tv ABC9 News Midday ABC November 24, 2015 11:30am-12:00pm CST
daesh and at the same time, prepare for the future. against that background, everyone though it is a very dire one, i'm pleased to be with barack obama to send across that message to the entire world. thank you. [ applause ] >> thank you. we have time for a few questions. i'm going to start with roberta. >> thank you. this is a question for both of you. first, what is your reaction to turkey shooting down a russian plane today? and does this straw nato into a confrontation with russia? how do you keep this from sprirling out of control? and president obama, what does this incident mean for future prospects of military coordination with russia? and, president hollande, ahead of your trip to moscow on thursday, what are the prospects for closer military coordination with russia, given what happened today? >> first of all, we're still
getting the details of what happened. and i expect to be in communications potentially directly with the president sometime over the next several days. turkey, like every country, has a right to defend its territory and its air space. i think it's very important right now for us to make sure that both the russians and the turks are talking to each other. find out exactly what happened. and, take measures to discourage any kind of escalation. i do think that this points to an ongoing problem. with the russian operations. in the sense that they are operating very close to a turkish border and they're going after moderate opposition that
but a wide range of countries. and, if russia is directing its energies towards daesh and isil, some of those conflicts or potentials for mistakes or escalation are less likely to occur. i also think this underscores the importance of us making sure that we move this political tract forward as quickly as possible. our view has been russia is welcome to be part of this broad-based coalition we have set up. there's never been a point in time where we said we don't want russia or other countries that may have dipss with us on a whole host of other things to avoid working with us against isil. the challenge has been, russia's
focus on propping up assad rather than focusing on isil. i had a conversation with president putin in turkey. i indicated to him at the time that to the extent that they make that strategic shift, focus on the vienna process. try to execute a political transition, that, all parties would agree to. and, refocus attention on going after isil, then there's enormous capacity for us to cooperate. until that happens, it's very difficult. it's difficult because if their priority is attacking the moderate opposition that might be future members of an inclusive syrian government, russia won't get the support of
of the coalition. but i do think that there's the possibility of cooperation. the sooner we agree to this political process, the less likely that you have the kinds of -- kinds of events that took place apparently today. >> translator: the event that took place is a serious one and we can only regret it. turkey is currently providing all of the information to nato is so we can find out what truly happened. and whether turkey's air space, indeed, was entered into. but, we must prevent an escalation.
that is extremely damageable. the only purpose is to fight against terrorism and daesh. this is what we must do. all of us. we, turkey, russia, and what just took place, like barack said, means we mousse find a sotion to the syrian crisis. we can see the richlsks. the risks of escalation. i'll be traveling to russia this week because we have this resolution of the security council and it does show that we must take action against daesh, against terrorism. that was lugs has been voted unanimously. in way that was the broadest possible coalition.
then, i will ask president putin as i've done before when i told the russians a number of times already that the strikes must be against daesh. against terrorism. and those who are threatening us. they're threatening the russians, like ourselves, in europe. like france. that was tartgeted over the past few days. cooperate. on that basis, and make sure we're all acting against daesh process. one that must lead to the solution. and we all know what the parameters of the solution are or are not. we know that there is a deadlock
lastly, i mentioned in the "charles de gaulle" aircraft carrier. it's in the east of the mediterranean. there are russian forces and therefore agreed with president putin that we must share our intelligence so that we can act in coordination. we must not control it ourself. and it's already the case and we'll continue to do so. [ speaking french ] >> translator: mr. president, the americans have some special forces in syria. beyond words and what is happening, are you going send some special forces as well to syria? are you considering some ground intervention there? mr. president, beyond the emotion that we can feel here, beyond this beautiful statements, for more than a year, we have heard all of you saying that assad must go. a political transition is necessary.
