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Iran touts ‘experience’ fighting terrorists, says airstrikes not enough against ISIS

October 14th, 2014
03:27 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

Iran has “good experience” fighting terrorists, and came to the aid of Iraqis against ISIS, the speaker of the Iranian parliament told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, saying that U.S.-led airstrikes alone would not be enough to destroy the militants.

“I think it is very unlikely to destroy guerilla fighters by just dropping bombs on their heads,” Ali Larijani said through an interpreter.

Along with the president, Hassan Rouhani, and Supreme Leader, Ali Khamanei, he is one of the most powerful people in the country.

“Us, I mean Iran, went to the side of the Iraqis very early when the crisis broke out. We don't really want to broadcast it; we don't want to go to the media and talk about what we did for the Iraqis. But in practice, we defended them.”

The head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s Quds Force, Qasem Soleimani, has even been photographed on the ground in Iraq.

“Terrorists cannot be destroyed by bombing them. You cannot solve terrorism by occupation. And in order to fight them effectively, you have to choose another method. And you know that we have good experience in that, because we have actually fought against them.”

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

ISIS fight may take 5-10 years, says key Iraqi MP

October 13th, 2014
03:25 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

Countering the assessment of the Obama Administration, a key Iraqi parliamentarian on Monday told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that the fight against ISIS could last “five to ten years.”

Mowaffak al-Rubaie represents Baghdad in parliament and is a former national security adviser to then-Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

“I do not agree with the White House assessment that three years is enough to destroy ISIS from Iraq and Syria. I believe this is a long war, and we have to prepare ourselves in a political, social, and ideological challenge as well, as well as the security challenge.”

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

ISIS fight needs boots on the ground, says former British military chief

October 8th, 2014
02:43 PM ET

WEB EXTRA: Richards says the world cannot take its foot off the pedal in Afghanistan.

By Mick Krever, CNN

The former head of the British military, General David Richards, said on Wednesday that the international fight against ISIS needed boots on the ground.

"I think you’ve got to make sure that your aerial campaign is accurately delivered, and that probably means some special forces up front," he told CNN's Christiane Amanpour.

Experienced Western armies must play some role in the war, he said, if there is hope for victory.

“I’m not saying they have to be on the frontline, but they have to be deeply involved in the logistics, which is what often discriminates proper armies from amateur armies.”

An air campaign alone, he said, "cannot possibly" succeed.

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

Turkey willing to put troops in Syria 'if others do their part,' Prime Minister says

October 6th, 2014
02:27 PM ET

Click here to watch part one of Amanpour's conversation with Prime Minister Davutoglu, about ISIS and the Syrian war, and click here to watch part two, about Turkish domestic issues.

(CNN) - Turkey would be willing to put its troops on the ground in Syria "if others do their part," Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told CNN's Christiane Amanpour in an interview that aired Monday.

"We are ready to do everything if there is a clear strategy that after ISIS, we can be sure that our border will be protected. We don't want the regime anymore on our border pushing people against - towards Turkey. We don't want other terrorist organizations to be active there."

FULL POST


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

EXCLUSIVE: Qatar's Emir: We don't fund terrorists

September 25th, 2014
04:11 PM ET

Click here to watch part two of Amanpour's interview with the Emir of Qatar.

By Mick Krever, CNN

(CNN) – In his first-ever interview as the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani defended his country against allegations of funding terrorism and pledged support for the fight against ISIS for the long haul.

"We don't fund extremists," the Emir told CNN's Christiane Amanpour on Thursday. "If you talk about certain movements, especially in Syria and Iraq, we all consider them terrorist movement."

"I know that in America and some countries they look at some movements as terrorist movements. ... But there are differences. There are differences that some countries and some people that any group which comes from Islamic background are terrorists. And we don't accept that."

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

John Kerry: The fight against ISIS is 'going to go on'

September 24th, 2014
09:13 AM ET

Click here for part one of the full interview, and here for part two.

