share a moment of culture.
my thoughts also go to the american band that was playing at the concert that night. all culture on that occasion were together to bring the same enthusiasm and they were hit i terrorists. -- by terrorists. the terror group organized itself on the territory and they have substantial resources. they are thriving on smuggling, drugs, oil, human beings. since the beginning of the year, they hit many countries, denmark , tunisia, lebanon, kuwait, turkey, egypt as well as russia. by taking down the russian plane. together with president obama, today, we want on the occasion of that meeting first of all to
share, share our determination and present our determination to fight terrorism everywhere and anywhere. we want to tell the world that we will not allow those who want to destroy what we have built, we will not allow them to do it, to destroy what generation after generation, we will not bow to them in the world. we need a joint response, and implacable response. france and the united states spend together that joint response. militarily, it is about not where they are, it is about -- militarily, it is about esh wherever they
are. it is about taking out their finances, hunting down their leaders, dismantling their network. and taking back the land they currently control. we therefore decided, president obama and myself, to scale up our efforts in syria and iraq to broaden the scope, to strengthen our intelligence sharing regarding the targets we might aim at. the priority is to take back key locations in the hands of those in syria and it's a matter of urgency to close the borders between turkey and syria and prevent terrorists from crossing the border and coming to europe or other places and to commit terrible attacks. we will work together with our partners in iraq and support all of those who are fighting on the ground. the aim is to make sure these forces can be supported, helped,
by countries that are willing to act militarily to destroy daesh. the meeting of the security council met unanimously friday. after being introduced by france and supported by the united states, they provided a clear basis to act. this is what france is currently doing. our our crap carrier is -- our aircraft carrier is truly an east of the mediterranean. yesterday was the sixth time after the terror attacks [indiscernible] in addition, we have been provided assistance into iraq he fighters in the region of ramadi. president obama and myself have strengthened our cooperation as
early as the night after the attacks. i would like to commend everything that is being done so that intelligence and information available can be used to tackle terrorists and follow their movements so that we prevent from them from doing what they want to do. beyond syria and iraq, what they want is somehow to spread fear everywhere so that we doubt, so that we make decisions which are exactly contrary to what we want in terms of freedom and rights. but we will not give in. that being said, we have to defend ourselves and use intelligence.
diplomatically, we are working on political transition in syria. we are in the process and i commend the work done by the ministers to agree to a timeline that will enable a cease-fire as quickly as possible and to open up the process that will lead to assad's departure. we cannot imagine the syrians gathering around the leader who is responsible for 300,000 deaths in a few years. a complement of unity is required but that must lead to assad's departure. the syrian crisis is directly relevant to europe. also because there are millions of refugees fleeing the regime's bombs and atrocities.
if we were to bomb them, we would betray what we are. the reason why i reject identifying migration and terror. the same time, we must enforce the borders. today, people are risking their lives to flee when they travel between turkey and greece. turkey, therefore, plays an important role and it is together with turkey that we must find solidarity with refugees so they can stay close to their country of origin and we need to make sure that the required controls and checks are implemented at the borders.
i will be traveling to moscow to meet with vladimir putin and i will tell him that france can work together with russia if russia concentrates its military action ondaesh. action onlitary daesh. if russia fully commits to the political position in syria, this is what we want to do. we want to gather all countries, all those who are willing to find a political solution in syria. we don't want to exclude anyone but we want to make sure that the political solution can eradicate terrorism. lastly, next week, on monday, we will be hosting in paris the climate conference. i certainly could not imagine that the conference would be taking place against such a
background. at the same time, it cannot be a better symbol for response but to hold a conference in paris where the attacks took place, where we took the right measures in terms of security, protections and defending our values. there is no greater symbol than holding this conference on climate in paris with some 150 heads of state and government. never before did france host so many leaders of the international community. they are coming to sort out the climate challenge and to work and find the right agreements so we can limit greenhouse gas emissions and make sure our children and our grandchildren live better or simply can live.