Return to Transcripts main page
CONNECT THE WORLD
Kurdish, Iraqi Forces Retake Mosul Dam; Dozens Arrested In Violent Protests In Ferguson; Interview with Karl Bildt; Israel Recalls Negotiators From Cairo
Aired August 19, 2014 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
Guest: Karl Bildt, Daniel Levy>
BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: To square one: Israeli negotiators are called home from peace talks after rockets are fired from Gaza. We'll tell you
how Israel is retaliating.
Also ahead, 90 targets hit: the U.S. assault on ISIS in Iraq continues apace. We'll examine how President Obama is juggling his foreign policy
with a crisis on his doorstep.
That crisis unfolding in Ferguson, Missorui, of course, where the arrival of the National Guard is so far doing little to quell public anger
over the shooting of an unarmed black teenager.
ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World with Becky Anderson.
ANDERSON: A very good evening. It is 7:00 in the UAE. We start with the conflict in Gaza where another ceasefire has been broken just hours
before it was due to expire. Israel's military says three rockets fired from Gaza hit the Beer Sheva area in southern Israel, but Hamas denies
firing any rockets.
Israeli forces have since retaliated with more air strikes on Gaza.
A senior Israeli official has also told CNN that the Israeli delegation to talks in Cairo has been ordered to leave and return home.
Let's get you the very latest. John Vause in Jerusalem joining us from there.
John, clearly this truce has been broken. That is not in dispute. It is not clear, though, who fired those rockets from Gaza earlier on today.
Can you clear that up at this point?
JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No, I can't. In fact, what we are hearing from Hamas not only have they not claimed
responsibility for the rocket fire, they are adamant they're saying they have no information about the rocket fire at all. In fact, a statement we
received just a short time ago, they say that the Israeli air strikes, which have been carried out in response to that rocket fire, according to
Hamas, is intended to abort those negotiations in Cairo.
Those Israeli air strikes are continuing both in the northern part of Gaza as well as in the central part of Gaza.
But whoever fired those rockets, Becky, you know, while it may be an important issue for Hamas and the other Palestinian groups, as far as the
Israelis are concerned, Hamas is responsible for any outgoing fire that comes from Gaza regardless of who pulled the trigger.
ANDERSON: If not Hamas, then who? Just out of interest.
VAUSE: Well, there are a number of other groups in Gaza. There's the Islamic Jihad. They have the ability to fire rockets. In fact, they often
claimed responsibility for firing rockets. There's Salafi groups, too, which have their own capability of firing rockets.
There's about five Palestinian factions, which are being represented at those peace talks, or ceasefire talks in Cairo, all of them have their
own kind of capability in some form or the other to fire rockets. So there are others.
There's also the possibility that this could be some kind of rogue group belonging to any one of those militant groups.
So there are possibilities of who could be behind this.
ANDERSON: John, what is the consequence of today's actions on the ground in Gaza and, of course, from the air from the Israeli perspective
and, indeed, the resultant consequence on these talks.
VAUSE: Well, look, what was interesting is that the last time there was rocket fire coming out of Gaza, it was before the last five day
ceasefire came into effect. There were three or four rockets fired before the deadline, which was a clear violation of a previous ceasefire. There
was rocket fire, which continued after the new ceasefire went into effect.
The Israelis held off a little. And then when the rocket fire continued, that's when they launched limited air strikes.
But then the five day ceasefire continued. And they went to Cairo and they continued to negotiate.
The only real public comment we've had in the last 24 hours came from the Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday. And he warned
that any rocket fire coming out of Gaza would be met with force. There would be a serious repercussions, if you like, and that's what we're seeing
The Israeli defense forces pretty much wasted no time in responding to the rocket fire. And within about 30, 40 minutes as well, we were told by
a senior Israeli official, that a decision had been made that the negotiators in Cairo would be ordered home. That is now underway.
So the response has been swift. It has been decisive. And clearly there are no longer negotiations for a ceasefire. We're now back into a
situation where the Israelis are carrying out air strikes. We have to wait and find out what Hamas and the other militant groups like Islamic Jihad
will do next, Becky.
