tv Shepard Smith Reporting FOX News April 11, 2017 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
he was on his way to work when the deer head-butted him to the ground. the aspiring rapper says he plans to write a song about it, of course. here's shep. >> shepard: it's noon on the west coast. 3:00 in washington. 10:00 p.m. in moscow. 4:00 a.m. pyongyang. we're monitoring fast-developing stories with global implications. first, secretary of state rex tillerson arriving in russia as the white house warns of potential new action against moscow's ally in syria bashar al-assad. and the stakes could not be higher after new strikes could be taken. and president trump offering to cut a deal with china as he tweets north korea is looking for trouble. that's after north korean state media warned that if the united
states navy picks a fight, the dictator kim jong-un will punch back with nuclear weapons. we'll take you to south korea where american and local forces are working in war games. we expect a news briefing on what happened in syria and hopefully what the strategy is going forward. live coverage ahead. let's get to it. first from the fox news desk this afternoon, more on syria's scaarin gas attack on its own people. the "wall street journal" said the russians tried to cover it up. the press secretary sean spicer today took a hard line against the assad regime. >> i don't see a peaceful, stable syria in the future that has assad in charge. there's no question that you can't have a peaceful syria with
assad in charge. i don't see how that ever works. so no, i don't see a future syria that has bashar al-assad as the leader of that government. >> president vladimir putin is pushing back with rhetoric of his own. he claimed the united states is planning to launch more military strikes in syria and the russian leader various sources that similar provocations are being prepared in other regions of syria, including southern damascus where they're planting chemicals and blame the syrians for using them. >> there's no evidence of any of this. spicer just yesterday said the united states may launch more strikes in syria if al-assad uses chemical weapons again or
barrel bombs. that's significant. today syrian activists report the syrian regime has done just that. dropped barrel bombs in multiple locations. details coming. first, secretary of state rex tillerson has arrived in moscow to discuss the russian foreign minister, sergei lavrov. >> russia has aligned itself with the assad regime, the iranians and hezbollah. is that a long-term alliance that serves russia's interests? or would russia prefer to re-align with the united states, with other western countries and middle east countries who are seeking to resolve the syrian crisis. >> tillerson also said it's clear that assad's regime is coming to an end.
on what he bases that assessment is unknown. most analysts disagree and strongly. secretary tillerson said russia was incompetent or complicit. president putin is not scheduled to meet with rex tillerson. but a russian outlet has said the two men will meet. they have not confirmed whether the meeting will happen at all. rex tillerson has close ties to russia. president putin gave him the russian award called the order of friendship in 2013. the assad regime has denied any involvement in last week's attacks. moscow has blamed it on the syrian rebels, whom the united states reports. benjamin hall live in turkey near the border with syria. first, rich edson in moscow. tough words from secretary tillerson today. >> shep, there's been a
substantial increase in escalation in the rhetoric of secretary of state rex tillerson on this issue when it comes to the future of syrian president bashar al-assad. today saying that his days are coming to an end as leader of that country. it was only a couple weeks ago the secretary of state said in turkey that it was up to the syrian people to decide the future, the long-term future of bashar al-assad. essentially that's the point that the secretary is making today. how the world and the united states get from bashar al-assad in power today to how the world gets to a democratic syria in the future is still up to question. that's the question that the obama administration faced. secretary of state said earlier today that it's russia, assad's ally that holds the key to that. >> i think it's clear that we see no further role for the assad regime longer term given that they have effectively given up their legitimacy with these type of attacks.
i hope what the russian government concludes is that they have aligned themselves with an unreliable partner with bashar al-assad. >> tillerson added it should be a clear choice between the regime of bashar al-assad, iran and hezbollah or middle eastern countries and the west looking to replace assad in that country. shortly before secretary tillerson arrived in moscow, vladimir putin, the president, went on air here in russia and said that essentially he wants the united nations to investigate the chemical attack last week in syria. the same chemical attack that the united states responded to thursday with its strikes against the assad regime. russia and its president has said that it's not bashar al-assad that is responsible for that tillerson said there's no doubt that bashar al-assad is the culprit for the attack.
