tv Early Start With John Berman and Christine Romans CNN September 3, 2014 1:00am-3:01am PDT
another american apparently beheaded on camera. isis claiming they have killed steven sotloff, the journalist kidnapped by a terrorist one year ago in syria. the video threatening to kill another captive in u.s. air strikes in iraq do not stop. what we're learning this morning from this video and hundreds more u.s. troops headed to iraq this morning. that's ahead. all eyes on president obama this morning, in eastern europe, set to speak to the media within the hour. what will his response be to the apparent murder of steven sotloff? and will it overshadow his trip
to deal with the heightening crisis in ukraine? we're bringing you live team coverage. crisis management on a global scale for the president. good morning, welcome to "early start." i'm christine romans. >> and i'm john berman. a very busy morning. pressure mounting for president obama to strike back against isis, authorities say it beheaded a second american tuesday. the black-hooded executioner hold, a direct message to the president moments before steven sotloff was brutally murdered. >> with your insistence in continuing in mosul despite our serious warnings, you, obama, for your actions just another american citizen. >> meanwhile, the president has authorized the deployment of 350 more u.s. troops to iraq with the white house insisting they will not be serving in a combat
role. anna coren monitoring developments for us live in erbil, northern iraq. good morning, anna. >> hey, john, obviously, the announcement of 350 more troops coming here to iraq is certain welcomed by the iraqis as well as the kurds. yes, they won't have a combat role but certainly they will be advising. and that is what the forces here node. they need that direction moving forward. obviously, those air strikes pressuring isis, we heard the executioner of steven sotloff making direct reference to those air strikes around mosul dam, around amirli. these are places where isis is on the back foot. obviously, those air strikes pressuring isis, they're responding the way they are. we are, though, know they are digging in around certain parts
where the air strikes have been. we just got off the phone with military officials who say that the township of zuma where there's fierce fighting going on the bodies of soldiers, civilians, as well as animals are being bobby trapped. this is what the peshmerga are having to deal with. it's a completely different scene out on the battlefield. there are no rules to this war. and obviously, now that a second american has been beheaded apparently by isis there is many people here, john, looking for guidance as to what to do next. kurdish officials telling us now more than ever is the time the world needs to come together and unite because there's no place for isis in this world. >> obviously, as we said, no rules in this conflict. anna, you sort of mentioned it there. what's the reaction been to this apparent second beheading.
i've been in iraq where there's awful brutality before, it casts a pall over everybody and even reporters. what's there to see? >> absolutely, people are sickened by it, they are appalled. as far as officials are concerned, they have come out and condemned this hideous brutal act. when we saw steven sotloff at the end of that video, many of us dreaded that he would face the same fate as james foley, while that video appeared yesterday, while everybody was shocked it didn't take any of us by surprise because isis is evil. we heard the mother of steven
sotloff appeal directly to the leader of isis, abu al baghdadi, saying please spare my son he was merely inferior, covering the world, when media outlets where no longer going. he was there doing his job, bringing the news to the rest of the world. sadly, tragically, that plea, that appeal, just fell on deaf ears. when we saw that video yesterday that executioner almost, you know, just -- it's hard to describe the words, but just how he said to obama, obama, i'm back. you know. it's just the audacity of these people, this righteousness, this self-entitlement to terrorize and to create fear, inflict fear and pain and suffering but as we know, john, they're also using these videos as propaganda tools as a recruitment tool, it
disgusts us to think that people will be attracted to this, but sadly, they are, we've seen more people come to the region, more firefighters join this course. the audacity does leave loss for words. we've seen this brutality in town after town, you've been covering northern iraq. we thank you for showing us what's going on. anna coren in erbil, thank you so much. >> the sotloff family is waiting patiently for the confirmation of the video. colleagues described him as an honest, thoughtful and courageous story teller. listen to one childhood friend describe his determination to shed light on injustices. >> steven was my hero. he was traveling to the most dangerous troubled places on the planet so he could report back stories of human suffering.
he was someone who could not ignore pain and injustices. he felt responsible, and he had to respond. >> so what do we know about this individual and the isis executioner in it, karl penhaul is live in london with that later this half hour. the president has still not commented on the beheading of steven sotloff and the possible strategy to strike back against against isis. he's in estonia this morning to assure the allies that the u.s. will protect them against any russian aggression. we will bring it to you live. i want to bring in matthew chance, he's live from estonia's capital city tallinn. they want assurance that any future aggression they will not be alone? >> that's right, there's a couple of crises that president obama is having to deal with,
first of all, this isis problem that we expect there will be a statement later on today. certainly, he'll be asked about it in the next half hour with the estonian president. the reason that president obama is here is to reassure estonia and the other baltic republics as well, the three nato states that in fact border russia, the united states stand with them. and allies stand with them in terms of russian aggression in terms of ongoing crisis in ukraine. russia is just across the border from estonia, estonia deeply concerned it may be next on the russian list, that's made these republics very unsettled indeed. so president obama here, ahead of that nato summit to say, look, if you're a member of nato, we're going to protect you. arsenal five protecting attack is attack against call. the subtext of that and if
you're not a nato member, you don't qualify for that kind of protection, of course, ukraine, where the crisis is right now is not a member of the nato alliance. >> indeed, one of the reasons why ukraine would like to move forward closer to these european groups they want to be more alive with europe than russia and that's something that vladimir putin does not want. quickly, this is the first time we'll be hearing from the president since the murder of steven sotloff. i can expect that we'll hear the president talk about that on the top of his remarks? >> this was always going to be on the agenda. he wasn't going to discuss this, it wasn't part of the agenda, but obviously, this gruesome video merging just after president obama got on the plane. he'll be asked questions about this issue in the press conference in the next 45 minutes. >> thank you, matthew. ukrainian officials say they
are now engaged with direct forces with russian forces. we're live ten minutes from now. a military official said hamas suffered a huge dramatic hit during the 50-day clash saying senior commanders were killed thousands were likely wounded and major damage was done to the group's military infrastructure. he also told "the new york times" that hamas lost two-thirds of its rockets. but only several hundred operatives out of a total of 16,000, that's heir estimate, only a few hundred were killed. another american doctor has been diagnosed with the ebola virus. the doctor was treating pregnant women in liberia when he became ill. he was not treating ebola patients so it's not sure how he got infected. the cdc says the window of opportunity to stop ebola from
spreading that window is closing. every nation needs to be concerned. mean kyle, dr. kent brantly is speaking out about his life and death battle with ebola after being brought to an atlanta hospital for treatment. >> i don't think they ever said, kent, i think you're about to die, but i felt like i was about to die. and i said to the nurse who was taking care of me, i'm sick. i have no reserve, and i don't know how long i can keep this up. i felt i'm not going to be able to continue breathing this way. and they had no way to breathe for me if i had quit breathing. >> world health organization meets this week for several promising drugs that could help in the fight against ebola. a new study says the virus is
mutating dramatically, a development that could reduce the effectiveness of the drugs. with mapp experimental to speed the drug zmapp. the aclu is challenging the agency's surveillance program that was revealed by nsa whistle-blower edward snowden. attorneys for the nsa told the panel tuesday that the phone data is next to prevent terrorist plots. european stocks higher ahead of tomorrow's european bank meeting-asian stocks ended the day higher on strong stocks on china. the s&p 500 pointing very close to its record close. our big story this morning, home depot investigating a huge security breach. this hack first reported by the
cyberjournalist brian krebbs after a massive amount of debit card went on sale online. krebbs said the hackers were at home depot since may. that could make the breach even larger than target last year that affected 110 million customers. it's remarkable to think about your information, john berman available on the black market. a few dollars, maybe $20 for people to create their own identity. >> do you feel mine is not more than a few dollars? >> i'm going to guess a few bucks. we're standing by this morning on "early start" because president obama is expected to address the media in less than an hour, in tallinn, the capital of estonia. so much to talk about. we have major developments right now in the fight against isis. the apparent beheading of a second american there. and major developments in the fighting in ukraine as well.