mr. president, can you today, here, in front of us, tell us a specific date, a deadline for assad to go? >> both of you. >> we're both presidents. >> i can communicate in english in needed. >> i upsnderstand. you said president. we got two presidents here. okay. >> translator: i will not provide you with a date. because it must be as soon as possible. that is one of the requirements for a solution. at the same timing allow me to underline something. there is a new mind set now. the crisis in syria has been
four years. there are probably more than 300,000 deaths. and this is not just relevant to the countries of the region, which are hosting the refugees. it's relevant to europe and the entire world now. with that issue of refugees. and those who believe that we could wait some more and that in any case, it was far away. we now realize that we have an influx of refugees. but the terrorists, the risk is everywhere, due to daesh. we therefore, must act. you also asked me what we were going to do, what more? we will intensify the strikes. we will have more specific targets. to make sure that daesh
resources, their means, are cut off. including the command centers. the trucks carrying oil. the training centers. where they prepare terror attacks. we will continue and will intensify our strikes. at the heart of the cities where are currently in the hands of daesh. france will not intervene militarily on the ground. it is for the local sources and forces to do so. we've been supporting them for a number of months. we will continue to do so and they will do the job on the ground. after we -- after our strikes, that will inable them to do so. but france will -- take its responsibilities regarding that support, which is absolutely necessary. >> let me just make a couple of
operations against isil. as was already indicated, we have taken thousands of strikes. taken thousands of isil fighters, including top commanders and leaders, off the battlefield. we have squeezed their supply lines. we have empowered and armed local groups that are pushing against them, including most recently in sinjar. we're providing training and assistance to the iraqi government. as they prepare to retake places lycraike like ramadi, that have been overrun. how can we accelerate the success? before the tragedy in paris, i had gathered together my national security forces. it had been a year.
what worked. what did not. and had put together a plan to accelerate and advance the pressure that we can place on isil. and, we intend to execute on those plans. we think there may be new openness on the party of other coalition members to help resource and provide additional assistance. both to the coalition as a whole and to local forces on the ground. with respect to mr. assad, i think we have to let the vienna process place itself out. it's our best opportunity. and so, the notion that there would be an immediate date ind a vaps-- in advance of us getting a broader political process. the details doesn't make sense.
as soon as we have a framework for political transition, potentially a new constitution, elections. i think it's in that context we can start looking at mr. assad choosing not to run and potentially seeing a new syria emerge. but it's going to be hard. and we should not be under any illusions. syria has broken down. it began to break down the moment that mr. assad started killing, indeskrim gnatcriminately, his own people. isil was able to move in because of the rejection of syrians of the assad regime. and a power vacuum emerged.
it will be a difficult, long, back together various factions within syria. to maintain a syrian state and institutions. and, to create the kind of stability that allows people to start coming back in and rebuilding their lives. but it's possible. and -- the urgency that we have seen even before paris out of countries like russia, indicate that they recognize they can't be there too long. and ultimately win a military battle successfully. olivier knox. >> thank you. could you tell us whether the russian plane did, in fact, breach turkish air space. and given the fury of the russian response, how concerned are you that there might be a
military component if not in turkey but with expanded action against interests in syria? >> translator: regarding the the measures you announced today when it comes to strengthening the cooperation on military intelligence, had they been taken months or weeks ago, on do you think they would have prevented terror attacks in paris? >> we don't have all the information yet. so i don't want to comment on the specifics. we will be gaeterring that information. we expect the turks to provide information. i'm sure the russians will have information. we'll be able to confirm what happened in part through our own intelligence and tracking of that border area. as francois indicated, my top priority is going to be to ensure that this does not escalate. and, hopefully, this is a moment
in which all parties can step back and make a determination as to how their interests are best served. the russians had several hundred people of their own killed by isil. and -- the flow of foreign fighters out of russi areas into syria poses an enormous long-term threat to russia territory. so, there is a potential convergence of interests between the various parties. it requires us -- working with them to make the kind of strategic shift that is necessary. and frankly, that i've talked to putin about for five years now. it requires a recognition that the existing structure cannot gain the legitimacy to stop the war.
let me say one last thing because i tracked the question you posed to president hollande about what could or could not have been prevented. all of our intelligence personnel, here in the united states, across the atlantic, work tirelessly, as i said earlier. to disrupt plots and prevent terrorist attacks. the vast majority of their successes in disrupting plots are not advertised. you never hear about them. but, were it not for the dedication of those intelligence and law enforcement and military professionals, this would be a much more dangerous world.
about speculating about what if and coulda a woulda in a situation like this. because it's hard. you have eight individuals with light weapons. that's a hard thing to track. what is true, though, is that we can do a better job i think kroord coordinating between countries. i have been talking to our european partners for some time now about the need for better intelligence sharing. passenger name records. working to ensure that when people enter into europe, particularly now, that the information across various borders is shared on a timely basis. and you have biometric information and other technologies that can make it more accurate.