By Leigh Ann Caldwell, CNN

(CNN) - In an exclusive interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour, Secretary of State John Kerry echoed President Barack Obama, saying it will take time for airstrikes to degrade ISIS.

"There's a definitely a second day and there will be a third and more. This is going to go on," Kerry said Wednesday.

The United States conducted a second day of airstrikes in Syria and Iraq since the expanded military campaign against ISIS.


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Iraq • Syria

Iraqi leader: U.S.-led military campaign against ISIS welcome if 'they do it right'

September 24th, 2014
03:50 AM ET

Click here to watch Part 2 of Amanpour's interview with Iraqi Prime Minister Abadi.

By Greg Botelho, CNN

(CNN) - Iraq's prime minister said Tuesday he is happy to see the United States and its Arab allies striking ISIS targets in Syria, so long as they "do it right this time."

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi told CNN's Christiane Amanpour that Iraq has "paid a heavy price" for polarization in the region and instability in Syria, saying ISIS fighters have inflicted tremendous pain, suffering and losses on his people after crossing into Iraq. He expressed hope the airstrikes will do what U.S. President Barack Obama has vowed: degrade and destroy the group, which calls itself the Islamic State.

It's good some Arab nations have joined the American-led military campaign, al-Abadi added, though he said he wished they had understood and acted on the danger posed by ISIS sooner.

"We have warned ... this is going to end in a bloodbath if nobody stops it," he said. "Nobody was listening."

FULL POST


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

Why France refuses to call militants ‘ISIS’

September 23rd, 2014
03:43 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

For France, “ISIS” is the wrong name for the Sunni militants who control large portions of Iraq and Syria.

“In French they want to be called État Islamique, Islamic State, but it’s a double mistake,” Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in an interview that aired Tuesday. “A, they are not a state; they would like to be a state but they are not. And they are not representative of Muslims.”

“We call them Daesh, by the Arab word.”

“Daesh” is a term reportedly despised by the militants, because it sounds like another Arabic word that means “to trample on” or “crush.”

“You have to name things correctly,” Fabius said. “These guys are murderers; they are throat cutters.”

FULL POST


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

Bahrain: ‘Our region cannot withstand this deviated cult’

September 23rd, 2014
03:27 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

ISIS is a “deviated cult” that cannot be tolerated - or withstood, as he put it - in the region, Bahrain’s foreign minister told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday.

“We urge every cleric and every place of scholarship in the Muslim religion to really stand out and say clear words, and very clear terms, that this is not Islam, and they are not Muslims – this is a very deviated cult,” Khalid bin Ahmed al Khalifa said.

Bahrain was one of five Arab allies that joined with the United States in Tuesday’s early hours to strike at ISIS targets in Syria – the first U.S. military intervention in Syria’s three-year conflict.

Al Khalifa confirmed to Amanpour that Bahraini participated militarily in the operation, using F16s to strike targets.

Bahrain will continue to be part of the coalition for “as long as it takes,” he said.

“We know that this is a threat to sovereignty and integrity of countries. There is a declared state that transcends borders. We know that this is something that targeted civilians, and displaced them in the hundreds of thousands – attacked mosques, churches, people of different sects and religions – Yazidis, Christians, Muslims, Shiites, Sunnis.”

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

Moderate Syria opposition pleads for support, but not troops

September 18th, 2014
02:54 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

As the U.S. Congress moves towards authorizing training and weapons for the moderate Syrian opposition, the former commander of the Free Syrian Army pleaded for support but said there was no need for international troops on the ground.

“We don’t need ground troops from any country in the world. We are able, if we receive enough support, to fight against ISIS,” Former Free Syrian Army Commander General Salim Idriss told CNN’S Christiane Amanpour on Thursday.

“We have a large number of fighters who are ready to fight and more than five thousand now are ready in the suburbs of Aleppo and suburbs of Idlib.”

FULL POST


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