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Check showtimes to see when Amanpour is on CNN where you are. Or watch online.

Man who ‘discovered’ Maliki explains what went wrong

July 16th, 2014
10:49 AM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

In 2006 Iraq, Ali Khedery needed a problem solver.

The American occupation was in its fourth year, and the country was in disarray. Militias were gaining power in the country, and there was real concern about radical Islamists.

Khedery, as U.S. Special Assistant in Baghdad, found Nouri al-Maliki, leader of the Dawa party.

“We believed we needed a Shiite Islamist prime minister to crush the Shiite Islamist militias, along with Al Qaeda,” Khedery told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday. “And that is exactly what Nouri al-Maliki did from 2006 until 2008.”

Khedery was the longest continuously serving U.S. official in Baghdad.

But as Iraq’s violence ebbed, America’s bet on al-Maliki began to backfire, according to Khedery.

“By 2010, after violence had been reduced 90 percent since pre-surge highs, I lobbied the White House – including Vice President Biden and senior administration officials – that they needed to withdraw their support from Prime Minister Maliki.”

“We had very clear indications at that time that Maliki was trying to build a Shiite theocratic state around his political party and around himself,” just as Saddam Hussein had consolidated power around himself a couple of decades earlier.

FULL POST


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Iraq • Latest Episode

U.K.: We warned Iraq about extremist threat

July 7th, 2014
12:18 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

Amanpour’s full interview with Ambassador Simon Collis airs at 2pm ET, 7pm London, 9pm Baghdad time on CNN International.

The United Kingdom consistently warned the Iraqi government about the threat posed by ISIS before that group swept across large swaths of the country, UK Ambassador to Iraq Simon Collis told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Monday.

“I’m not suggesting that anybody saw quite the speed and scale of the advances that took place, which were in part also a result of the collapse of very significant numbers of Iraqi security forces.”

“But the fact that Mosul was vulnerable was known. The fact that ISIL were already holding territory from last year in parts of western Iraq, in Anbar and elsewhere, was well known.”

“We were aware of the threat and we gave clear advice at the time and throughout about the best way to tackle it, the only effective way to tackle it.”

The UK told Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s government that the only way to defeat ISIS was through a “comprehensive counterterrorism strategy,” involving political, economic, and security measures, Ambassador Collis said.

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Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Iraq • Latest Episode

Beaten and shot in Syria

July 2nd, 2014
06:52 AM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

"I was marched up to him and I said to him - because I didn't have anything else to say - 'I thought we were friends.' And he pulled his pistol and shot me."

This is reporting in Syria.

With the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria threatening Baghdad and continuing its brutal fight in Syria, few people know the extremist groups of the region like Anthony Loyd, who has been on more than a dozen reporting trips to Syria since the war began.

On his latest such venture, in May, he was double-crossed by a man he considered his friend.

"This was a guy and his gang who I've known for over two years and stayed with on several occasions," Loyd told CNN's Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday.

Hakim, he said, was a midlevel commander in a small town - someone who had always treated him "with great decency and hospitality, as befitting a Muslim host in the Middle East."

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Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Iraq • Latest Episode • Syria

Syria ‘a festering wound’ that fostered ISIS, says former Saudi intelligence chief

July 1st, 2014
02:59 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

Syria, “a festering wound that collects the worst bacteria in the world,” is largely responsible for the strength of groups like ISIS, former Saudi intelligence chief Prince Turki al-Faisal told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday.

“My personal view is that the conflict in Syria particularly has been a main source of this growth in these terrorist activities.”

A day after the leader of ISIS declared an Islamic “caliphate,” the group is calling on Muslims around the world to unite around its “Islamic state.”

Saudi Arabia – Iraq’s neighbor and regional Sunni power – believes that will never happen, but is nonetheless sounding the alarm.

“It's a terrorist organization that has specialized in brutal killings,” al-Faisal said. “So it is a danger to the whole area and I think to the rest of the world.”

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Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Iraq • Latest Episode • Syria

Could Afghanistan be the next Iraq?

June 25th, 2014
03:32 PM ET

By Claire Calzonetti, CNN

Could Afghanistan be the next Iraq?