ANDERSON: Yeah, interesting.
All right, John, thank you for that.
We're going to return to this story later this hour when we speak to the former regional negotiator and Middle East analyst Daniel Levy.
Does Hamas still have support in Gaza? That is one of the questions I'll put to him. We'll also show you how human beings aren't the only
victims of this ongoing crisis with a special report from inside Gaza.
Moving on now and to Iraq where Kurdish military forces in the north are still fighting some remnants of ISIS fighters around the Mosul dam.
Now after days of fierce clashes, the pesh merga, with the help of U.S. air strikes, regained full control of what is that key facility on
Monday. U.S. war planes carried out 35 air strikes, destroying 90 ISIS targets, we are told, including vehicles, equipment and fighting positions.
Meanwhile, the United Nations says it will launch one of its largest humanitarian aid operations ever in Iraq. The aid will come by air, by
land, and by sea during a 10 day operation set to begin on Wednesday.
Anna Coren is standing by live near that Mosul dam with the very latest on the ground.
I wonder if you can clarify for us, Anna, is this dam now under the control of Kurdish forces. And if so, what do reports that remnants of
ISIS fighters remain actually mean at this point?
ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Becky, those ISIS fighters definitely within the surrounding areas. We were on the wall of
the Mosul dam earlier today when fighting broke out. Within (inaudible) kilometers of where we were. It was around a hill. And there was a quite
fierce battle between the pesh merga forces and the ISIS militants who are really dug in.
We know that there are about 400 fighters that were defending that facility that they claimed two weeks ago. They have been pushed back. But
there are some who are still trying to fight the pesh merga before they fully retreat, we presume back to Mosul City, which of course is what hey
seized back in June.
We understand from military commanders, Becky, that is where they will regroup, rearm, consolidate, and perhaps launch a counter attack -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Anna, there is clearly a human element to this story, an incredibly important one. The UN reporting that it will launch one of its
largest humanitarian aid operations in Iraq. That will star t on Wednesday.
You have seen, witnessed, the humanitarian, the human element to this story yourself. Just give us a sense of how people living in the area that
we are showing pictures of at present, which is clearly a war zone between the U.S. -- the Kurdish fighters and ISIS at present are coping?
COREN: Well, Becky, it's desperately needed. And if you speak to the governor of Dahouk (ph) who is in charge of, you know, more than a quarter
million refugees who flooded the province in the last several weeks, he would say that it needed to be here weeks ago.
It is a humanitarian crisis, that's what he has been dealing with trying to feed all these people. They're living in abandoned buildings, on
the streets, in schools, which are still out. Students are coming back in a -- you know, in a matter of weeks. More than half of the schools ,
three-quarters of his schools are not just housing refugees.
They're even like living under bridges, that's where we saw them and spoke to them. They were bused to these areas from Syria to live under a
Of course, there are these UNHCR camps that are being expanded. There's just not enough tents for all these people. But many of them don't
want to go and live out in the middle of the desert. You know, we're talking about dusty conditions. I mean, we have just been hit by a sand
storm, which is why we're not coming to you live on the signal. I've had to do this over the phone, because it is just -- it's awful conditions.
And this is what these people are having to live in.
So, yes, that humanitarian aid desperately needed, very welcomed by officials here who actually say, Becky, that the international community
and the aid groups who normally respond to these humanitarian disasters have been dragging their feet when it comes to northern Iraq.
ANDERSON: Anna Coren near the Mosul dam with the very latest. Conditions there pretty awful, as Anna pointed out.
All right, thanks, Anna.
We'll have a lot more on the crisis in Iraq later on Connect the World with me Becky Anderson.
More details about the role of the U.S. military in taking back that dam.
Also, a live report from Washington on President Obama's options and hopes for Iraq.
And as the UN marks World Humanitarian Day today, we honor the heroic work of aid workers in the country.
Well, still to come tonight, as smoke continues to rise of Gaza, we're going to talk about the key players in those Cairo now disbanded and
whether or not they tried to deliberately hamper progress. That after this.
