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CONNECT THE WORLD
Interview with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. No Evidence Russia Plans Attacks Inside Syria; Britain Announces It Will Accept 20,000 Refugess Over Next Five Years; Recent Deaths No Deterrent For Migrants Desperate To Get To Europe; Stopping Price Tag Attack In Israel No East Task. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired September 7, 2015 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:00] DAVID CAMERON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: ISIL in Syria as we do in Iraq.
I think the question for the house is if it's right to degrade and defeat ISIL in Iraq, surely in time it is right for us to assist already underway
to defeat ISIL in Syria. There are complications, there are difficulties, and I don't want to come back to this house until we've debated it more and
people have had a chance to make their views known, but I'm in no doubt, ISIL and its operatives are a clear and present danger to the United
Kingdom and the soon they're defeated and eradicated the better.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Speaker, does the prime minister agree with me that one of the more absurd features about the discussions on the dreadful
migration crisis of recent weeks have been the suggestion by some is that the problem is either caused, complicated or made worse by Britain's
membership of the European Union. Don't you agree, these flows start through Turkey and through Libya and they come across the continent towards
Britain as one of the more popular destinations after Sweden and Geramny and they will only cease if we have more cooperation of the kind we have
with the French at Calais and not if we opened up disputes with the other members of Europe.
So, will he continue to make a leading and positive contribution towards that comprehensive plan she says is required to deal amongst other things,
but the appalling problems where these people should be encouraged to go and be accommodated outside of Europe, how you take hard headed decisions
on who has to be settled for the duration of the crisis and how that is going to be handled, and not join those governments within Europe who
simply try to pretend that the problem can be pushed over the border into a neighboring state for the time being.
CAMERON: Well, (inaudible) is certainly right about the need for a comprehensive plan. That obviously our membership in the European Union
enables us to take part in the discussions and debates about what that comprehensive plan requires.
And, you know, we've been particularly clear that until we get a return path for returning some migrants back to Africa, it's going to be very
difficult to solve this problem.
I'd also agree with him that it's right that if we were not in the European Union the problem at Calais would not go away. Actually, we're helped by
being good partners with the French and able to have our border controls on French soil. And I would commend the home secretary for her excellent work
with the interior minister in France for strengthening that border, because as I say that is actually not related to our membership of the EU. If we
were out of the EU we'd still have a problem, possibly a worse problem, of people trying to break into Britain.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The (inaudible) Roberts (inaudible).
CROWD: Hear, hear.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thank the prime minister for his parliamentary statements, but say that it's sorry that they were not shared in advance,
which is the norm. They are normally shared in advance. It's extremely disappointing and frankly unacceptable, Mr. Speaker, especially on matters
of national security.
Having raised the humanitarian crisis with the prime minister at the first PMQs of this session in June, I'm glad that there is finally, finally the
beginnings of a change in UK government thinking it is frankly appalling that little more than 200 Syrian refugees have been taken up so far in the
UK relocation scheme. And it is correct that we should be taking more. It is welcome that more will seek - - be given refuge in the UK, however, it's
a shame that this is being spread through the duration of this parliament. Will the prime minister tell us how many Syrian refugees will be relocated
to the UK before the end of the year.
We should take the opportunity to recognize the welcome that was given to refugees in countries like Germany, Austria and Sweden. Today we learn
that the French government is to allow 24,000 Syrians to settle in France, while Germany is allocating 4.4 billion pounds to support refugees.
Why will the prime minister not work constructively with EU partners about accepting a share of the refugees in Europe at the present time? Will he
make sure that he does not use the refugee issue as an excuse to revisit military intervention in Syria? And given the importance of all of these
issues, will he take part in the full day's debate on the humanitarian crisis in the House of Commons this Wednesday?
And finally on counterterrorism, when will he get around to setting up the intelligence and security committee of this house?
CAMERON: Taking the last question first, on the ISC I think we will be able to do that in the coming days. I'm confident in making progress for
that. And I thank him for his response.
But on the issue of how many Syrians Britain has already given asylum to, I think the figure is actually 5,000. And of course under our relocation
schemes and resettlement schemes we already have that runs at about 1,000 refugees a year. And so what we're doing is now adding to that with this
new scheme to be exclusively for Syrians, which will see the resettlement of 20,000 Syrians refugees.