“If you think about what the lessons of Iraq are, I hope that every Afghan is sitting in the evening thinking clearly about the lessons of Iraq,” Marc Grossman – the former U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan – told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.

The violence rocking Kabul and other parts of the country – with another four killed today, and 27 dead since summer offensive began – raises the harsh specter of an Iraq-like disaster once U.S. and NATO forces pull out at the end of the year.

No one knows the pitfalls and the possibilities better than former ambassador Marc Grossman, who was the Obama Administration's point man in some of the toughest yet vital peace negotiations

FULL POST


Filed under:  Afghanistan • Christiane Amanpour • Iraq • Latest Episode

Iraqi Kurdistan: We bring stability

June 24th, 2014
08:56 AM ET

You can see Amanpour's full interview with President Barzani here.

In this web extra, Christiane Amanpour asks Iraqi Kurdish President Massoud Barzani how the region would react to Kurdish independence.

"Allow me to ask, ‘What shall we do? What can we do in Kurdistan? Shall we remain just watching and waiting for an unknown future, unknown destiny? Everyone sees what’s taking place in Iraq."

"We have proved to Turkey that we are a factor of stability. We are an important factor for the security and stability of Turkey."

Click above to watch.


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Iraq • Latest Episode

Could Iraq turn into Lebanon? 'Maybe,' says Iraqi Kurdish President

June 24th, 2014
08:55 AM ET

You can see Amanpour's full interview with President Barzani here.

In this web extra, Christiane Amanpour asks Iraqi Kurdish President Massoud Barzani if Iraq could have a Lebanon-like civil war.

“I hope it will not be like Lebanon, but maybe," he says.

Click above to watch.


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Iraq • Latest Episode

EXCLUSIVE: Iraqi Kurdistan leader Massoud Barzani says 'the time is here' for self-determination

June 23rd, 2014
11:55 AM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

Iraqi Kurdish President Massoud Barzani gave his strongest-ever indication on Monday that his region would seek formal independence from the rest of Iraq.

“Iraq is obviously falling apart,” he told CNN's Christiane Amanpour in an exclusive interview. “And it’s obvious that the federal or central government has lost control over everything. Everything is collapsing – the army, the troops, the police.”

“We did not cause the collapse of Iraq. It is others who did. And we cannot remain hostages for the unknown,” he said through an interpreter.

“The time is here for the Kurdistan people to determine their future and the decision of the people is what we are going to uphold.”

Iraqi Kurdish independence has long been a goal, and the region has had autonomy from Baghdad for more than two decades, but they have never before said they would actually pursue that dream.

But the latest crisis, in which Sunni extremists have captured a large swath of Iraqi territory on the border of Iraqi Kurdistan, seems to have pushed the Kurds over the edge.

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Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Iraq • Latest Episode

Obama walking ‘very delicate line’ in Iraq allegiances

June 19th, 2014
03:42 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

U.S. President Barack Obama must walk a “very delicate line” of sectarian allegiance as he prepares to send 300 military advisers to Iraq, Former Senior U.S. State Department Adviser Vali Nasr told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Thursday.

Earlier in the day, the man who led America’s military surge in Iraq, David Petraeus, said that the U.S. must be careful not to appear like “the air force of Shiite militias.”

But Nasr, a leading authority on these sectarian issues, said that there is fear on all sides.

“This is now being billed as the sharp edge of a Sunni revival in the region, and that’s the way the Shiites are seeing it,” he said. “And the Sunni countries in the region are not separating ISIS from the rest of the Sunni forces, and Iraqi Sunnis have not stood up and for instance condemned massacre of 1,700 Shiite soldiers in Tikrit.”

“And all of that gives a sense that everybody is accepting ISIS as now the voice of Sunnis. And that’s exactly what will cause the Shiites to be very worried about any kind of concession to the Sunnis.”

FULL POST


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Iraq • Latest Episode

In Iraq, social media insurrection

June 19th, 2014
09:29 AM ET

CNN's Christiane Amanpour speaks with Samuel Burke about ISIS's digital campaign of terror.

Click above to watch.


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Iraq • Latest Episode
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