president obama in estonia at this hour for the start of a three-day european swing. he's still not commented on the apparent beheading of american journalist steven sotloff by isis extremists. the president will be addressing the media in the next half hour. there are so many questions this morning. we'll bring that to you live. of course, he's also there to discuss russia's aggressions in ukraine. he's talking to baltic leaders. after that, the president heads to wales for a two-day summit. breaking news the president of ukraine says he's spoken to russian president vladimir putin and the two leaders have agreed on a permanent cease-fire. this after ukrainian officials reported they are fully engaged with troops. an official told he could take kiev in two weeks if he wanted
to. reza sayah joining us. what do you know, reza, about a reported cease-fire, this could be a development in this conflict? >> indeed it would, christine, it sounds like a breakthrough. we don't have all the details button its surface, it certainly seems like a pro development. within the last hour, enter fax reporting that in a phone conversation between russian president vladimir putin and the ukrainian president petro poroshenko agreed on a path out of this conflict. here's a quote from the spokesperson saying the viewpoints of the presidents of the two countries largely coincide on possible ways out of the grave crisis. we then waited for reaction from ukrainian officials here in kiev. and they verified this, and in fact, they seemingly took it a step further. according to the president's office, the result of the
conversation was an agreement on full cease-fire in dunbas. that's the south ukrainian region where the conflict has taken place. they've also reached steps on peace. we don't know all the details of this agreement, but it certainly sounds like a cease-fire has been established. and the question is what concessions did the two sides make? remember, kiev, the ukrainian officials, they wanted the pro-russian rebels to lay down their arms, did that happen? we don't know at this point. on the other hand, the pro-russian rebels want the a guarantee, autonomy of a centralized government. did they get that. we're going to work to find out if they agreed that as part of this agreement, but in a conflict where we haven't had much good news in the past several months, this looks to be
potentially a stage for a possible cease-fire. >> the russian president's office saying the two spoke by phone and their views largely coincide. and it's the ukrainian side taking a step further to say they've agreed on a permanent cease-fire. we're waiting to get more on that, reza, thank you. >> the presidents of the two countries, that's a very big deal. and president poroshenko tweeted out as a result of my phone conversation with the russian president, we reached an agreement on a permanent cease-fire. so this does seem to be the case right now. that say major development this morning. one of many major developments we're following. >> as the president is there in the region. >> exactly. and the president will no doubt take questions on. he's in eastern europe, expected to speak to the media within the next 30 minutes? will he address the apparent
cease-fire? will he discuss the apparent beheading of steven sotloff? we're live from london after the break. [ male announcer ] eligible for medicare? that's a good thing, but it doesn't cover everything. only about 80% of your part b medical expenses. the rest is up to you. so consider an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company. like all standardized medicare supplement insurance plans, they could save you in out-of-pocket medical costs. call today to request a free decision guide.
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continue to study frame by frame of this video to find out what they can learn. you can see that black-hooded member of this islamic extremist group behind hip wielding that knife, this tape could contain clues for the untrained eye. >> the intelligence committee will go through every inch of this. every second. analyzing the electronic impulses. the video, the audio, the speech identification, geography, for whatever information it can provide. as well as the production techniques and any embedded information that may be there. >> again, the news coming in just moments ago, the u.s. intelligence committee now does believe that this video tragically is authentic. so the big question now this morning is there any evidence on that video that could lead the united states to sotloff's
executioner, karl penhaul live from london this morning, good morning, karl. >> good morning, john. british authorities are working to try and gain whatever clues they can from that video and also compare it to the previous video in which james foley was murdered two weeks ago. in fact, in a few moments saying the prime minister david cameron has concluded his meeting. we would expect a statement from him shortly. what we do see, certainly the video leased yesterday and a few weeks ago appear to be named in a certain days of investigation. why steven sotloff appears shaven-headed and with no beard. and in the video we saw yesterday he has a stubbly growth of hair and a stubbly beard. a number of days have passed also in the executioner in that very familiar british accent
also refers to bombing raids around the town of amirli. those took place saturday and sunday. and that raises the possibility that sotloff was murdered in just the last three days. bringing you on to the executioner, he certainly looksing the same height, the same stature, the same build as in the first video. that accent, we ran that past a language expert and he believes the video is the same. and he believes that is a multicultural accent from a multicultural region of london. >> karl penhaul in london, england, just one of the countries analyzing the video. >> and pouring over the names of hundreds of young men who they think are british-born jihadis and where they are. 27 minutes past the hour. we're following the execution of the american steven sotloff.