>> shepard: the white house warped that more barrel bombs could prompts a reaction from the united states. syrian war planes dropped barrel bombs. a government helicopter dropped them in the north and south. barrel bombs can be packed with nails and gasoline and metal. when they explode, shrapnel goes over a large area. a syrian army source tells reuters news accsy "we do not use these barrels and they don't exist in the syrian arab army" that is a lie and a very big one. observers say syria's military used multiple barrel bombs today. the bbc and others report that assad has used them thousands of times during the cival war
killing tens of thousands of civilians. benjamin hall is live on the border with syria and turkey. benjamin, you spoke with u.s. backed rebel fighters. what did they say? >> yeah, hi, shep. we were at a safe house being used by syrian army fighters. among them, a u.s. backed group called the northern brigade. three months ago, they had their payments cut from $120 a month to $60 a month because he wouldn't charge a large organization. he felt that he was being undersupported and fighting on all sides. >> isis was created by assad. now we're fighting many terrorists. iran, a terrorist country, hezbollah and a terrorist country. >> another fighter that we spoke to told us that in the town while the attacks were horrible, they galvanized the people there. >> life there is desperate now. people are sad. the attack has made us more
determined to protect our town. we need more help. >> more specifically, he said he wanted a no fly zone and he wanted anti-aircraft weapon which the u.s. has said they won't give. >> he wants more than that. sounds like they want more of the strikes from the united states come hell or high water. >> yeah, they mentioned that, too, of course. but then they point to the fact that the tomahawk strike didn't take out the runway. syrian planes are still taking off from it. sean spicer said that that was a russian stunt. the more damage was done than was visible and 20% of the air base had been taken down. barrel bombs had been used today, a day after that use would take cause for more strikes on the country. so assad playing a really dangerous game here at the moment. people saying that they need more support from the u.s. shep?
>> ben hall, thank you. we're waiting to hear from the secretary of defense, mattis, minutes from now. we expect he will take questions on the escalating situation with syria and the tense relations with russia. but first, i'll talk with a journalist and secretary tillerson's trip and why she says it could help president trump distance himself from vladimir putin. that's still to come on a very busy news day from the fox news desk. glad to have you here. i like . [ all sounds come to a crashing halt ] ah. when your pain reliever stops working, your whole day stops. awww. try this. for minor arthritis pain, only aleve is fda approved to work for up to 12 straight hours with just one pill. thank you. come on everybody. aleve.
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better eggs. >> shepard: secretary of state rex tillerson's visit to russia now just days after president trump order strikes on a syrian air field. russia is an ally of the dictator bashar al-assad and supporting him in his country's civil war. emily good den is here from realclearpolitics.com. welcome. >> thanks. >> shepard: a loot of movement on this. sounds like the "wall street journal" said the russians tried to cover it up at minimum with a disinformation campaign. what does that tell us? >> yeah, a lot of questions here. you saw sean spicer with a lot of them. they were careful to say there's a lot we still don't know. we don't know what we'll know after this trip by secretary tillerson to russia. it's very hard to trust these
people. >> shepard: sean spicer laid down something of a red line of his own when he said if they use barrel bombs, that could bring on more actions on the part of the united states. from everything you read, barrel bombs are dropped on average every day for the history of the civil war. >> yeah, you're right. we're getting a lot of mixed messages out of the administration. i'm hoping this trip will help clear them up. we're hearing one thing from secretary tillerson and another thing from sean spicer. we're hoping when this trip wraps up, we'll have more of president trump's doctrine on syria. >> shepard: that's an important thing for people around the world to know, maybe more than us that are just bystandeyeah, what to expect of this president. this is his first big foreign policy test. how is he going to handle syria and the relationship with russia as there's questions as to what role they played in our election. this is a big test for the trump administration to see how they handle this. >> shepard: what are we
expecting from secretary tillerson? >> they down played the importance of us, lowered the expectations. i don't believe president putin will meet with tillerson. they say that is normal, it would be a foreign minister. i don't know how effective this trip will be and what message he will convey to his counter part in moscow. he's a business man by trade, not a diplomat. so it will be interesting to see if he can put the diplomacy had on. >> shepard: and the chances of vladimir putin not having a nice discussion with him are very high if history is a guide. >> you're right. high indeed. we've seen more tough words come out of the trump administration on trump and president putin. i think you're seeing them be toughner that realm to distance