Now, as I said, we welcome the fact the first minister in Scotland has offered to take 1,000. We think that will have to be increased now with
this more generous approach.
He talks about working constructively within the EU. That's exactly what we are doing. And that is what lay behind my phone call with Angela Merkel
just a few minutes ago.
But the point I would make is we don't believe the right answer is to take -- for Britain to take people who have already arrived in Europe. We think
that actually it's better to take people out of the refugee camps so we don't encourage people to take this perilous crossing. We're not part of
the Schengen no borders agreement, so we don't have to take part in the relocation scheme. We actually -- but partly because of the work we're
doing in the Syrian refugee camps -- you know, 10 times more money given by Britain than some other major European countries into those refugee camps.
I think that entitles us to say we're taking an approach which is about helping people on the ground, rather than encouraging people to move.
UNIDENITIFIED MALE: Mr. Andrew Mitchell (ph).
[11:06:09] ANDERSON: We start in Europe tonight -- you're watching CNN. This is Connect the World with me, Becky Anderson, where as you hear there
is some hope today that governments could be uniting in their response to the migrant crisis.
Just moments ago, you heard Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron say his country will resettle some 20,000 refugees.
Earlier, France said, too, that it will open its doors to almost 25,000 more asylum seekers. But President Francois Hollande made it clear that
this is part of a joint effort as the Euro bloc looks to share the burden.
We're across the continent for you tonight to bring you the full picture, as you would expect here on CNN.
We start in the UK where CNNs' Phil Black is joining me live. And Prime Minister David Cameron then in the last half hour, Phil, setting out his
plans on how Britain will resettle more Syrian refugees. The caveat, though, these people have to be currently in camps bordering Syria.
So, this announcement to a certain extent doesn't ease those short-term crisis facing Europe, does it?
PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No, it will have no impact there whatsoever, Becky.
David Cameron has just explained at some length the fact that Britain will continue to do this its own way. And Britain believes, or this government
believes, he says, that the best way is to offer sanctuary for people who are in the refugee camps in countries neighboring Syria, because if you do
other than that, if you bring in people who are already in Europe, he says, that only creates an incentive for more people to make that hazardous
So, the number there, you've mentioned it, 20,000 over the life of this parliament, that's over the next five years. Break that down to 4,000 a
year, certainly not huge numbers compared to those that we're seeing being taken in by other mainland European countries. But David Cameron went on
at some length explaining that Britain is also helping making its impact by injecting huge amounts of aid money into those refugee camps, into the
region immediately surrounding Syria, because it believes that is the most effective way to help the people who have fled that conflict.
David Cameron says that Britain has so far spent more than 1 billion pounds on that aid. He says the biggest foreign aid response in Britain's
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID CAMERON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: We are proposing the Britain should resettle up to 20,000 Syrian refugees over the rest of this parliament. In
doing so, we'll continue to show the world that this country is a country of extraordinary compassion.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: So, David Cameron opened that address by saying that we have to use our head as well as our heart in dealing with this crisis. He does not
believe it's simply taking in refugees will solve the Syrian crisis, but you have to work on the root causes within the country itself while, he
says, dismantling the people smuggling networks as well, Becky.
ANDERSON: Yeah. And we're going to take a look at people smuggling a little later this hour, some multi-billion dollar industry, isn't it.
The root cause of this mass disbursement of people, then, is the bloody Syrian war now in its fifth year, Phil. What did the prime minister say
about the possibility of deploying British troops either in the air or on the ground to stop the slaughter of Syrian civilians?
BLACK: There's no question here of British troops being deployed, but Britain, its politicians, the government for some time has been talking
about the idea of extending its air campaign beyond Iraq to Syria as well. But what we've been hearing in recent days is that this is something that
Britain would only be prepared to do if it was approved by parliament and it's something that would only be put to parliament in the event that the
government was confident that parliament would approve such a move.
At the moment, that sort of stamp of approval is far from guaranteed, Becky.
[11:10:14] ANDERSON: Well, we know that, what was it, 18 months, two years ago, David Cameron went before the British parliament and was told in no
uncertain terms that lawmakers representing their constituents didn't want British involvement in Syria. Is there any sense, given at what we are
seeing across Europe today, given the discussions about the root cause, that being president Assad and this bloody Syrian civil war, is there any
sense that a decision by parliament would be different from that which we had some two years ago?
BLACK: I think the momentum and the feeling is certainly different, yes, but not guaranteed.