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down the organization. and new clues about the executioner we're learning. president obama just minutes away from speaking in eastern europe, dealing with the crisis in russia. news this morning, the two countries just announcing a cease-fire. ukraine and russia announcing a cease-fire. but will the apparent isis beheading of steven sotloff overshadow the president's trip? we'll cover all the angles for you live. welcome back to "early start," everyone. a lot of breaking news this morning. i'm john berman. >> and i'm christine romans. 32 minutes past the hour. let's begin with the growing cries for president obama to strike back against the isis group. a video that is authentic, this just coming to us from u.s. intelligence officials, they are authenticating that video where a knife-wielding black-hooded
executioner with the statement moments before the journalist steven sotloff was brutally murdered. >> because of your insistence and continuing your bombs in amirli and mosul, you president obama are the blame for another american citizen. >> after the bombing in amirli. meanwhile, the president has authorized the deployment of 350 more u.s. troops to iraq, with the white house insisting they will not be serving in a combat role. anna coren monitoring developments live from erbil, iraq. if you've got more u.s. troops on the ground not in a combat role, these are clearly advisers helping the military and the peshmerga fight back isis, anna? >> yeah, that's exactly right, christine, this is what they desperately need, more advisers to assist and guide the operation here. really at the moment, it really
is a haphazard approach going after isis. yes, obviously, those u.s. air strikes, 124 now today according to central command making a huge difference on the ground containing isis not allowing them to operate the way they have been for the past several months but not defeating them. and then we have the peshmerga, the kurdish forces, as well as the iraqi forces taking the fight to isis on the ground. but at the end of the day, christine, it's not enough. they don't have the equipment, the resources, the skill, you know, to deal with isis. we're talking about an extremely sophisticated, well-resourced, organized terrorist organization, something the world has never seen before. so this is what they're up against. so obviously a lot of president on president obama to come out with a strategy, to give the people here direction as to where to take this, how to take
this fight. and obviously, those 350 american soldiers who are coming here in that add viev assisted role will certainly be guiding in that role, christine. >> and, anna, the reaction this morning to the murder of steven sotloff, the beheading in particular. such a public relations propaganda tool for this group, meant to really inspire as much fear as possible. >> yeah. it's sickening. it's absolutely sickening, when we saw that video come through late yesterday, there was just a sense of dread. speaking to officials here in kurdistan, they obviously have condemned the video, this barbaric and inhumane act. they say now more than ever is the time that the world must come together to defeat isis because there is no place for isis in this world. obviously, similar sentiments
coming out of baghdad. people are appalled by this abhorrent act. and obviously, the fear will be that this will just continue. obviously, the execution at the end of the video threatening the british hostage that appeared. it is just ruthless. it is gruesome. and as you say, it is there to inflict fear. it was a direct message to president obama, the executioner saying, obama, i'm back. i'm back because of the arrogance of your foreign policy. against the islamic state. the so-called islamic state, this caliphate that they're setting up against syria and iraq. but certainly, here, on the ground, there is just a feeling that isis needs to be dealt with. because at the moment, they are being contained. but they're still being allowed to do what they do. you know, on the battlefield, we are hearing about them booby trapping dead bodies, animals. they drove a truck packed with
explosives into the front line of the peshmerga near mosul dam this critical piece of infrastructure that kurdish forces managed to get back. but isis is still fighting. they're digging and not retreating. while it's making a big difference, it's not defeating isis and president obama knows this. >> anna corn in erbil, iraq. thank you. the sotloff family grieving privately awaiting authentication of the video something that u.s. intelligence officials have just told us yes indeed, they can authenticate the video. their son being remembered for his heartfelt work in egypt. one saying he's a courageous reporter. listen to a friend. >> steven was my hero. he was traveling to the most
dangerous troubled places on the planet so that he could report back stories of human suffering. he was someone who could not ignore pain and injustices. he felt responsible, and he had to responsible. >> exactly what do we know about this video and the isis executioner, karl penhaul, he's live in london with that part of the story. he's going to break down intelligence officials and what kind of information can be gleaned from that. there's still conversation on the beheading of steven sotloff. but that could change within the minutes. we're awaiting a news conference with president obama live in estonia. he's in estonia meeting with the president there. he is there to talk about the ongoing crisis in ukraine. from that region there has been breaking news as well. word from the president of
ukraine of a cease-fire between ukraine and russia. that coming in just moments ago. let's bring in our international correspondent matthew chance live from estonia's capital city tallinn. good morning, matthew. >> good morning. as president obama finds his feet here in tallinn, the capital estonia, currently in a meeting with the estonian president. within the next 15 minutes he's go to be taking a joint news conference with the president of estonia. it's not sure what is going to be first, the confirmation of the killing of journalist steven sotloff is authentic or what has transpired in the last hour, that there's been a telephone conversation between president vladimir putin and petro poroshenko declaring they've had a cease-fire over terrible
fighting over the past several months. that came from confirmation from the kremlin saying they had a conversation and said there were large areas of overlaps. but the ukrainian leadership going a step further and saying, look, we've agreed to a permanent cease-fire for this area, john. >> we're awaiting this news conference. just minutes away from hearing from the president, his first chance to address the murder of steven sotloff and now his first chance to address the cease-fire as well. matthew, these baltic countries that border russia, what do they want to hear from the president this morning? >> they want reassurance. thart only three countries of nato, lithuania, latvia and estonia that actually border russia. they're deeply concerned that this increased russian insurgence in ukraine and other soviet republics as well, of
course, estonia was a soviet republic up until 1991. and they're looking to president obama coupling here offering that assurance. estonia say nato country. it qualifies for article 5 protection. attack on one country is an attack on all of them. and that's the message that president obama is trying to deliver here and is clearly delivering. of course, the subtext of that and this may feed into the cease-fire negotiations that have taken place between ukraine and russia, the subtext of that, if you're not a nato member you don't qualify for that kind of protection. of course, ukraine is not a member of the nato alliance. that may be why they've had this conversation, the ukrainian and russian presidents and hammered out a deal on their own. >> matthew chance in estonia where the president is set to speak in a few minutes. thank you so much. >> and his first public comments since the isis beheading of
steven sloft, what will he say in the response to that terrorist in the desert nap address will happen in minutes. a cease-fire with russia announced just minutes ago. we're going to head live to ukraine with what this means moving forward. put some meat on the bones of the cease-fire deal with raieza sayah after the break. [ male announcer ] eligible for medicare? that's a good thing, but it doesn't cover everything. only about 80% of your part b medical expenses. the rest is up to you.
