By Mick Krever, CNN
The fall of the Syrian city of Kobani to ISIS militants would put the security of the whole region at risk, Syrian Kurdish leader Saleh Moslem Mohamed told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Thursday.
“This brutal organization called Da’esh, or ISIS, they don’t know the border,” he said. “They were in Mosul, against the Kurds, they were in Sinjar, and now they are in Kobani. So what’s the next step?”
If the Kurds in Kobani are defeated, “I don’t want to think of it even, because…it means the victory of ISIS, which ISIS at that time could go to Istanbul…could go to anywhere.”
“We are going step by step to another genocide or maybe massacre, because those people are refusing to give up, insisting on defending their land and defending their homes and defending their dignity.”
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.
"Clearly a lot of jockeying and hard bargaining going on re Turkey entering the fight.
"You may have seen what the PM told me about their red lines: No-fly zone and safe haven … think U.S. and allied no-fly zone over Kurds in Northern Iraq and Shiites in Southern Iraq from 1991-2003!"
What she’s referencing: On Sunday, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told Christiane that his country was willing to join the fight against ISIS in Syria, even put boots on the ground, but only “if others do their part.”
“We want to have a no-fly zone,” he said. “We want to have a safe haven on our border. Otherwise, all these burdens will continue to go on the shoulder of Turkey and other neighboring countries.”
"The administration source’s so called “de-facto” no-fly zone over Kobani is localized and temporary at best. But the Turks want a much more permanent zone, since they have 1.6 million refugees from Assad war and hundreds of thousands coming from Kobani.
"They tell me until Assad goes, they’ll need those no-flys … just like in Iraq until Saddam went."
What she’s referencing: A U.S. Administration Official told CNN Senior White House Correspondent Jim Acosta that there is already a de-facto no-fly zone over eastern Syria, so from the American point of view, the Turks’ demands for a no-fly zone over Turkey does not pass muster.
"Hence Turkey’s second condition: They’ll only send their ground forces into the fight – the only plausible ground forces right now – if strategy shifts to topple Assad too."
What she’s referencing: Turkey has long wanted to see the ouster of Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad, and Prime Minister Davutoglu told Christiane that America must go after Assad, not just ISIS, in Syria.
"We said chemical weapons are the red line. He used chemical weapons. What happened to him?"
"We didn't do anything."
"And now, because of these crimes, there was no reaction, these radical organizations - I mean ISIS - misused this atmosphere and told these people the international community doesn't defend you. Nobody defends you. Only I can defend you by my own means. This was the source of ISIS."
"P.S. – goes without saying that if TURKEY is attacked in any shape or form, they will defend themselves by all means necessary."
What she’s referencing: Prime Minister Davutoglu made clear in their interview that any attacks on Turkey would be a game-changer; or any attack on “Turkish territory” inside Syria. A national tomb dating back to the Ottoman Empire is guarded by Turkish special forces inside Syria. If they are attacked or taken hostage by ISIS, that too would be a game-changer.
“If there is there any threat against our national security, we will take all the measures – all the measures,” he said.
(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."
Turkish social media has exploded with Tweets and Instagrams of Turkish women laughing. Why?
Hala Gorani explains. Click above to watch.
By Mick Krever, CNN
Amid criticism over Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s response to a devastating mine disaster, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in an exclusive interview that the Erdogan is “always with the people.”
An official period of mourning is underway in Turkey after its recent mine disaster; nearly 300 miners were killed after a fire broke out on Tuesday.
“This is a very sad event – one of the most tragic accidents that happened during our republican era,” Davutoğlu told Amanpour in London. “All the things, all the efforts will be done to check what was wrong, if there was anything wrong during this disaster or before, how it happened.”
Prime Minister Erdogan visited the site of the disaster and was met with jeers, boos, and calls for his resignation; the heckles got so bad, he was forced to seek refuge in a nearby store.
In his much-criticized speech to the relatives of the dead and injured, the Prime Minister glossed over the issue of mine safety, saying there is ample precedent for mine disasters.
“I think this was the wrong perception,” Davutoğlu said of the criticism.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu says alleged Syria torture, killing photos represent "a crime against humanity"
The transcript of Christiane Amanpour's full interview with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu can be found here.
By Mick Krever, CNN
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad should take peace talks seriously and transition out of power, or face the International Criminal Court, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Thursday.
Responding to photos that allegedly prove systematic torture and killing by the Syrian regime, Davutoglu, said “those photos are clear evidences … this is a crime against humanity.”
Davutoglu spoke with Amanpour from Montreux, Switzerland, where world powers are trying to broker an improbable peace in Syria.
Amanpour was the first to report, with the Guardian on Monday, on an investigation alleging that the Syrian regime is murdering prisoners on a mass scale. The investigation was authored by a team of international legal and forensic experts and based on thousands of photographs provided by a Syrian defector.
“All of those who committed this crime must be accountable,” Davutoglu said. “We should not be doing the same mistake like what happened in Srebrenica.”
“In Srebrenica some people tried to turn their eye and some tried to ignore Srebrenica for some time. But Srebrenica has happened and it was a shame for international community.”
CNN's Christiane Amanpour speaks to a Turkish filmmaker who was in the meeting that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan held Wednesday concerning the ongoing protests. The filmmaker confirms that the prime minister said he will take the idea of a referendum over the fate of the contested Gezi Park to his party.
In the video above CNN's Christiane Amanpour speaks with Ibrahim Kalin, chief adviser to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He tells Amanpour that the protesters can stay in Gezi Park and police have been instructed not to enter there. He also says that the prime minister wants to hold talks with the "legitimate" protesters.
CNN's Christiane Amanpour speaks with Mevlut Cavusoglu, the vice chairman of Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan's political party, about the civil unrest.