going to be 100% full proof. but we can do better on those fronts. and, one of the the challenges has been frankly, in the past several years, that you have different legal traditions. concerns about privacy and civil liberties, all of which are entirely legitimate. i don't think those can be ignored now. because that's part of the -- those are part of the values that we -- that make us who we are and that we have to adhere to. but i do think that this is a reminder that this is a dangerous world. and -- rooting out small bands of terrorist groups, who maintain good operational security and are using modern technologies in ways that are hard to track, that's a tough job.
pool our resources much more effectively together than we have in the past. and i think when francois goes back to europe, his leadership, the leadership of other presidents and prime ministers around this issue is going to be as important as anything that we do. >> translator: allow me to go back to what daesh truly is. it is somehow an organization, a terrorist group, occupying a trert in iraq and syria. kill ing killing and they want to install
this is what daesh is doing there. this is what they're trying to do in other countries. everywhere everywhere. and then we have to deal with the number of networks. more or less organized in a number of countries that are being used to lead terror attacks, like was the case pre precisely in paris. we kno that this -- direct plan was prepared in syria. and then organized in a number of countries. and some accomplices in france, given that some of the terrorists are french.
so if we want to tackle terrorism, we must act not only to destroy daesh, where they are, in syria, in i raq. but we must also dismantle and destroy their networks. how can we proceed? well, first of all, militarily. by intensifying our strikes. taking back these territories. thanks to the local forces on the ground, which we can support. by finding political solution in syria. by making sure that the territorial integrity is maintained. then, when it comes to protection measures, to protect our territory and our people, this is what i announced in france and this is what we videohave
to do to eradicate these net works and accomplices. some of them just arrived. others have been there for a long time. and they are not necessarily identified as a threat. it is therefore necessary that we strengthen yet further our cooperation in terms of intelligence. the paris attacks generated a lot of emotion. but that's not enough. compassion, solidarity, and i take note of it. but we must act. and -- for a number of days now, i have been trying to convince, convincing other countries that can act to do so. i met with david cameron yesterday. he announced that he would take a number of measures to his
today, i'm here with barack so that we can act with greater intensity and coherence as well. tomorrow, i will be hosting german chancellor angela merkel. so that european countries including germany can face up to their responsibilities, including in terms of military -- intelligence and police cooperation and maybe more. i will travel to moscow so that russia can take action against daesh and then -- i will receive the head of the italian government. i will also have an opportunity to talk to all of the european leaders, given that the european council with turkey will be held on sunday. so it is all of at the that
must get together. and enable us to implement coordination. cooperation in our action so that we can act on the source, daesh, and the networks that day can use. it is that strength that will enable us to succeed. a question. both of you today have talked about coordination, cooperation against daesh. does it mean that the single co-likes which you mentioned last week, president hollande is gone? that sit inconceivable to have the russians and americans to work together under a single command? and then, bah shash al assad, you said you could not put a date on his departure. does that mean his departure is
not a reprerequisite? >> translator: i believe that the resolution approved by all of the security council enables us to say that now, the entire world is committed to fighting against daesh. then, and this is what i will check when i travel to moscow, we need one single goal. that is to tackle terrorism. and fight against daesh. militarily. and i believe that we can have some further cooperation and coordination militarily to do more. at the same time, we have to be clear when it comes to the political solution. the one that will enable us to find -- and we suspect, like we have said, we can repeat it, bashar al assad cannot be the future of syria.
in vienna, we are working with all of the countries. etch though they do not necessarily have the same -- turkey, iran, the united states, france. andf course, all of those who are meant to find a solution. we must work on that transition. a transition where bashar al assad plays no role. because he's been the problem. so he cannot be the solution. >> just to comment very quickly. we've got a coalition. of 65 countries. who have been active. in pushing back against isil for quite some time. perhaps the france has been a central part of that coalition. as have european countries.
arab countries. countries as far flung as australia and countries in coalition. russia right now is a coalition of two. iran and russia. supporting assad. given russia's military capabilities and given the influence they have on the assad regime regime, them koorpcooperating would be enormously helpful in bringing about the resolution of the war in syria and allow us all to refocus our attention on isil. i think it's important to remember that you've got a global coalition organized. russia is the outlier.
we hope that they refocus their attention on what is the most substantial threat. and that they serve as a constructive partner. and if and when they do, it will make it easier for us to go after isil and daesh. though i think it is important to recognize that -- the kinds of air strikes that they're carrying out, like the ones we're carrying out, in and of themselves are not sufficient. the work we do to bolster local fighting forces, the cutting off of supply lines, financing, oil, reducing the flow of foreign fighters. the intelligence work that needs to be done, all that is something that we're doing now and that they can supplement.