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three-day european swing. he still has not commented on the beheading of american journalist steven sotloff by isis extremists. we're just getting word that u.s. intelligence officials have authenticated that video that you see of mr. sotloff and an isis executioner. so the u.s. government saying, yes, it appears
had a phone call with ukrainian president petro poroshenko, and the two agreed on a path out of the this conflict. we then waited to hear from ukrainian officials here in kiev. and indeed, they verified that phone conversation, the office of the president indeed taking it a step further. here's a statement released from poroshenko's office. the result of the conversation was an agreement on a full
cease-fire in a region in south ukraine where this conflict unfolded. and on steps that would lead to peace. then we waited to hear from the pro-russian rebels in southeastern ukraine. we haven't heard from them yet, but again, the russian agency interfax reporting that the pro-russian rebels have also agreed to a cease-fire in southern ukraine. again, we don't know all the details of this meeting but what's surprising, john, up until this report, these two leaders with hurling accusations and veiled insults, but indications now that the two sides have agreed to a cease-fire. now, we watch the battlefield to see how this impacts the battlefield. and if indeed the fighting stops in southeastern ukraine. >> now, the rhetoric had been
heating up, reza, as you pointed out. so if the cease-fire does hold it would be dramatic events on the ground. reza, i should tell you we're maybe minutes or so away from hearing from president obama delivering a news conference in estonia. you're looking at live pictures there. this is the president's first chance to address the beheading of steven sotloff and also the president's first chance to address the apparent cease-fire in ukraine. riza, i do want to ask you about that, the fact that the deal was reached between the two president, president vladimir putin of russia and president poroshenko of ukraine, that might put extra weight on it? >> i think there's for question about it, and it's also significant because many observers were saying with the involvement, with the increasing involvement of nato in regional countries, that was complicating this conflict. and the only solution and the
only path to a settlement between these two sides, kiev and the pro-russian rebels were for them to sit down and hammer out some sort of settlement. and indications are they've reached some sort of cease-fire. now, we wait to see what kind of concessions both sides made. remember, kiev's demand was for pro-russian rebels to disarm, lay down their weapons, did that indeed happen? we don't know at this point. then you have the pro-russian rental rebels they were englanding autonomy, a federalized ghost. did they get that concession? that's not clear. we're waiting to see if a formal confirmation is made. >> again, as i said, reza, we're waiting for president obama to deliver a news conference from estonia just minutes from now. reza, this cease-fire announced
from eastern ukraine, very different from two weeks ago. the pro russian separatists have made significant gains, if the gains remain static, that is, they get to keep what that he achieved in the last few weeks this more more advantageous for them than it was last month. >> yeah, the pro-russian rebels have been making significant gains. ukrainian forces have been losing significant territory. and they were on the verge of losing another significant piece of turf, the donetsk airport. 90% of the airport, conversation to pro-russian forces were in their hands. the ukrainian forces lost another significant airport in
rebel-held liuhansk. and paechdly backed by forces and heavy weaponry, of course, moscow denies they were involved militarily with the counteroffensive. kiev continues the accusations but if indeed russia was involved, and if indeed a cease-fire was established certainly, many observers will say russia's involvement will have had an impact on how things turned out. >> so russia is facing major further racheted-up sanctions from the e.u. what leaders are going to be talking about today and certainly this week. it takes the pressure off the economy. i'm watching the russian stock market, it's up about 3%. clearly, inside russia, business leaders are relieved about the prospect of a cease-fire because this is something that has been hurting russian citizens as well. i mean, you've got vladimir putin who has been faced with sanctions from around the world. and his behavior until now has
not changed reza. >> yeah, i think it's a very different point of view from moz cow. moscow's acuing kiev, western capital's, washington, nato, of bad behavior. many say the crux of this conflict here in ukraine is concern that they're threatening it with expansion. that's what moscow is worried about. there's assurances from moscow that nato is not going to expand it's sphere into russia. and then the fact of the economy, the russia the baltic states, it wasn't good for anyone. then you have the humanitarian crisis. more than 1. people displaced, many people eager to see a resolution to this conflict. and maybe, maybe, we have it
today. >> and the question remains what does it mean for president obama as he faces this crisis and so many crises from around the world. he is in estonia where he will deliver a news conference with the president of estonia tomas hendrick. this is also the first command for the president to respond to the beheading of steven sotloff. and christine, we just heard moments ago that u.s. officials did authenticate that video. it is an execution video of steven sotloff, so, of course, tragic news. two major developments this morning. reza, the countries of eastern urp, estonia, lithuania, poland,
what do they want to hear from the president this morning? >> well, i think they want to hear that the president and nato is supporting them. they're firmly in a position that they're with nato. that the president is supporting them. and i think when you look at the situation in ukraine, again, the concern is the trend towards ukraine perhaps becoming a nato country. when you look back at 1991, the fall of the soviet urine there were assurances that the baltic states, the eastern european states would not join the nato alliance. and steadily, many of the baltic states, including the ones that you named, they joined the nato alliance. and when this unfolded here in ukraine, there was concern that ukraine was the next country to leave russia's sphere of
influence and go to the nato alliance. certainly when you talk about the baltic states, they want to hear that obama is backing them. nato, still impact with the ability to protect european state it's and eastern european states but the ukrainian situation a whole different set of circumstances. it's going to be interesting to see what assurance moscow gets that nato influence is not expanded towards ukraine. >> it still is russia versus the west with the two different world views. you know, that is still the big issue that will be on the table. reza sayah, thank you for that from ukraine. we're waiting on the president. we're going to bring it to you live when he takes the podium. we're expecting him to make some remarks about the murder of steven sotloff, about the cease-fire in ukraine. we'll be right back.
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and stand together with the united states and our allies on this issue. the main issue on our agenda today is security. the question on everyone's mind is the situation in ukraine and its wider impact on european security. i just did hear that president poroshenko and president putin have agreed on a cease-fire. i just hope it works. but in the general situation we need to be clear and consistent in the language that we use to describe the situation in ukraine. as the e.u. underlined last weekend, this is russian aggression. the e.u. and the united states
are ready to take further restrictive measures in response to russia's behavior. russia must admit that it is a party to the conflict, and take genuine steps that will lead to a de-escalation of the conflict. we must also continue to support ukraine by providing the country with the assistance that it needs. when it comes to the security of our region, the united states' engagement runs deep. estonia is a close and reliable ally to the united states. we take our nato commitment seriously, very seriously. we have not sat back and waited for others to take care of our security. since joining the alliance, estonia soldiers have consistently defends the premiums of others in
afghanistan, iraq and now in the republic. we dedicate significant resources to our defense and are consistently increasing our national defense capacity. we're grateful to the united states for sending troops here and for actively participating in the baltic air policing mission. your presence underlies the credibility of nato's article 5. without a doubt, your bilateral contributions have helped set an example for other nato allies. a robust and visual presence here in estonia is the best way of disturbing any pofr aggressors. we look forward to the nato summit tomorrow confirming this. for we face a completely new security situation in europe, and we are pleased that this is reflected in many of the summit's documents. we expect the nato summit in wales to adopt the readiness
action plan that will guide allied nations for years to come through a set of practical steps and measures of reassurance and deterrents. in addition to our close defense cooperation, i'm also pleased that our bilateral relations are strong in many, many other areas including and especially cyber and energy security. globally, we are working together to promote our common values, democracy, human rights and the rule of law. estonia say world leader in internet freedom and an in e-governance. we have a liberal economy offering many exciting opportunities for increased trade, cooperation and investment. and this is also one reason why believe the tip is a crucial effort on the part of the european union and united states. let me once again [ president obama to estonia, to northern europe, one of europe's