The question is different, because on that previous occasion that you're referring to there, Parliament was asked to approve airstrikes against
Syrian government forces within Syria, forces of the Assad regime. In this case, we're talking about an extension of the international coalition, and
Britain's contribution to that, in its efforts of combating ISIS specifically within Syria.
We know that Britain already does that in Iraq and receive parliamentary approval for that. Now, what this government is keen to push through, it
would seem, is the idea of expanding that military campaign, that air campaign, to include ISIS targets in Syria as well.
It does not seem that parliament has fully backed it or the government has the numbers there yet, but there is certainly a momentum and a feeling
based on all the reasons that they touched on there that it could move through at some point in the future.
ANDERSON: The issue is, though, isn't it Phil, that if you ask most of the Syrian refugees who have taken this gruesome journey in order to try and
make a better life for themselves and their kids. It's not ISIS that they fear in Syria, it's Bashar al-Assad's regime. And that's not what any air
campaign would be attacking is it?
BLACK: Indeed, that is indeed quite often the case. But regardless of that, parliament here has given its answer on the issue of that parliament
here has given its answer on the issue of airstrikes against the Syrian regime. And so for that matter, politically, strategically, it is not
something that this government is even contemplating.
What they are keen to do, as we're saying, is expand its air campaign to attack Syrian targets. And that I think is the move that has a greater
sense of public and perhaps even growing political support as well, Becky.
I think we need to add very quickly that David Cameron made a fairly significant announcement during his address there. He confirmed that the
British military, its air force, using unmanned aerial vehicles, a drone, did conduct a targeted strike against British born ISIS fighter in Syria
killing him, a young man, 21-year-old Riad Khan (ph) was apparently killed in this strike in August. Because David Cameron said that he posed a clear
and credible threat to the country. He described it as an act of self defense and one that was in line with international law.
That's as significant a surprising announcement from this government because it is confirmation that the British government targeted and killed
one of its own citizens in Syria -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Phil Black on the story in Westminster for you this evening.
Phil, thank you for that.
Before David Cameron spoke today, there were some signs of optimism at last on the continent of Europe. Hundreds of thousands have arrived on its
shores mainly fleeing war and persecution as you know, all of them looking for a better life.
As governments have struggled to respond, it's brought the very model of modern Europe and the European Union into question. Well, many of those
heading for Europe are coming from Syria as we've been discussing. And we're going to take a look at the root cause pushing people from that
country as rhetoric between the U.S. and Russia, for example, heats up over Syria's war. That's all coming up this hour.
And a reminder, that this is a global crisis.
Right now, thousands of migrants and refugees streaming through Austria on their way to Germany. If you've been watching CNN over the past week or so
you'll have been following this journey, ofttimes treacherous journey, that so many of the some 350,000 people are making.
Fred has got the very latest on those who have just arrived in Vienna.
And I wonder, Fred, what if anything do those streaming in have to say about what is being said by politicians in various countries today, not
least for example David Cameron or the French? Or is it that they are just trying to find some food and shelter at this point?
[11:15:04] FREDERIK PLETIGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, at this point, yeah, most of them are just trying to find some food and
shelter, Becky. We also have to keep in mind that most of those who are coming in here, they have had a really, really treacherous journey just to
make it this far.
I mean, we've been reporting over the weekend starting Saturday morning about the very difficult journey that many of these people had from Hungary
where of course they were stuck, many of them, at the Budapest train station for several days, again with very little food and water, also with
very little communication because they had very little access to any sort of electricity.
Then, finally, on Saturday morning the Hungarian government put buses in place to bring them into Austria. And it's only since then that a lot of
it has eased.
But still, there are many refugees coming in to here into Vienna train station. We can pan around a little bit and see the area that you see back
there behind me is the designated platform here by the Austrian railway company. Those are the trains that depart from there, those are the ones
that go to Munich in Germany. And that's of course where many of these people want to go because they want to go first to Munich and then to other
places in Germany.
There's very few of the migrants who actually want to stay here in Austria. But I have to say, that the response of the Austrian civil society has been
nothing short of amazing. There's been massive donations, huge aid drives. There's been food, water, there's been toys for children, and most
importantly there have been people here who have volunteering who actually speak languages like Arabic, like Kurdish, like Farsi, to help these people
and get some sort of orientation, because that was really one of the things that was lacking, especially in Hungary where people just didn't know when
their process what was going to come next. Why were they getting on this train? Why were they going to this certain place. It really is something
that's well here organized by the Austrian government.