themselv themselves. who knows how effective that will be. >> shepard: emily gooden. thank you. big news coming. we're expecting that in a few minutes. the pentagon holds a news briefing on the matter of syria. we'll have live coverage in 14 minutes. the alert is this. police in germany say one person is in the hospital. a soccer player. they say three explosions went off near the player's team bus. this happened in dortmund germany. there is early word that somebody threw something in front of the bus. we have a picture of the vehicle now. you'll see broken windows and some damage on the side. the team is borussia dortmund. they were playing a champions league match against monaco. they have postponed the game now till tomorrow and team reports a play or is recovering after
reportedly getting hit with shaltered glass. so an explosion near the champions league team's bus. more for that as it comes in. a suspect has confessed to plowing a stolen beer truck in stockholm. his later says they couldn't say anything more about the case. the man from uzbekistan was known to be sympathetic to extremist groups but said he had not seen any evidence that he was planning an attack. this happened on friday at an upscale department store. we have not heard any extremist group take credit for the attack. police in san bernardino, california now revealing new details about what led up to yesterday's deadly shooting at an elementary school. plus, more information about the gunman. a live update. we're waiting for the pentagon news conference on the missile strike in russia and the plan
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whoo! boom baby! rated pg-13. [ screams ] >> shepard: you're looking live at the pentagon. we're waiting to here from james mattis and the head of centcom in a matter of minutes. we're waiting for details and the air strike in syria, russia, the north korean threats. there's a lot to get there. we'll have that live as soon as it begins. the gunman at the san bernardino school yesterday was paranoid and possessive. that from a relative of the woman he killed. investigators say the gun man opened fire in the classroom and killed a special education teacher and one of the students. police say the teacher and the gunman were married.
the gunman on the right, teacher on the left. investigators say the husband entered the class, opened fire at his wife before shooting himself. but police say the bullets hit two children that were near their teacher. an 8-year-old boy died at the hospital. a 9-year-old survived. the shooting caused panic in san bernardino, which is still recovering from the deadly terror attack less than two years ago. jonathan hunt live outside north park elementary school in san bernardino. what else do we know about the relationship between the gunman and the teacher? >> shep, this was a very short marriage. we know from a post on cedric anderson, the gunman's facebook page, the wedding only took place on january 28th this year. according to another post a month later, february 27th, cedric anderson was on the video saying how much he loved his wife. watch here. >> i love my wife.
she's making me really happy. >> but within weeks of that post, the relationship soured. karen smith had apparently moved out of their home and cedric anderson was becoming increasingly desperate according to the police chief. listen here. >> it appears that he had been making efforts to contact her and to have her come back home. she was resistant to that. i don't know if that just reached a boiling point or what it was. we don't know why he chose to do this at the school. >> now, the police chief said that anderson left behind a note. he said he would not describe it as a suicide note. it talked around anderson feeling disrespected. shep? >> the poor kids in the room when this happened, jonathan. >> yeah, a terrible situation. there was 15 kids in that room.
all of them special needs. they were from first to fourth grade. they obviously witnessed a terrible trauma. their teacher shot to death in front of them, also 8-year-old jonathan martinez. he was one of two children hit. he died after being airlifted to the hospital yesterday. the other boy that was hit, who was standing next to the teacher when cedric anderson opened fire, still in the hospital. good news on him. we're told he's doing much better and in fact was sitting up in the hospital watching cartoons today. one piece of good news in what is obviously a terrible tragedy. >> shepard: jonathan hunt, san bernardino for us. thank you. alabama has a new for. she's promising her administration will be transparent, which will be a change, after a plea deal forced the former to step down following a sex scandal and illegal activity. one of the charges using
campaign funds to pay legal bills for the woman on his campaign staff. the same woman with whom he allegedly had an affair. there's audio tape to back it up. bentley said he suspected his wife was happening so she recorded him talking on the phone. >> it was fine. well, i know. he couldn't tell who i was seeing. he didn't say, hey, baby, i love you so much. i'd like to spend the rest of my life with you. you kiss me. i love that. i do love that. >> shepard: he loved that. the reporting made by the ex-wife. it got racier from there. parts of it we would never play here. governor bentley has denied doing anything that should cost him his job until he stepped down because they were about to begin impeachment proceedings.