most prosperous and successful regions. our countries share common values and interests. and i'm certain that together, we can and will contribute to the vision of a europe whole, free and at peace. thank you. >> well, to president i want to thank you for welcoming me here today. it is a great honor to be in estonia especially as we welcome nato allies. mr. mr. president, thank you for being outstanding partner. i spoke toe white house last year. your life reflects the story of your nation, the son of refugees who returned home to help chart a path for a free and democratic estonia. as many of you know, that long
journey also took toomas and his family to america, to new jersey where they still remember him as tom. it was wonderful to meet your daughter today and find out she had gone back to new jersey as well. he says that he knew bruce springsteen before he had his first record, so you embody the deep ties between americans and estoni estonians. i want to thank you for your friendship. i've come here together because estonia is one of the great success stories among the nations that reclaimed their independence after the cold war. you've built a vibrant democracy and new prosperity. you've become a model for how citizens can interact with their government in the 21st century, something president ilvez has championed. you can get anything done from their children's grades to their health records. i should have called the
estonians when we were setting up our health care website. most of all, i'm here because estonia has been a model ally. estonian forces have served with courage and skill in iraq and afghanistan. and we honor our service members who made the ultimate sacrifice in afghanistan including nine brave estonians. as nato nears the end of the combat in three months i want to thank estonia for the commitments you've made for helping to sustain afghan security forces going forward. as a high-tech leader, estonia is playing a leading role in protecting neighbors from cyberthreats. estonia contributes its full share, it's full 2% of gdp to alliance. in other words, estonia meets its responsibilities as we head to the summit in wales, estonia is an example of how every nato
member needs to do its fair share for our collective defense. i've come here first and foremost to recommit estonia. we have duties to defense. that say commitment that is unbreakable. it's unwavering, it is eternal and estonia will never stand alone. as president, i've made sure that we are fulfilling that promise. early in my presidency, i urged our alliance to update our contingency planning for the defense of this region and additional nato forces began rotating through the baltics, including estonia for more training and exercises. in response to russia's actions in ukraine earlier this year, the united states increased our presence further. we've contributed additional aircraft to the baltic air policing mission, a mission to which 14 our nato allies have
also contributed over the past decade. continuously rotating additional aircraft through the baltics. i look forward to joining the prime minister in thanking our service members later today. on my viers to warsaw this spring, i announced a new mission to bolster the american presence here in europe, including the baltics, and we're working with congress to make sure that we deliver. today, i can announce that this initiative will include additional air force units and aircraft training exercises here in the north baltic region. and we agree with our estonia allies that an ideal location to host and support these exercises would be amare air base here in estonia. i'm confident i can make this happen and look forward to making this happen when we meet
with the presidents this afternoon. as president as indicated we spend a great deal of time on russia's aggression against ukraine. i'll have much more to say about this in my speech for today. for now, i just want to commend estonia including the president for being such a strong voice in nato and the e.u. on behalf of the ukrainian people. estonia has provided assistance as ukrainians work to strengthen their democratic institutions and their economy. because we stand together, russia is paying a heavy price for its actions, and nato is poised to do more to help ukraine strengthen its forces and defend their country. and more broadly, i want to expend estonia for being such a strong member of nato, more supporting the relief efforts for the syrian people, helping
nations like tunisia standing up for internet freedom and human ryes. this nation of 1.3 million people as we say truly punches above its weight. the world is better for it. and that's another reason why the united states will be proud to stand with our ally estonia. finally, i want to say today the prayers of the american people are with the family of a devoted and courageous journalist steven sotloff. overnight, our government determined that tragically steven was taken from us in a horrific act of violence. we cannot even begin to imagine the agony that everyone who loved steven is feeling right now, especially his mother, his father and his younger sister. so, today, our country grieves with them. like jim foley before him,
steve's life stood in sharp contrast to those who murdered him so brutally. they make the absurd name that they kill in the name of religion, but it was steven, his friend says, who deeply loved the islamic world. his killers tried to claim that they defend the oppressed, but it was steven who traveled across the middle east risking his life to tell the story of muslim men and women demanding justice and dignity. whatever the murderers think they'll achieve by killing innocent americans like steven, they have already failed. they've failed because like people around the world, americans are repulsed by their barberisms. we will not be intimidated, their acts only unite us to stiffen against terrorists. and those who make the mistake of harming americans we will not forget and our reach is long and justice will be served.
mr. president. >> well, i will open things up for some questions, i understand, two from estonia journalists and two from president's obama's entourage. as the host, i'll give the first opportunity to one of our top questioners on the map. >> yes, thank you. to distinguished both presidents. the partnership between russia and nato as a state as we all know, why to keep actually it alive, the agreement signed in 1997 with russia and nato, perhaps it would push or give some new opportunities to our region security in estonia, latvia and lithuania. >> well, from our side, first of all, nato did decide to freeze its relations with russia several months ago.
but on the other issue in terms of what are the implications of the nato/russia founding act, i say you can't do anything because the nato. >> reporter: russia founding act that these conditions hold in the current and foreseeable future -- or the security environment of the current and foreseeable future. that was the security environment of 1997, when boris yeltsin was president. and there had been no violations of either the u.n. charter or the 1975 helsinki final act in 1990 paris charger. so i would argue this is an unforeseen and new security environment. and, therefore, one has to hold on to certain provisions. it does not mean we have to go
through the whole act, but certainly, when an agreement, in certain parts no longer holds, well, then, it's time to make a change. i mean, the nato/russia founding act has been founded by russia. we continue to support the vision of that document, but its substance has changed dramatically. and i am confident that all of nato actions are and will be conducted in accordance with its national commitment as an alliance. >> the circumstances clearly have changed. and i think this will be a topic of discussion in wales. beyond the issue of that particular document, our top priority has been to make sure that there's no ambiguity when
it comes to our article 5 commitments to our nato allies. and as a consequence of the rotations that have been increased, the presence of u.s. troops in the course of those rotation and additional nato allies, what we want to send a clear message is that, we take those commitments seriously. and i think what's going to be clear, during the course of the summit is that given the changed landscape, not only do we have to make sure that these rotations are effective and designed towards current threats, but more broadly, nato has to look at its defense capabilities as a whole. and make sure that they are updated and properly resourced. you know, for, i think a certain period of time, there was a
complacency here in europe about the demands that were require to make sure that nato was able to function effectively. my former secretary of defense i think came here and gave some fairly sharp speeches repeatedly about the need for making certain that every nato member was doing its fair share. i think secretary-general rasmussen during his the course of his tenure continually emphasized the need for us to upgrade our joint capabilities. you know, obviously, what's happened ed ied in ukraine is but i do think it gives us an opportunity to look with fresh eyes and to understand what it is that's necessary to make sure that our nato commitments are met. and that's one of the reasons why i'm here in estonia today.
i'm going to call on ann compton and on her farewell tour. >> thank you very much, mr. president. now that you say that a second american has been slain, what is your response? will air strikes continue inside iraq? might they expand into syria? will you have a full strategy on isis which will satisfy like those like president cameron who called an imminent and will it be like those like senator feinstein who have said you've been too cautious? >> keep in mind from the outset from the moment that isis went into mosul, we considered this a severe threat not only to iraq but to the region.
number one, to make sure that americans were protected in iraq in our embassies, our consulates. number two, that we worked with iraqis to create a functioning government that was inclusive and that could serve as the basis for iraq to begin to go on the offensive. and the air strikes that we've conducted in support of protecting americans, conducting humanitarian missions and providing space for the iraqi government to form had bourne fruit. we've seen that in sinjar mountain. we saw that most recently in the town of amirli which held out in the siege against isil. we've seen progress in the formation of inclusive sunni/shia/kurd central government. so what we've seen is the strategy that we've laid out moving effectively.