But again, many of these people just looking to try and make it further on, obviously, fleeing many of them Syria at this point politics is something
that's quite secondary to them, Becky.
ANDERSON: Yeah, well as politicians plan their responses, thank you, Fred. More people continue to arrive.
CNN's Arwa Damon reports from the border of Serbia and Hungary now, two countries that have been criticized for their responses.
ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Over here we have a very small medical clinic that is just being set up. And the person being
treated inside is a small child. I was just speaking to his father and he says that they were sitting on the tracks and all of a sudden the little
boy just stood up, made a very strange noise, and then collapsed. The medics here saying that they believe that it is because of the heat and the
And that just shows you the toll that this very difficult journey is taking on so many, especially the children.
But if we give you a quick look at the scene here, it is very chaotic. The numbers coming through, they are just continuing to grow. And the
Hungarians are so ill-equipped to deal with it.
You have on the other side of the road, this so-called campsite that used to be a transit point that people were staying in. Normally, when we were
here about a week ago for only about five, maximum up to 12 hours. But now, many of them are saying that they have been staying here for a night
if not two or three. And if we just take -- sorry, excuse me. If we just take a look at these conditions, I mean small wonder that people are very
upset at the fact that they are having to wait here. They're waiting here to board this buses that are meant to be taking them to a transit camp.
And that transit camp, they will be getting fingerprinted. And eventually, hopefully, moving on.
But the buses have been very slow in coming. And because of that, we've been seeing tensions here rise. There has been an ongoing standoff with
the police that earlier -- sorry -- that earlier resulted in some fairly intense scuffles as the refugees tried to break through the police lines,
push their way out because they just want to walk to the transit camp, they are saying. It's only about 10 minutes up the road.
And down there is where you see the backs of the people that are gathered. On the other side of them, the police. All of this forcing them to stop
their buses that are loading the people here on the other side of it. So it's a very chaotic situation. It's the same cycle that echoes of the
misery that we are hearing throughout all of this, because no matter what emergency measures are being put into place, because of the sheer numbers
that are coming across these bottlenecks that are being created are just coming back into existence.
So this also is underscoring that very desperate need that exists for long- term sustainable solutions. These short-term emergency measures, yes, are serving to ease some of the pressure on the refugee community, on the
nations that they're coming through. But it's really not solving the overarching problem.
[11:20:07] ANDERSON: Arwa Damon reporting there.
And still to come tonight, Palestinians calling for a day of rage after a third family member dies from an arson attack blamed on Jewish extremists.
We're live in Jerusalem for that with the details.
First up, though, it's a key player in the Syria crisis in so many ways, but neighboring Turkey says the biggest threat to its security are closer
to home. An exclusive interview with President Erdogan coming up.
ANDERSON: You're with CNN. This is Connect the World with me Becky Anderson out of the UAE. Welcome back.
It is 22 minutes past 7:00. I want to turn now to a NATO member that the U.S. has long wanted to join the fray in neighboring Syria. A reluctant
Turkey finally relented this summer and joined the international coalition, but beside striking ISIS in Syria, Ankara also set their sights on Kurdish
fighters in Iraq and have upped their attacks on PKK terror targets at home.
Well, just this Monday, Turkish jets pounded PKK targets in Southeastern Turkey, retaliation, they say, for an attack that Reuters reports killed at
least 16 soldiers. Turkey's largest loss of life in this fight since a ceasefire collapsed in July.
Now Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan told CNN last week that he has no intention of negotiating. When I sat down with him in Ankara, I began
by asking him about NATO and European calls for restraint in the fight against Kurdish militants. Listen to what he said.
RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, TURKISH PRESIDENT (through translator): Let's get the facts straight, the PKK is not the representative of the Kurds. Our
Kurdish citizens have a distinct place in Turkey, and the PKK is only abusing my Kurdish citizens, it's the only thing that it's doing.
With all that is happening, NATO is not really involved. NATO considers this to be a normal military issue. First things first, a state cannot sit
at a negotiation table with a terrorist organization. There are no precedents of that in the world. There might be different practices
elsewhere, but Turkey's circumstances are very specific and there is only one thing we tell terrorists at this stage, either lay down your arms, bury
them in the ground, or leave Turkey. There is no other way.