jonathan serrie has more. >> that's it, shep. governor bentley said he was not going to sit down but this week everything seemed to be coming to a head. monday, you had lawmakers starting those impeachment hearings in alabama. later that day, the then governor pled guilty to misdemeanor charges in connection with allegations that he was using state resources not only to facilitate his alleged affair but to conceal it. the affair that he was allegedly carrying on with a stop staff member. after all of that going on in one day, the resignation that the former governor said would not happen then became inevitable. >> i have spoken to lieutenant governor ivey. we have agreed the people of our state need and deserve a positive and peaceful transition of power. >> bentley there was referring to fellow republican kay ivey, who was sworn in as alabama's
54th governor monday evening. she described it as a dark day in alabama, but also one of opportunity and said her priorities were to steady the ship of state and improve alabama's image. shep? >> shepard: what happens to former governor bentley now? >> well, it appears that he's going to avoid any prison time. however, as part of a plea deal that he worked out with prosecutors, he will have to pay $2,000 in fines, plus court costs and surrender all campaign funds that he raised to the state. an estimated $37,000. bentley who also happens to be a doctor is going to be required to perform 100 hours of community services acting as a physician. under that plea agreement, bentley is also barred from running for public office again within the state of alabama. shep? >> jonathan serrie, thank you. president trump says he's willing to go it alone against north korea over a nuclear weapon. coming up, i'll speak with an
analyst that said the best way to do that is to get help from china. plus, the defense secretary james mattis set to hold a news briefing at any moment about last week's missile strike in syria. we're expecting more on north korea and russia. a big news conference coming. a quick commercial break and it begins when we're back. driving bonus check? ...only allstate sends you a bonus check for every six months you're accident free. silence. it's good to be in, good hands. ♪ to err is human. to anticipate is lexus. experience the lexus rx with advanced safety standard. experience amazing. at angie's list, we believe there are certain things you can count on, like what goes down doesn't always come back up.
>> shepard: a fox report now. headlines from the fox news deck. a school bus crash in florida sent seven students to the hospital. according to reports, a bus hit a car that turned in front of it and the bus his a power pole. firefighters says everybody will be okay. a cell phone video shows a woman dangling from a carnival ride by only her feet. happened this weekend in paris. the rider apparently slipped out
of the restraint. she slipped back and forth a few times and almost slams her head into the guardrail there. workers stopped the ride. french tv says the woman is okay. a deer shown tackle ago man as he gets out of his car in canada on april fools' day. apparently the guy's friends didn't believe him so they asked for the surveillance video to back up the story. sure enough.
>> shepard: breaking news. army officials just reported an explosion at an army ammunitions plant that killed one person and injured three others. happened at a plant in independence, missouri, which is about ten miles or so east of kansas city. updates from there as they come in. first, a news conference is beginning at the pentagon. we're expecting to hear more on syria, north korea, russia. defense secretary mattis responding now. >> in response to the syrian regime's use of chemical
weapons. i thought this was an appropriate time to update you on the military action itself. last tuesday, on april 4, the syrian regime attacked its own people using chemical weapons. i have personally reviewed the intelligence and there is no doubt the syrian regime is responsible for this decision to attack and for the attack itself. in response to the attack, our government began a deliberate process led by the national security council to recommend diplomatic and military options to the president. we met over several days and i spoke with some of our allies. the national security council considered the near century-old prohibition against the use of chemical weapons. the syrian regime's repeated violations of that international law and the ruthless murders the
regime had committed. we determined that a measured military response could best deter the regime from doing this again. as always, we examined how best to avoid civilian casualties in the execution of the strike and our actions were successful. based on these considerations on april 6, the president directed military action consistent with our vital national interests to deter the use of chemical weapons. this military action demonstrates the united states will not passively stand by while assad ignores international law and employs chemical weapons he had declared destroyed. we were aware of the presence of russians at the air field and took appropriate actions to ensure no russians were injured in the attack. our military policy in syria has not changed. our priority remains the defeat
of isis. isis represent as clear and present danger and immediate threat to europe and ultimately a threat to the united states homeland. in closing, the syrian regime should think long and hard before it again acts so recklessly in violation of international law against the use of chemical weapons. general votel will provide further information on the strike. >> thank you, mr. secretary. as secretary mattis stated, the united states central command was directed to develop military options in response to the syrian regimes of chemical weapons. we did that and had a star get strike package with the goal of top eliminate those capabilities that provided offensive military capacity for the regime. we did not deliberately target personnel in these strikes. once the order was received, we targeted 59 locations and struck 57 of those. we assessed that we achieved our