but what i've said from the start is that this is not going to be a one-week, one-month, or six-month proposition. because of what's happened in the vacuum of syria, as well as the battle-hardened elements of isis that grew out of al qaeda and iraq during the course of the iraq war, it's going to take time for us to be able to roll them back. and it is going to take time for us to be able to form the regional coalition that's going to be required, so we can reach out to sunni tribes in some of the areas that isis has occupied. and make sure that we have allies on the ground in combination with the air strikes that we've already conducted. so the bottom line is this, our objective is clear and that is to degrade and destroy isis so it's no longer a threat not just to iraq, but also to the region
and to the united states. in order for us to accomplish that, the first phase has been to make sure we've got an iraqi government that's in place, and that we are blunting the momentum that isil was carrying out. and the air strikes have done that. but now, what we need to do is make sure that we've got the regional strategy in place that can support an ongoing effort, not just in the air, but on the ground, to move that forward. and last week, when this question was asked, i was specifically referring to the possibility of the military strategy inside of syria that might require congressional approval. it is very important from my perspective that when we send our pilots in, to do a job that we know that this is a mission that's going to work, that we're
very clear what our objectives are, what our targets are. we've made the case to congress, we've made the case to the american people. and we've got allies behind us, so that it's not just a one-off, but it's something that over time is going to be effective. and so, bottom line is this, ann, it's not only that we're going to be bringing the justice to those who perpetrated this terrible crime against these two fine young men. more broadly, the united states will continue to lead a regional and international effort against the kind of barbaric and ultimately empty vision that isil represents. and that's going to take some time. but we're going to get it done. i'm very confident of it. >> did you just say that the
strategy is to destroy isis, or to simply contain them or push them back? >> what we're going to -- our objective is to make sure that isil is not an ongoing threat to the region. and we can accomplish that. it's going to take some time. and it's going to take some effort. as we've seen with al qaeda, there are always going to be remnants that can cause havoc. on any of these networks, in part, because of the nature of terrorist activities. you get a few individuals, and they may be able to carry out a terrorist act. but what we can do is to make sure that the kind of systemic and broad-based aggression that we've seen on isil that terrorizes primarily muslims, shia, sunni, terrorizes kurds
terrorizes not just iraqis but people throughout the region, that that is degraded to the point that it is no longer the kind of factor that we've seen it being over the last several months. >> my question is also for both presidents. ukraine is facing difficult time on the situation on the ground may become even more complicated in the runup to the parliament elections there in october. in your view, what more could be done and should be done in support of ukraine, politically, economically, and also from security point of view? what do you think about the idea providing ukraine armed forces
with weapons to counter russia's attack in the east of the country more effectively? thank you. >> well, most importantly, ukraine needs, above all, continued political support. and that from that support comes decisions that involve everything else economic aid, humanitarian aid and also military aid. and from that also decisions on equipment. in wales, the nato ukraine committee will gather and decide how to increase in nato defense cooperation with ukraine. this is the kind of decision that we have been -- we in nato take together. on the humanitarian side, we have doubled our humanitarian
and development assistance in looking for what more we can do, we have already brought wounded, seriously wounds ukrainian soldiers to our top-notch rehabilitation center here. and will continue to do so, that is certainly one thing that is -- we know the ukrainians lack that. and we have it at a superbly high level. and i should add quickly with the assistance of the united states and the walter reed hospital that we have this here. the next couple of months, leading up to the parliamentary elections will be very tricky. russia, i predict, will do everything in its power to undermine the elections. we saw this already in the case of the presidential elections. it will try to destabilize the government in kiev.
and to keep ukrainian forces from regaining ground in the east. so, we should be prepared for a tough several, or month, month and a half. the next government, of course, that will be then -- will have the full legitimacy that comes with a new parliamentary elections must show that it is a clear and better alternatives to the one that the people of ukraine ousted half a year ago. and i also see that making sure, ensuring that the elections are carried out in a free and fair manner will be a top most priority for us, for the osce, and i think one of the issues i think should be one the kind of
interference that we saw in the presidential election that's not be allowed and fully addressed and recognized by the monitoring of the elections. i think that we all, after especially the presidential elections, we all know what the russians -- russian forces can do to disrupt the democratic process. and i think we should be far better prepared to document all of that when we get to the elections. >> political support is absolutely vital. and one of our goals at the summit over the next several days is to once again project unity across nato. on behalf of ukraine's efforts to maintain its sovereignty and territorial integrity. the sanctions that we've applied so far have had a real effect on russia. and i think it's important for us to continue to impose costs
on russia, so long as it is violating bake principles of international law. and so far, at least, we've been able to combine efforts between europe and the united states and some of our allies around the world. and the results are a russian economy that is effectively contracting, capital flight, putting a burden on the russian economy. that at the moment may be overridden by politics inside of russia as a consequence of state-run propaganda. but over time, will point to the fact that this is a strategy that's not serving russia well, in addition to not serving ukraine obviously well. beyond that, the ukrainian economy is something that we have been paying a lot of attention to. we helped work with the imf to
ensure that ukraine had the resources to get through some of the emergency financing issues that they had to deal with. but we're going to have more work to do. the military efforts that have been require to deal with russian finance, russian-armed, russian trained and russian-supported and also russian-directed separatists has meant that -- has met a drain on the ukrainian economy. not to mention the fact you have major industrial areas inside of ukraine that obviously have been impacted by the conflict there. so we're going to have to make sure that the international community stands behind the ukrainian economy in the short term. even as we encourage and advise and work with ukraine to carry out some of the basic reforms that are going to be required in
order for them to achieve the kinds of models of success that we've seen in estonia, poland and other places. and that's a tough road to hoe. it's took a couple of decades for some of the countries who are currently in the e.u., to achieve the sort of market-base reforms that have led to great prosperity. ukraine is not able to do that overnight but we're helping to make sure we can help build a bridge towards that new future. and if we combine those efforts with a commitment to continuing the nato/ukraine military relationship. they are not a member of nato, but we have consistently worked with their military in terms of training and support. then, you know, i think that not only will ukraine feel that in words we are behind them, but
they'll see that, indeed, we are working with them as well. steven howell of route gereuter. >> will you have this discussion ready with nato allies this week? and if your view, what should nato be prepared to do on islam ig state? lastly, how much stock do you put in this reported cease-fire between ukraine and russia. how do you assess putin's motives? >> it's too hard to tell what the cease-fire means. we haven't seen a document. we've only seen a couple of wire reports. we have consistently supported the efforts of president poroshenko for an immediate cease-fire that could lead to a political settlement of the conflict. so far, it hasn't helped. either because russia has not been serious about it or has pretended that it's not