And until now they have not accepted either of these options.
This being the case, we are going to continue our fight against the terrorists with our armed forces, with our military and police force. We
will do whatever is necessary.
[11:25:10] ANDERSON: Your critics will say that you are waging war against the Kurds and you are doing it as a tool to reverse your party's election
defeat. Respond if you will.
ERDOGAN (through translator): We had almost 60 Kurdish members of parliament in my party. And this political party that is guarded by the
terrorist organization, they had 30. And now they have 80 members of parliament. OK. So continue your struggle in the parliament, right? If
you are going to deliver services to my Kurdish brothers and sister, do it via the parliament. Why the arms? Stop the arms. You are now in the
They had not fully grasped democracy, because democracy is not something you can do with weapons. There is no space for arms. There is space for
ideas and opinions. They do not do that. They're still insisting on killing people.
ANDERSON: There is an election. There will be an election here in Turkey again on November 1. If the AKP, your party, were to win the election,
some will say by appealing to Turkish nationalists, I wonder whether you feel like your legacy as a peacemaker is at stake and how you rationalize
ERDOGAN (through translator): You're asking a tough question. I'm not running in the elections, as you know. But the party I founded and used to
chair is running. My hope is that the party will again emerge successful.
I don't consider the party winning a majority of the votes to be sufficient. They need to win the power to run this country by itself,
that's what matters. Currently, we're having some troubles. Why? The reason is that after 12 years of successful single party rule we don't have
it anymore. And Turkey benefited hugely from that in terms of investment, finance, all of which was unprecedented in the history of the Republic.
When you look at the history of Turkey, this culture of coalition has never really taken root, because coalitions lasted a month-and-a-half, 16 months,
different periods of time. There are good examples of the west, yes, but we do not have that in the culture in Turkey. We still don't have it.
I hope that these upcoming elections will produce not a coalition, but single party rule regardless of what party that might be. Having a single
party rule would be very beneficial.
ANDERSON: But if it were your party it would help you to become an executive president going forward, wouldn't it? Because that's what you
ERDOGAN (through translator): That is only a discussion we can have once those conditions are in place, that's not part of the agenda at present.
And I'm not in such a position as president. My authorities are well defined and the constitution grants me certain powers. I'm using those
powers and it's all going very well.
ANDERSON: The Turkish president talking to CNN.
Live from Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World. Coming up, we'll take you to the Turkish coast to the place where a Syrian toddler lost his life. He
went out with the crews who are working tirelessly to prevent that from happening again.
[11:31:21] ANDERSON: At half past 7:00 in the UAE, this is Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. The top stories for you this hour.
And there are more questions than answers tonight about the fate of 43 students who meant missing in Mexico last year. A group of international
experts say there is no evidence that the student's bodies were burned at a landfill as had been claimed by the government. Mexico's attorney general
is now promising a new investigation into what happened.
Turkey has bombed Kurdish militants in the southeast of the country. It follows a mine attack on Sunday, which targeted a Turkish military convoy
close to the Iraqi border killing and wounding soldiers. Clashes between Turkish security forces and Kurdish militants took place over the weekend
in the eastern town of (inaudible).
Police in Nepal say an American woman who traveled there to help in the aftermath of April's earthquake has been beaten to death. She had gone to
a city about 200 kilometers from Kathmandu. Police say a teacher has confessed to the killing.
British Prime Minister David Cameron has just announced that Britain will take in thousands more Syrian refugees over the next five years. Mr.
Cameron says those people will be taken directly from camps in the Middle East in order to discourage others from making dangerous journeys into
Europe. Take a listen to what he told the nation's parliament just a short time ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAMERON: We are proposing that Britain should resettle up to 20,000 Syrian refugees over the rest of this parliament. In doing so, we'll continue to
show the world that this country is a country of extraordinary compassion.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, meanwhile in the same area where Syrian toddler Aylan Kurdi drowned, Turkish officials are working around the clock to try to
avert another tragedy. CNN's Ivan Watson went out with the rescue crews whose job never seems to end.
IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Under the spotlight of a Turkish coast guard cutter...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You see -- you see the refugees?
WATSON: The silhouettes of more than 20 people stranded in a rubber boat. They are desperate, frightened, but tonight luckily saved by volunteers
from the Bodrum Sea Rescue Association, who work alongside the Turkish coast guard.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not all together. Wait. Wait.