stated objective and the regime's ability to generate offensive military capability from the air field, which we assess was the launching people has been severely degraded. we main appropriately postured as necessary. the campaign is our primary mission. in closing, i want to commend the skill and professionalism of our military forces in the strike operation. they performed extraordinarily well and we're proud of them. >> thank you, general votel. we can take your questions now. bob, let's start with you. secretary mattis. >> in your view should the
u.s.a. tempt to move bashar al-assad from power and ask general votel if he can bring us up to date on bringing additional troops to accelerate the campaign there? >> the goal right now in syria and the military campaign is focused on accomplishing that, is breaking isis, destroying isis in syria. this was a separate issue that arose in the midst of that campaign. the use by the assad regime of chemical weapons and we addressed that. the rest of the campaign stays on track before assad's violation. >> do you plan on having safe zones or no fly zones? >> the other issues are among consideration from allies and certainly the president has options, but right now the
purpose of this attack was singular, against the chemical weapons use. >> bob, i'm not going to particularly comment on anything we might do in the future here. i remain engaged with the department here on the way forward. we'll let the leadership make the decisions here and we act accordingly. >> barbara? >> mr. secretary, you said that assad should think long and hard about doing this again. it seems like you're sending him a direct military message. do you feel -- why do you feel -- what message are you sending? why do you feel he close to do this not until the trump administration took office? did he read the signals from the administration officials that isis was no longter top -- well,
isis might be the priority. regime change was not. do you feel that's the signal he got and are you sending him a new signal? for you, general votel, you don't talk about future operations and isis a priority, how prepared are you and is central command to take on additional military targeting? do you feel you know even if you can't say where his chemical weapons are at this point? >> barbara, we believe that assad has used chemical weapons several times over the last several years. violated the international law that prohibited their use since 1925. syria is a signatory to that convention. for them to have done this several times recently over the last several years is what i mean by recently. you have to ask him why he chose now to try it again. i trust he regrets it now considering the damage done to his air force, but when i say he should think long and hard about
it, i'll just let the mission speak for itself on that score. >> barbara, i would say, you know, as the u.s. central commander, i would say we can respond to any directions of orders that the secretary or the president gives us in the region. >> you know where his chemical weapons are? >> i'm not going to speculate on what we know or don't know. i'm very confident in our forces when asked to do things. >> can you bring us up to date about what measures you're taking in this new more tense environment to ensure protection of the u.s. forces on the ground in syria and secretary mattis, can you let us know, how does what you're doing military in syria fit into the broader strategy by the administration? how do the strikes and the positioning of u.s. forces --
u.s.-backed forces on the ground help in a broader strategic sense? >> well, phil, the broader strategy, as you know, is embedded inside a global strategy. right now the americans are make-very clear that isis in our cross hairs. that's what our conduct of the campaign in syria is designed to take on, is take on isis and defeat them. this other effort that came up in the midst of that had to be addressed. because it address as vital national interest of ours that chemical weapons not be used, the bar not be lowered by the assad regime so that this is commonplace. we had to make a very clear statement on this. >> i would just add that -- something that we always pay attention to, the environment
always changes and we have to change with that. we continue to pay a lot of attention to that. as we executed this operation, we took very prudent measures to make sure our coalition forces are operating with us are well-protected, well-aware what's going on and we had prudent measures in place. what we have done is we've trusted our commanders on the ground with the authority and the decision making capability to resume operations as they assess the environment. >> anything additional that you can specify that you've done differently? >> no. >> jennifer? >> there's been mixed messages from the administration about whether you're calling for a regime change in syria. are you prepared -- are you calling for assad to step aside and are you prepared militarily if he were to step aside
tomorrow? general votel, have you seen any evidence that the iranians were involved in the chemical attack and in particular, any evidence that as sad is moving his chemical stockpiles around in syria? >> jennifer, the strike that we're talking about here today was directed at the people that planned it, that held on to the weapons, contrary to what they had promised the international community and the united nations when they said they got rid of those weapons. the reason for the strike was that alone. it was not a harbinger of some change in our military campaign. >> jennifer, i'm unaware of any information regarding iran's participation in this. you know, i think we have seen some information that the regime has moved some aircraft and things around. i imagine there's some movement
of this equipment taking place. whether or not there's chemicals or not, i don't think i can comment on that. >> i'd like to ask both of you if you believe russia had advanced knowledge of this strike and if russia should be considered as complicit in this strike? the chemical weapons attack. >> i can speak for both of us on that one. it was very clear that the assad regime planned it, orchestrated it and executed it. beyond that, we can't say right now. we know what i just told you. we don't know anything beyond that. >> in this room on friday. at the time of the attack, a drone was sighted over that billing and they weren't sure whether it was a russian or syrian drone. has it been determined whether that drone was russian or syrian? >> i don't know.