controlling the separatists. and the separatists, when they thought it was to their advantage are not abided by the cease-fire, so we haven't -- we haven't seen a lot of follow-up on so-called announced cease-fires. having said that, if in fact russia is prepared to stop financing army training, in many cases, joining with russian troops, activities in ukraine, and is serious about a political settlement that is something that we all hope for. i've said consistently, our preference is a strong, productive cooperative russia. but the way to achieve that is by abiding to international
norms. to improving the economy. to focusing on how they can actually produce goods and services that other people want and give opportunity to their people and educate them. that's not the path that they've been pursuing over the last several years. certainly, not in evidence when it comes to their strategy in the ukraine. i'll leave it up to others to interpret mr. putin's psychology on this. but in terms of actions, what we've seen is aggression and appeals to, you know, national sentiments, that have historically been very dangerous in europe. and lately a cause of concern. so there's an opportunity here, let's see if there's follow-up. in my discussions with president poroshenko, i've consistently said that he needed to follow up on the kinds of reforms that he
proposed so that eastern ukraine feels as if it is fairly represented. and that russian language speakers are protected against discrimination. these are all things that are part of his platform. we encourage them to move forward. but no realistic political settlement can be achieved if effectively russia says we are going to continue to send tanks and troops and arms and advisers under the guise of separatists who are not homegrown. and the only possible settlement is if ukraine cedes its territory or its sovereignty about makes decisions about its security and its economic future. with respect to iraq, we will be
discussing this topic even before isil dominated the headlines. one of the concerns that we've had is the development of terrorist networks and organizations, separate and apart from al qaeda, whose focus often tiles is regional. and who are combining terrorist tactics with the tactics of small armies. and we've seen isis to be the first one that has broken through. but we anticipated this a while back and it was reflected in my west points speech. so one of our goals was to get nato for work with us to create the types of partnerships regionally that can combat not just isil, but these kinds of networks as they arise and
potentially destabilize allies and partners of ours in the region. already, we've seen nato countries recognize the severity of this problem. that is, it's going to be a long-run problem. you know, immediately, they've dedicated resources to help us with humanitarian air drops to provide arms to the peshmerga and to the iraqi security forces. and we welcome those efforts. what we hope to do at the nato summit is to make sure that we're more systematic about how we do it. that we're more focused about how we do it. nato is unique in the annals of history as a successful alliance, but we have to recognize that threat ease involve. and threats have evolved as a consequence of what we've seen in ukraine. but threats are also evolving in
the middle east that have a direct effect on europe. and to go back to what i said earlier, to ann, you know, we know that if we are joined by the international community, we can continue to shrink isil's sphere of influence, its effectiveness, its financing. its military capabilities to the point where it is a manageable problem. you know, the question is going to be making sure we've got the right strategy, but also making sure we've got the international will to do it. this is something that is a continuation of a problem we've seen certainly since 9/11, but before. and it continues to metastasize
in different ways. and what we've got to do is make sure that we are organizing the arab world, the middle east, the muslim world, along with the international community to isolate this cancer. this particular brand of extremism that is first and foremost destructive to the muslim world and the arab world and north africa. and the people who live there. they're the ones who are most severely affected. they're the ones who are constantly under threat of being killed. they're the ones whose economies are completely upended to the point where they can't produce their own food. and they can't produce the kinds of goods and services to sell in the world marketplace. and they're falling behind because of this very small and narrow but very dangerous segment of the population.
and we've got to combat it in a sustained effective way. and i'm confident we're going to be able to do that. all right. thank you very much. >> appreciate it, mr. president. >> thank you so much. >> you've been watching the news conference from estonia, president obama and the estonian president right there addressing many, many questions. major developments this morning. the white house confirming the authenticity of the video showing the execution of steven sotloff. there had been word of cease-fire. the president answering questions on both of those subjects. >> he did. he gave the clearest words yet on what the u.s. goal with isil. he said the strategy is clear, he will degrade and destroy isil. of course, he said the united states government and the events, the people in america grieve with the family of steven sotloff. >> as for the people who killed steven sotloff, the president
said, we will not forget. our reach is long. justice will be served. i want to bring in matthew chance live from the estonia capital tallinn. matthew, you watched that, the president addressing the major, major developments this morning. he talked of steven sotloff as a devoted, courageous journalist. and his death, a horrific act of violence. >> absolutely, condemning that slaying of that american journalist. saying also whatever the islamic state thinks it will achieve in doing this, it has already failed, committing again to try to build an international coalition to remove the threat that isis or islamic state poses. this is what he said, our objective is to make sure that isil, as he calls it, is no longer a threat to the region. now, the means by which that will happen obviously will be a matter of discussion amongst allies at the nato summit. that's taking place in wales tomorrow. one of the issues there.
that's obviously going to come to the forward. these horrific developments, president obama saying essentially that the nation is grieving along with the family of steven sotloff right now. >> matthew, let me ask you this, does it seem to you as though he gave a clearer strategy for what the united states prepared to do inside of syria? this has been the question over the past week, really week and a half, when he famously said he did not have a strategy inside syria. he's clarifying it again today saying, look, i was talking about military strategy, that we'd potentially have to have the approval of the congress of the united states. he said the goal here get an iraqi government in place, blunt isil's movement and then have a regional strategy in place. was he more clear about his strategy inside syria? >> well, really, i think besides that issue, as far as i heard, anyway, but he's been very clear on this, which is, this is not something that the united states is going to undertake on its
own. very clear this was part of a strategy that he was going to lead as the presence of the united states. and an international coalition that would gather together and together prevent isil becoming a threat in the region. so, no clarity to i heard at least about whether or not there would be air strikes against isil in syria or whether that would continue in iraq. >> i think we're in agreement on that. >> he didn't go there at all. matthew, the other major news this morning, there had been some word coming out of ukraine, the office of president poroshenko there, that a cease-fire had been reached between the ukrainian president and the russian president. president obama asked about this, he said it's simply too early to tell. he hopes there's a deal. but too early to tell. have you been speaking to people inside of russia? >> yes, i have. i've been to the presidential spokesman inside of russia,
dmitry peskov. he's the right-hand man. he said there has been a telephone conversation, but no such cease-fire agreement had been actually made. because, and this is part of the whole russian denial that's involved in ukraine. because of course, vladimir putin is not party to the conflict, he said. it's not up to him to negotiate a cease-fire. it's for the remembers and the ukrainian government to negotiate a cease-fire. all that was agreed was sort of a wrote map, a regime for a cease-fire to take root. now, we can take this at face value or not but it seems that some kind of agreement has been made. it's just that the russians want a degree of distance from that. >> we got to see how that unfolds because that's not, no, there's no cease-fire. it's just that president putin couldn't agree to it technically because he still agrees he's fighting inside of ukraine.