WATSON: Among the passengers rescued, five little children. Just four days after the world was shocked by photographs of a Syrian refugee toddler who
drown at sea. These people have embarked on the exact same perilous journey. They set off from the Turkish resort peninsula of Bodrum in hope
of reaching the Greek island of Kos. Instead of drifting at sea with a failed engine, these people will be brought back safely to Turkey.
The beaches below Bodrum's villas and posh resorts, an unlikely launching point for tens of thousands of refugees and migrants willing to risk
everything to reach Europe.
Under the light of the crescent moon, we witness another attempt at a crossing.
(on camera): It's after 2:00 a.m. and we've encountered another little rubber dinghy loaded with people. They're actually paddling in the
direction of Greece. It's incredibly overloaded, this little boat. It's an accident waiting to happen.
WATSON (voice-over): To make matters worse, some wear heavy backpacks over their life jackets.
[11:35:05] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The coast guard is coming.
WATSON: Before possible disaster strikes, the coast guard comes to the rescue. Tonight, they fail to reach Greece but they will live another day.
ANDERSON: Well, Ivan Watson joining me now live. And it seems that the image of a small boy washed up on a beach hasn't deterred others from
attempting the same dangerous crossing, Ivan, which might surprise many of our viewers.
What did those rescued and returned to Turkey tell you?
WATSON: You know, we weren't able to speak with the people in the rafts and the two rafts that we saw rescued overnight, but we have spoken with
some of the other Syrian refugees around Turkey, some of whom are still contemplating trying to make this dangerous journey.
And as some of them have explained it to me, they've said, listen, we've survived bombardment by our own government in Syria, barrel bombs dropped
from helicopters, we've survived the ravages of the Islamic State, which has been executing people that don't follow its very strict version of
Islam. We've survived years of war, so I'm not afraid of the possibility of drowning at sea while trying to cross a couple of kilometers in
basically a rubber dinghy to try to achieve some degree of physical and economic safety across the channel in Greece.
And when somebody puts the argument that way, it does make some sense. As you've heard from the Turkish president himself, the Turkish government has
made appeals to these people saying please don't take this perilous journey. You're here in Turkey. Maybe your educational opportunities,
your economic opportunities aren't that great here, but at least you're safe for now.
But clearly that's not enough for some of these people -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Ivan Watson there on the coast in Turkey. Thank you, Ivan.
Well, for many of the people I was just talking about with Ivan, the journey began here in Syria where a chaotic and brutal civil war has forced
a human catastrophe, millions, million have fled their homes, all of them desperately hoping to escape being killed or maimed in what is this war's
relentless cycle of horror as Ivan was just describing.
And there are many hands at work in Syria's civil war, all with their own designs on how to end the fighting there, or what their own motivations.
The United States be heading coalition airstrikes against ISIS in Syria. And over the border in Iraq, of course, it's previously called for Syrian
President Bashar al-Assad to step down, but Russia, a longstanding supporter of Mr. al-Assad is also heavily and apparently increasingly
The U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called his Russian counterpart at the weekend to warn him that any buildup of Russia's military presence in
Syria could make things a lot worse.
Matthew Chance has more on that.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's an escalation in this fighting that Washington says is among its chief concerns if reports
of Russia deploying extra forces to Syria prove accurate. But the weekend, the U.S. Secretary of State also warned his Russian counterpart of an
increase in refugees and of the risk of confrontation with anti-ISIS forces. The State Department's alarm, giving what are still unconfirmed
reports, a degree of credibility.
But evidence in the public domain of increased Russian military involvement in Syria remains thin.
Recent combat images broadcast on Syrian state television, a one strand of evidence. Analysts say this Russian made armored vehicle is of a modern
type no previously seen in Syria and appears to be painted in Russian army camouflage.
There's also speculation that Russian voices can be heard in one battle scene. Russia of course really admits sending weapons and advisers to
assist its Syrian ally.
The allegation that Russia is preparing a major military deployment, though, is categorically denied.
Speaking Vladivostok last week, President Putin called the reports premature. Russia directly engaging ISIS in Syria, he said, is not on our
agenda, not yet.
The Kremlin has made no secret. At its deep alarm at the prospect of its key ally in the Middle East, being toppled if Bashar al-Assad falls, so,
too, may Russian influence in the entire regime.