i will tell you we have gone back through and looked at the evidence and it is very clear who planned this attack, who authorized this attack and who conducted this attack it everybody. that we do know with no doubt whatsoever. >> can you help us understand why the death of innocent men, women and children from chemical weapons a u.s. response but more deaths of women and children in syria from conventional weapons, barrel bombs, does not warrant a military response? >> i think what we have to look at here is a policy decision by the united states. there's a limit i think to what we can do. when you look at what happened
with this chemical attack, we knew that we could not stand passive on this. it was not a statement that we could enter full fledged, full bore into the most complex civil war probably raging on the planet at this time. the intent was to stop the cycle of violence into an area that even in world war ii chemical weapons were not used on battlefields. even in the korean war, they were not used on battled fields. since world war i, there's been an international convention on this. to stand by when that convention is violationed, that's what we had to take action on in our own vital interests. general, mr. secretary, we were expecting a new counter iso plan
this spring. does this delay that in any way? what are your thoughts hoff finding a way for the isis war and what should happen in syria with regard to the military campaign and the government campaign that you've been asking for? >> the counter isil plan is in skeleton form, being fleshed out now. this has to be done in a methodical way where we look at each element of it. a couple weeks ago, secretary tillerson had 60, 68 nations in town with his counter parts. the fellow foreign ministers. and they are working on the stabilization efforts in syria. this is not the united states working alone. very, very complex security situation. it's one that we'll have to address in a very methodical manner. it's not something that you can add water to and it's suddenly a
full-fledged plan. it's hard work and it will take time. >> i would just add on the question directed to me here, the campaign plan remains where we thought that it would be at this particular point. obviously engaged in very difficult fighting in mosul and around the iraq area. we anticipated the fighting would be difficult at this particular part and that's exactly what we're seeing. again, we certainly won't put a time line on this. it will ultimately prove to us be wrong. i think this is proceeding about the way we expected it would at this point. >> mr. secretary, if i can ask you about north korea. the u.s.s. carl vinson is headed to the sea of japan. has tension ratcheted up just recently in the past few days? what has changed in the past several days or weeks? and general votel, if i can ask
you, secretary mattis mentioned that assad has used chemical weapons the lot in the past several years. what are we talking about there? chlorine or something more specific? >> i can answer the question. you asked him about my answer, if you wish. we have -- of course we've seen chlorine. it's been documented by independent medical authorities. they have been using chemical weapons. you're correct. that's what we're looking at. as far as the -- >> no other nerve agents that you've seen other than the chlorine? >> i believe you're correct. this time it was not chlorine. quite clearly. we know that for certain. there's no doubt, this is a medical fact. as far as the movement of the vinson, she's stationed there in the western pacific for a reason. she operates freely up and down the pacific.
she's just on her way up there because that's where we thought it was most p her at this time. there's not a specific demand signal or specific reason why we're sending her up there. >> it's unusual for us to know about a ship movement in advance. that's what got everybody's attention. why was that? why was it put out in advance? to signal to north korea there's a show of presence there? >> i believe she was originally headed in one direction for an exercise and we cancelled our role in that exercise. that's what became public. we had to explain why she wasn't in that exercise. >> thank you. i wanted to ask about the status of the did confliction line. when is the last time you talked to the russians about it and what does it mean for pilots? are they in a more postured -- >> i'm not going to discuss the
de-confliction line. that line has been very useful for news the past to avoid fatality. it was useful for us on the night of the strike both in our prenotification to the russians and the immediate communication afterwards. >> are we not talking about the de-confliction line because it's not being used? >> no. that's not what i'm saying. >> the operation goes on. the operations are going safely right now. go ahead. >> you're a student of history, a student of strategy. you talked about red lines, the president talked about red lines. the russians have talked about red lines. at what point is there a danger of this spiralling out of control with two nuclear powered countries? >> i don't believe i've talked
about red lines. i shy away from it myself. i recommend assad be cautious about violating international law with chemical weapons. i suppose that could be considered a red line. i won't argue the point. it won't spiral out of control. secretary of state tillerson is in moscow. we maintain communications with the russian military and with the diplomatic channels. it won't spiral out of control. >> and the russians have been clear in that ret tick. you have not said the word "red line". the russians have. they said another response would be a red line for them. how are you confident this will not spiral out of control? >> the russians will act in their interest interest. there's nothing in this interest that says they want this situation to go out of control. yes, ma'am. >> would you consider the u.s.