we'll have to see how that unfolds. matthew chance, thank you. >> meantime, the president said the separatists are russian trained, russian supported and russian directed by russia. so the president very clear who he thinks is responsible for the rivn unrest. >> president obama has authorized another 350 troops to be sent in iraq. this news coming as isis beheaded a second american journalist steven sotloff. here's what the president said about that just a short time ago. >> whatever these murderers think they'll achieve by killing incident americans like steven, they have already failed. they've failed because, like people around the world, americans are repulsed by their barberism. we will not be intimidated. their horrific acts only unite us as a country and stiffen our resolve to take it fight against
these terrorists. and those who make the mistake of harming americans will learn that we will not forget and that our reach is long and that justice will be served. >> we will not forget, our reach is long, justice will be served. the message from president obama to isis this morning. joining us from london is harris lafitte outreach officer that looked into counterterrorism training. harris, thank you for being bips i was struck by one aspect of the president's message. he tried to juxtaposed steven sotloff who he called courageous. he juxtaposed seen sotloff against isis, barbaric. it was steven sotloff who traveled around the middle east
to report on the oppressed. i was struck by that juxtaposition. >> absolutely. first of all i'd like to offer my condolences to steven sotloff's family, this tragic act. the way president obama described isis is correctly how he contrasting isis to sotloff. isis -- as a muslim, i refuse to recognize the fact that they are islamic and that they're a state. the way that they've been behaving and set up the caliphate, sheikh mohammed launched by a number of cleric, in the uk actually condemning isis, actually calling it unlawful for muslims around the world to actually join them, never mind take on terrorist
activity. absolutely, president obama is right, they're not sotloff. and president obama was behaving as a manner that away sotloff was behaving in a much more islamic manner than isis ever had been. i think it's also important that the president said that -- a couple of things that struck me were that first of all, that he talks about a strategy with syria. now, what's very interesting is that, we're actually starting to see some of these regional alliances that he's talked about coming into play. we've had last night, there were reports that there were turks, the turkish army were fight alongside the kurds. the kurds and the turks have had their problems for a while. also there was a delegation, a meeting that took place between the saudis and the iranians. and this is interesting because the whole issue, the whole civil war within syria has been supported by qatar, saudi
arabia, et cetera. versus iran who supported assad. so we are starting to see some developments of new regional alliances and i think this is key. if we're going to defeat isis if we're going to defeat them militarily and in the region that needs to happen. but also as ice saas i said befe have to recognize the hearts and minds of people around the world have to be one. and we certainly have a number of people here in the uk, british muslims and muslims who have come together to combat this. certainly there are people in the u.s. like sheikh kabanie and others. >> the president calling this empty ideology of isis. you're very right, there are people in the united states and in the uk who will be inspired by the hellish propaganda that
has been out with this second murder. how do you confront that? the fact that we what we see as barbaric is inspiring to other people? >> i think it's inspiring for a very small number of people. if we look at why the foreign fighters and why people are fighting for isis, they actually believe that it is their political duty to fight for the state. and it is their theological duty under jihadi mentality that god wants them to do that. of course, these videos, the timing of these videos is very important. there's been some chatter that this video was actually leaked prematurely, i suspect they may well have wanted to release this video today because of, obviously, the nato conference. so you're right that some people will be inspired but it's a small minority. we have to combat these people from a media perspective -- first of all, i want to
congratulate mainstream media for not showing this video. for not giving the video some of the air time that previous videos have had. and secondly, it's up to our society, as a whole, to combat these ideas. we have to stop people from going out there, from the west to fight. one of the things that was interesting was, according to the latest figures, half of isis fighters are foreign fighters. so we have to stop people from going out there. we have to identify who these people are. and then we have to tackle their ideology and counsel the narrative. in many cases if not all of them, mentor them back into a state where they fit back into society. >> it's interesting to me, when the president spoke about what's been done against isis it was specific to iraq. he talked about protecting iraq to help.
and he seemed reluctant to talk about how he was going to take on isis inside syria. he only spoke about it in regional terms. can you defeat and roll back isis without taking them on inside syria? >> the answer to that question is no. unless president obama and the allies come up with a solution on how we're going to deal with the issue in syria, because let's not forget, because the tactics that isis are using now, especially with the kurds come down from the north and damas s damascus -- or baghdad actually coming up from the south is that they're retreating back into syria and launching offensive from syria itself, obviously from raqqa. and president obama and david cameron have been supporting the
iraqi army in trying to overthrow them. that's the first. the second consideration is that we have iran, iran is backing syria. one of the things we don't have, it seems to be little appetite to actually invoke iran into a wider conflict in the region in hezbollah, certainly, have their capabilities. and the third aspect is we have countries like russia and china that also have interests within syria. and certainly elsewhere with the u.s. and its allies going into the region. so i think there's a lot of diplomacy that needs to take place before the syrian problem can be resolved. and i think that's what's being done right now. >> it's this whole the enemy is my enemy is my friend. in the middle east, menmys have been enemies for centuries. sometimes, it's so complicated. that chess board. what's the u.s. role in trying get these people together to
form these regional efforts to fight isis or should u.s. not be center stage here? >> well, i think u.s. has a humanitarian duty to be center stage. if we are -- if president obama is the leader of the free world as it were, he has a duty to protect or help to protect innocent minorities like the yazidis, sunni muslims killed by isis, shias, et cetera. but not necessarily putting boots on the ground. i think the local regional alliances he talks about are key. and some of these alliances i think may well be short term. if you look at the theology, the caliphate theology that underpins the theology, that has been at odds with the rest, never mind the key enemies, the
shias and vice versa. i think it will be short term. but i think they all recognize that if they don't combat this phenomenon that is isis now, potentially isis could grow into something that has a base and we're talking about this region as being the sponsor of terrorism around the world. so i think it's important that u.s. plays a part. it's important that britain plays a part. and it's also important that regional partners play a part now before isis becomes a regional force. >> harris rafiq thank you. covering the president's trip to europe "new day" has all the developments right after the break.
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we will not be intimidated. their horrific acts only unite us. >> breaking news. we will not be intimidated. president obama speaking out for the first time after another american is beheaded by isis. hundreds more u.s. troops sent into baghdad. this morning the strategy to battle isis. also breaking, the white house says the execution video
of steven sotloff is real. new clues this morning from the tape. who is the executioner, and when exactly was the video made? cease-fire breaking this morning. ukraine says they and their president with vladimir putin have reached a deal with permanent cease-fire. russia says that's not the case. what's going on? we're live with the latest. your "new day" starts right now. this is "new day" with chris cuomo, kate balduan and michaela pereira. good morning, welcome to "new day." it's wednesday, september 3rd, 6:00 in the east. breaking news. two major crises developing overseas. president obama is vowing justice after isis murders another american journalist. the president how has to tell us what that will mean. the government did confirm overnight the video showcasing the cowardly beheading of another american steven sotloff. they say it is authentic. the president made clear that killing sotloff and james foley
will bring major consequences for the cowards who committed these crimes. >> overnight our government determined that tragically steven was taken from us in an hon isk act of violence. whatever these murderers think they will achieve by killing innocent americans by steven, they have already failed. they failed because, like people around the world, americans are repulsed by their barberism. we will not be intimidated, and their horrific acts only unite us as a country an stitch our resolve to take the fight against these terrorists. and those who make the mistake of harming americans will learn we will not forget that our reach is long and that justice will be served. >> strong words from the president there. also though, conflicting reports this morning about a possible cease-fire in ukraine. president petro
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