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News Wrap: News Wrap: David Cameron calls for airstrikes in Syria

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  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    French President Francois Hollande and Russia`s Vladimir Putin agreed in Moscow today to share intelligence in their fight against the Islamic State, and Putin said he is ready to begin coordinating airstrikes with the U.S.-led coalition.

    For the third time in as many days, Francois Hollande met a counterpart to press the global effort against the Islamic State

  • PRESIDENT FRANCOIS HOLLANDE, France (through interpreter):

    Terrorism is our enemy, we know it. It has a name, it is the Islamic State. We must create this large coalition.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    This evening in Moscow, Hollande and Vladimir Putin met for more than two hours; their nations: the most-recent victims of the group`s international terror campaign.

    Putin said he was now willing to cooperate with the U.S.-led coalition, which has been bombing the Islamic State for 16 months.

  • PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN, Russia:

    (through interpreter): We respect the coalition founded by the U.S. And we are ready to work with it. We think it would have been better to form a wider coalition to start with.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    Russia began strikes in September, to bolster the regime of Bashar al Assad. It is hitting many areas in Syria, much of which the U.S. and others are far from the regions controlled by ISIS.

    Putin said a ground force would be needed to defeat ISIS and other extremists, a force that is already fighting.

  • PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN:

    It is not possible to fight successfully against terrorists in Syria without a ground operation and there is no other force for a ground operation than the Syrian army.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    Hollande said that the French would now begin sharing intelligence with the Russians for the air campaign. But he reiterated his position shared by the U.S. on a serious issue of division with the Russians; that is the role of Bashar al-Assad in any future Syrian government.

  • PRESIDENT FRACOIS HOLLANDE:

    The executive power must be given to an independent unity government during transition. In France`s view, it is clear that Bashar al-Assad does not have a place in the future of Syria.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    For his part, Putin said it was up to Syrians to determine Assad`s fate.

    Hanging over the meeting, Turkey’s downing of a Russian warplane on Tuesday. The incident occurred in the skies over the southernmost border of Turkey adjacent to Syria. One pilot was killed, and the second rescued.

    Russia maintains the plane was within Syrian airspace when it was struck by Turkish jets. And yesterday, the surviving crewman said as much from a base in Syria.

  • KONSTANTIN MURAKHTIN, Russian Air Force (through interpreter):

    No, this is impossible, not even for a second. I could see perfectly on the map and on the ground where the borders are and where we are. There was not even a threat of entering airspace.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    But Turkey has flatly rejected those claims, and said the Russian jet traveled more than a mile into its territory and ignored multiple warnings.

    Yesterday, the Turkish military released audio recordings of what it said were Turkish officials repeatedly instructing the Russian jet to leave.

  • TURKISH AIR FORCE:

    This is Turkish air force speaking on guard. You are approaching Turkish airspace. Change your heading south immediately.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    The fallout from the downing has been swift. Today, Russia`s state-of-the-art air defense systems arrived in Syria, with a range that reaches deep into Turkey. And the country’s defense minister said all military channels with the Turks have been suspended.

    Back in Russia, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev ordered officials to begin drafting measures to deepen that split.

  • DMITRY MEDVEDEV, Prime Minister, Russia (through interpreter):

    These documents will deal with the introduction of bans and restrictions, with respect to the activities of Turkish economic structures on the Russian territory, restriction and bans on shipments of goods including food, on works and services provided by the Turkish companies, as well as other restrictive measures.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    But in Turkey, President Erdogan said any talk of severing diplomatic and economic ties goes too far.

  • PRESIDENT RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, TURKEY (through interpreter):

    At this are such approaches fitting for politicians to adopt such a stance? First of all, politicians and military delegations need to sit down and talk about this issue. And afterwards, the mistakes should be mutually recovered. If we make emotional statements rather than doing this, it would be unfitting.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    And Erdogan again condemned Russian airstrikes along the Turkish- Syrian border, which he says are targeting ethnic Turkmen fighting against Syrian President Bashar al Assad.

    Despite that warning, there appeared to be more strikes today along that frontier. Amateur video showed dozens of people attempting to put out a blaze cause by an alleged Russian airstrike. Rebel groups on the ground said the target was a border crossing and several aid trucks were hit. Russia said it is targeting terrorists in the region.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    We’ll have more on this story right after the news summary.

    In Britain today, Prime Minister David Cameron tried to persuade parliament to back air-strikes on the Islamic State in Syria. The Royal Air Force is part of the U.S.-led coalition hitting ISIS targets in Iraq, but not Syria. For more than two hours today, Cameron fielded questions in the House of Commons, where the main opposition Labour Party is divided on action.

  • DAVID CAMERON, Prime Minister, United Kingdom:

    We shouldn’t be content with out-sourcing our security to our allies. If we believe that action can help protect us, then with our allies, we should be part of that action not standing aside from it. And from this moral point comes a fundamental question: if we won’t act now, when our friend and ally France has been struck in this way, then our allies in the world can be forgiven for asking, “If not now, when?”

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    Cameron did say he would only put the issue to a vote if he there was a clear majority, not wanting to hand ISIS a “publicity coup.”

    Belgium lowered its alert level by one notch in Brussels today after determining there is no “imminent” threat of an attack. There was no immediate word what prompted that move, but authorities vowed to remain vigilant. Meanwhile, Belgian officials confirmed an anthrax scare at the capital city’s main mosque turned out to be a hoax. Investigators said a suspicious white powder in a parcel was actually flour.

    Security was on the minds of many this Thanksgiving holiday across the U.S. in the wake of the Paris attacks, 2,500 police officers lined the Macy`s annual Thanksgiving Day parade route, that wound its way through the streets of Manhattan. But city officials said it was a precaution, since there was no credible threat.

    In Afghanistan, U.S. troops observed the holiday at NATO headquarters in Kabul with Turkey and all the trimmings, while pausing to count their blessings.

  • SGT. JAZZMENE LOFTUS, Army National Guard:

    I`m just happy to be here. I`m thankful for, you know, being alive and everything like that, and having the opportunity to serve the Afghan people as much as we can here, difference between here and home? Of course, I don`t have my family here with me, but I`m still happy to be around my military family and the other coalition forces that we have, you know, created bonds with and everything like that.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    President Obama used his Thanksgiving message to appeal for greater acceptance of refugees fleeing the conflict in Syria. In his weekly radio address, he reminded Americans that the Pilgrims fled persecution and violence when they came to America nearly four centuries ago. The president has vowed to take in an additional 10,000 Syrian refugees over the next year.

    Norway began imposing stricter border controls today in an effort to limit the flow of migrants. Police and border security officials are now checking the identification papers of people arriving and leaving the Nordic country. The measures will remain in place for ten days. Norway estimates some 33,000 asylum seekers will enter their country this year. That`s three times last year`s total.

    Boko Haram militants crossed the border into Niger today and attacked a village, killing at least 18 people. Security sources said they arrived on foot in a small village in the southern border area of Diffa, opening fire on residents. The border area is rife with strikes because Boko Haram`s stronghold in northeast Nigeria is just a few miles away.

    Back in this country, federal authorities are still investigating the fatal shooting of a black teenager by a white Chicago police officer last year, and could bring additional charges. The officer was charged with first-degree murder on Tuesday by Cook County prosecutors.

    Overnight, there were more, mostly peaceful protests with only four arrests. Organizers hope for a large protest tomorrow, Black Friday, along Michigan Avenue, the city`s famous shopping district.

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