And, tensions over the fatal police shooting of an unarmed teenager trigger another night of violent confrontations. A live report from
Ferguson, Missouri is just ahead.
ANDERSON: At 13 minutes past 7:00 in the UAE, you're watching CNN. This is Connect the World with me, Becky Anderson. Welcome back.
Now, the town of Ferguson, Missouri is on edge yet again following another night of clashes over the police killing of unarmed African-
American teenager Michael Brown.
Peaceful protests quickly turned ugly after police say a handful of demonstrators began throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails. Officers quickly
hit back, launching stun grenades and tear gas into the crowd. At least two people and four police officers were injured in the chaos.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Back away from the officer!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, police say they arrested 31 people overnight. They blame most of the violence on demonstrators who have come from other states
to join these protests.
Well, let's get you to George Howell now who is standing by for us in Ferguson. It's the morning, of course.
George, what is the situation like there now?
GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORREPSONDENT: Becky, good day to you.
It is calm here in Ferguson here at the moment. But we know that there will be more protests latest today as we have seen the last several
days. And overnight, we again did see a situation devolve into violence. Police say it is because people threw rocks and bottles, it is because
there was shooting in the crowd, two civilians who were shot by other civilians, not by police, police then responded with the images that you've
been seeing here on television.
It's partly, some say, due to deeper seated issues, racial tensions, that discussions need to be had, but most eyes are on this particular case.
People want answers. And as long as the answers are slow to come you continue to see outrage.
HOWELL (voice-over): Chaos on the streets of Ferguson yet again. In what was one of the most tense nights yet, police say some protesters
provoked violence throwing Molotov cocktails, starting at least two fires, even firing upon police.??
CAPTAIN RON JOHNSON, MISSOURI HIGHWAY PATROL: I listened on the radio and heard the screams of those officers who were under gunfire. I went back
to our squad vehicle and saw the gentleman laying in the back who had been shot.??
HOWELL: Officers responding with stun grenades and tear gas. Two people shot, civilians shot by civilians, police say. Both expected to
survive. CNN cameras caught one protester appearing to ignite a building. Flames filling up inside. Police say it was a small number of agitators who
incited the violence and their response.??
JOHNSON: Bottles were thrown from the middle and the back of a large crowd. These criminal acts came from a tiny minority of lawbreakers.??
HOWELL: Our own crews forced to take precautions.??
(on camera): Listen, there's tear gas in the air here, and our crew is being overcome.??(voice-over): Ferguson residents coming to the aid of this
freelance photographer overcome by the smoke. The night had started peacefully and remained that way until around 11:00 p.m. local. Even in the
face of heavy police presence.??
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now why they're doing this I don't know because there is no threat going on here. None.??
HOWELL: But the peaceful protesters unable to stop a small number of troublemakers. Community leaders even forming a human chain walking hand
and hand to block out the agitators.??
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's to my understanding that someone threw a water bottle and it ignited the police. They started acting like we were regular
-- at the end of this we're going to be classed as insurgents. Nobody is out here for war.??
HOWELL: That is the question, you know, so is it the people who are in the crowds, the minority of people, rather, who find themselves you know
picking a fight with police in many ways? Is that it?
Or as some criticize the police department, is it because of the department itself, a coming out in SWAT gear, things like that, does that
make people in the crowd edgy. These are the questions that continue to play out as, you know, this community certainly hopes for peace, but we
continue to see night after night these cases of violence.
ANDERSON: And George, you make a very good point, some of these images of heavily armed security forces in a small town in the U.S. will
quite frankly shock many of our international viewers, not least those here in the Middle East who might be more used to seeing that -- those sort of
images in war zones here.
And one of those protesters, a quiet protester there, speaking to our colleague, Jake, saying at the end of this week could be classed as
What's the overarching sense of the community in all of this do you think? You've been on the ground now for what, more than a week.