Moscow also has a strategic naval base at Tartus in Syria, Russia's only Mediterranean port, so it has a strong interest in maintaining support for
the Syrian regime and possibly even expanding it.
But Russia also has genuine security concerns about ISIS. The group's fighters, like these showing of a Russian made warplane captured on the
battlefields of Syria identify Russia as a key enemy.
"This is a message to you, Vladimir Putin," one ISIS fighter says. "These are your jets that you sent to Bashar al-Assad. We will send them back,"
It may be just bravado, but with a simmering Islamist insurgency of its own, and hundreds of Russians known to have joined ISIS ranks, this is a
threat the Kremlin takes very seriously.
Matthew Chance, CNN, Moscow.
ANDERSON: Well, for more on the complexities of Syria's civil war Nikolay Kozhanov joins us now from London. He's a non-resident scholar at the
Carnegie Moscow Center and an expert.
Do you see any evidence, firstly, that Moscow is upping the ante in its support of the Assad regime in Syria?
NIKOLAY KOZHANOV, CARNEGIE MOSCOW CENTER: Well, definitely Moscow is increasing its support for Assad regime in Syria, but I would be very
cautious about those statements about the readiness of Moscow to deploy its troops on the ground.
What's definitely happening is the increase in arm's supplies and as stated by some Russian experts, the increase in the (inaudible). But so far there
are none clear evidence that Moscow is going to deploy force on the ground.
Given the negative attitude to -- of the public opinion in Russia towards any overseas operations, I can see that -- I can say that it's hardly
possible, at least for now.
ANDERSON: Syria clearly front and center in so many people's minds. And it's about time, by the way. Some 11 million people displaced in what is a
human catastrophe, clearly the headlines that are being made with this mass disbursement of people across Europe making Europeans, for example, and the
rest of the world sit up and consider what's going on again.
While it is clear that the international community want Russia and Iran to lean on the Assad regime, it's also apparent there is little momentum to
make Assad's departure part of any solution. Of course the international coalition is focused on ISIS, which the Assad regime says is also its
So, what is Russia's calculation in all of this given that the ISIS militants and other militants in Syria are also its enemy. What's its
KOZHANOV: Well, the calculations of the Russian authorities, they are relatively simple and complicated at the same time. So on the one hand,
the Russians as well as the rest of the international community they are interested in the end of the conflict, the civil conflict in Syria and the
beginning of the war against -- of the formation of the (inaudible) for the war against the IS, against Daesh.
But at the same time, they see how it should be achieved in a different way. So, for the Russians it's believed that Assad is probably for now the
only guarantee of the survival of Syria as a state. And the state mechanisms that they are important for Moscow.
A few hours ago, French President Francois Hollande announced that he wants to step up France's involvement in defeating ISIS in Syria. Take a listen
to what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FRANCOIS HOLLANDE, FRENCH PRESIDENT (through translator): As of tomorrow, there will be reconnaissance flights together with the coalition, because
it is the condition for us to have the ability to intervene in this form. And then according to the intelligence that we will obtain and the
intelligence that we will have connected and the reconnaissance, we will be ready, ready to carry out strikes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, that is good news for Russia, surely, isn't it? Will this strengthen Mr. Assad's position do you think?
KOZHANOV: Well, definitely. One of the calculations that Assad has is to become the part of the IS campaign. And that would be -- would legitimize
him as a international player and definitely guarantee him a certain future as in Syria. That's definitely as a not a positive scenario for the
Syrian people, but currently judging by the written statements made by some politicians and analysts, we can say that the start to suggest that Assad
may stay in power, at least for some transitional period. And that's quite close to actually to Moscow position.
[11:45:38] ANDERSON: We're going to leave it there. We thank you very much indeed for joining us.
Live from Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson. Coming up, Palestinians in the West Bank organize their own nighttime
patrol, taking no chances after a rise in attacks by Jewish extremists. We are taking a very short break. Back after this.
ANDERSON: Palestinians are calling for day of rage after the mother of a baby boy killed in an arson attack died of her wounds. There were no
chants of outrage, though, at her funeral procession. Mourners marched in silence as a sign of respect.
Raham Dadsheh (ph) had been in critical condition from her home's firebomb in July by suspected Jewish extremists. Her husband also lost his life.
The two weeks after that attack, extremists set a Bedouin tent on fire. No one died only because the family there was not in at the time.