force's posture after isis defeated in mosul and raqqa. are you contemplating maintaining a u.s. base in iraq kurdistan to deter isis-like groups? >> the short answer is we're in consultations with the iraqi government about what the stabilization phase looks like. there's been no decisions. there's no offers made either way. we're in consultation, talking about what the tactical situation will probably look like. as you can tell, there's some assumptions there because of the ongoing fight in west mosul. it would be premature to come to conclusions about that now or even enter the specifics about it now until we actually have this enemy on the run out of there. we would be willing to engage
with the iraq government on how this should look in the future. is that has the white house given the military authority to preemptively strike at syria if in fact you had knowledge of a looming chemical attack? then i have north korea question. >> no. >> you've not been given authority to preemptively strike if you know of a syrian attack? >> no, we have not. >> thank you. does the u.s. view chlorine barrel bombs as a chemical weapon? the second question. going back to north korea. are there any feasible or straightforward military actions that the u.s. military could take? >> i don't want to speculate and north korean military actions.
we have some con if i denier -- confidential action. as far as barrel bombs with chlorine, chemical weapons are chemical weapons. that is the issue if you're talking about the strike we took. it's not about how it's delivered or a fighter aircraft with a bomb. it's about chemical weapons. we've made clear where we stand on that. president trump has made it exceedingly clear where the united states stands on that sort of malfeasance. you have lots of questions here today. young lady, you've been very patient. go ahead. >> mr. secretary, i was hoping you can clarify something. in your statement yesterday, you said the kurdish missile strikes took out 20% of the aircraft. there was some confusion. can you clarify and explain how much of a blow it was to syria's
capabilities and general votel, we're in the process of isolating raqqa right now. does the coalition and our partner force there's have what they need to begin the offensive on raqqa and what more resources do they need? >> the syrian air force is not in good shape. it's been worn down by years of combat, plus some significant maintenance problems. we thought it was -- i thought it was about 20%. i think it's around 20 aircraft that were taken out, which equates to that. i probably shouldn't use the 20%. we're trying to provide information as it comes in. this is one of the challenges of trying to get it accurate but get it out as quickly as we can give you some fidelity. it's around 20 aircraft. that damage to the syrian air force is pretty severe, as you can tell. >> with respect to what's going on in raqqa, i thought we had the capabilities to do what
we're doing right now, which is the isolation of raqqa. i think we're seeing that play out every day. right now as our partners on the ground are very effectively isolating this particular area as we move forward. obviously the secretary and i and others are in consultation here on what the additional reforces would mean. i'll leave it at that. we're talking about what needs -- >> the new cost of -- they hate you store skipping them. >> mr. secretary, i just wanted to clarify something you said earlier. it's an important point. is it your contention if a barrel bomb has chlorine with the use of a nerve agent, a clear reason and barrel bomb wouldn't lead to u.s. strikes but it's the nerve agents? i want to make sure i understand the point. >> i just want to say very clearly that the use of chemical weapons contrary to the geneva
convention that syria is signed up for, using chemical weapons that syria agreed under u.n. pressure to remove from their arsenal, those chemical weapons that the russians certified were gone, that if they use chemical weapons, they're going to pay a very, very stiff price. okay? thanks very much, ladies and gentlemen. i appreciate your time here and waiting this afternoon to talk. thank you very much. >> shepard: the pentagon wrapping up their briefing saying there's no doubt that the syrian regime carried out the sarin gas attack on its own people. one reporter asking whether the pentagon had given -- had been given permission or orders at least to carry out a preempt ive strike if they knew another attack was coming. they said no. as far as what do the russians
know and when did they know it, that's not coming from today. inshepard smith in new york. we check the final wall street numbers and neil cavuto will have perspective starting right now. >> neil: thank you, shepard. i'm neil cavuto. this is "your world." following up on that press conference with the secretary of defense and general votel. the message is the syrians were clearly behind this chemical attack and chemical weapons were used in this attack. no explanation as to how even after a u.n. crack down on the chemical weapons, if serial had them and what role the russians played, even if they knew they had them. general mattis was guarded on that. all of this coming with a clear warning that if they used chemical weapons again, we will respond the same way if not more for now after