Three right-wing Jewish extremists have now been indicted in that attack.
CNN's Oren Liebermann reports.
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONENT: Armed with flashlights and sticks, Palestinian volunteers stay awake all night in Qusra, a
Palestinian village in the West Bank. They fear a Jewish extremist attack, and the most recent attacks have come at night. Here, they don't trust the
authorities, Israeli or Palestinian. Instead, they rely on each other.
[11:50:08] UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We coordinate together when we see suspicious people walking around or a suspicious car driving in
the village, so we can wake up the people through the mosque speakers.
LIEBERMANN: They have reason to worry. In late July, just a short drive away, suspected Jewish extremists firebombed a Palestinian home, killing an
18-month old toddler and his parents.
It was one of the latest in a series of attacks on Palestinians and Christians, often in response to what Jewish extremists view as events that
go against Jewish settlers in the West Bank.
They're called price tag attacks. The attacks get their name from what's left behind in spray paint, the words price tag left on a torched mosque.
Here it says revenge on a firebombed Palestinian home.
Just days before the firebombing, the Israeli government had bulldozed an illegal building in a Jewish settlement.
YA'AKOV PERI, MEMBER OF KNESSET: The government of Israel also should define price tag acts as terror acts. And then the whole system, gathering
the intelligence, interrogating them, spotting them, and the punishment will be much more effective then until now.
LIEBERMANN: While the Israeli government hasn't defined price tag attacks as terror, after the firebombing it did crack down in an extraordinary step
arresting and holding without charge several Jewish extremists.
One of those detainees is Ma'ir Etinger (ph), considered a leading figure among Jewish radicals. He wrote a manifesto called "The Revolt" in which
he called for overthrowing the Israeli government and replacing it with Jewish law, called Halakhah. But bringing Etinger (ph) and other
extremists to trial has not been easy.
Itzhak Bam is an attorney for a man detained with Etinger (ph).
IZHAK BAM, ATTORNEY: The system with no evidence that Ma'ir Etinger (ph) pledged to use violence for the so-called revolt and therefore there's no
law that prohibits the Ma'ir Etinger's (ph) activities.
LIEBERMANN: In June, Jewish extremists torched the Benedictine church of multiplication in northern Israel near the Biblical site where Jesus walked
on water. And then a Bedouin emcampment, tents burned. For authorities, stopping the attacks is a challenge.
Part of the problem here lies in the lack of organization of these extremists. Authorities say there may be no more than a few dozen of them,
but they're only loosely connected. And they work in small teams.
PERI: You cannot define it as an organization and that's one of the main difficulties of the Israeli defense system, the Israeli security system to
catch them, to spot them.
LIEBERMANN: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to catch the people responsible for these latest attacks, but his promises ring hollow
when villages like Qusra where they say another attack is more likely than another arrest.
ANDERSON: Oren Liebermann reporting for you there.
Live from Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World. 53 minutes past 7:00. Just before we leave you tonight, coming up we go behind the scenes of a
mega-palace. I want to show you five things you never knew about Turkey's controversial new presidential abode.
[11:55:17] ANDERSON: Well tonight's Parting Shots just before we leave you.
We heard from the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan on today's show. Last year he moved into a huge new presidential palace on the edge of
Ankara, a move that was denounced by critics.
ANDERSON: This is the Republic of Turkey's presidential complex. Now, you know this as one of the largest of its kind in the world. But here are
five things you don't know about it.
Fact one, the palace has over 1,150 rooms, including 1,024 offices. And it officially cost around $330 million to build.
Fact two, the palace's architecture is clearly inspired by Ottoman and nostalgic motifs, but it's also paid homage to the Art Deco concepts of
maximum efficiency of space and emphasis on symmetry.
Fact three, the palace is also an art gallery, home to wealth of priceless paintings, photographs, (inaudible) prints and antique furniture all
collected over the years by Turkey's presidents or gifted to them by foreign dignitaries. The collection was previously housed in Cankaya
Kosku, the former presidential palace which is now being used by the prime minister.
Fact four, the presidential library is a leading center for the restoration of Ottoman calligraphy in the country. And next year, the country's
biggest library will be opened to the public at the palace.
ANDERSON: Well, we just -- we've -- not sure what happened there just at the end there. But I'm Becky Anderson, that was Connect the World. Thank
you for watching.