HOWELL: Sure. Right. You get the sense that again a lot of this is rooted in deeper issues, Becky, quite honestly, deeper issues that are
taking voice, that are finding shape within this particular case. And remember, we barely mention the case in this. The case is in many ways been
overshadowed by all of the violence, by all of the looting we've seen in the last few days. But the case of Michael Brown, there are a lot of
questions as to how this shooting took place, how it all went down.
There are many who believe that his hands were in the air when he was shot and killed. There are also other accounts that we're getting that
Brown may have bum rushed the officer, and the officer forced to use deadly force to stop, Mr. Brown. A lot of questions there.
Of course, we're trying to get all sides, all angles, and put together a picture as best we can.
But that's the case that really has encapsulated in many ways, a much, much deeper conversation. And you do get the sense that those questions
are being raised here in this community.
ANDERSON: Yeah, interesting. And all over the States, and I know, George, all over the world.
All right, thank you for that.
Well, the mother of another teenager shot to death in the U.S. has offered her condolences to the family of Michael Brown. Go online CNN.com
to find out what Sabrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin wrote to the Browns about how she dealt with her loss in 2012. That, and all the latest
developments on this story are on the website as you would expect.
And join us all week for a special in depth look at the situation in Ferguson. Don Lemon, my colleague, hosts our special report today live on
the ground starting 6:00 p.m. in London, 7:00 Central European Time, 9:00 p.m. here in Abu Dhabi, only on CNN.
Live from Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World with me, Becky Anderson. I'll have all your world news headlines in just a few moments.
Before that, though, we're talking shop. We're going to take a look at how Asia and the Middle East are making retail therapy big business in
every possible way. One Square Meter up next.
ANDERSON: We'll get you back to Iraq, one of our top stories today. Kurdish military forces, we're told in the north are still fighting some
remnants of ISIS fighters around the Mosul dam. Meanwhile, the United Nations says it will launch one of its largest ever humanitarian aid drops
in Iraq. The aid will come by air, land and sea, a 10 day operation we're told, set to begin on Wednesday.
Well, our next guest knows firsthand the difficulties of reaching a diplomatic solution to lengthy conflicts. Swedish foreign minister Karl
Bildt was a mediator in the Balkan conflict and co-chairman of the Dayton Peace Conference (ph) in the mid-1990s. He is now in Irbil in Iraq. And
he's joining us by phone.
Sir, thank you for joining us.
What is your assessment of the situation on the ground as you see it where you are in Iraq today?
KARL BILDT, SWEDISH FOREIGN MINISTER: Well, numbers of aspects to it. The most overwhelming one is the dimension of the military and crisis
(inaudible) here. Within just a couple of weeks we are roughly up towards a million people displaced in the middle of all this also sectarian
conflict. And that must require the international community rapidly and with generosity and also dealing with the political issues in Baghdad
(inaudible) in Baghdad and Irbil you have the Kurdish areas. And we must defeat and beat back the ISIL.
But in a massive crisis, and if you don't deal with it it's going to deal with us. And that's not going to be good.
ANDERSON: Sir, too little too late say many people on the ground. Your response.
BILDT: Well, they always say that. But I do think, perhaps, in the middle of all this sort of dramatic and bleak picture there have been good
spots. I mean, there was an overwhelming danger of a genocide against the Yazidis. And lots of those, most of them were saved by a combination of
fighters on the ground and air drops.
So that was a bright spot.
But the magnitude of the crisis is overwhelming.
I want to get our viewers of a sense of a blog posted on the Huffington Post's website by the Swedish and Syrian freelance journalist
Nouri Kinko (ph) written to yourself, sir, last week. Just a few excerpts.
It reads, in part, "for 10 years we have asked for diplomatic help from the U.S. State Department and from you as well," it reads. "You have
suggested no concrete action to stop Iraq and its most vulnerable citizens from imminent death."
It goes on to say, "but now that the United States has commenced its air raids, you suddenly feel a strong concern to the ongoing atrocities."
To answer in part that criticism, what is the solution to stop Iraq and its most vulnerable citizens from imminent death, sir?
BILDT: I think if you look at the origin of what has been happening here, you can go back hundreds of years and years. (inaudible) is the fact
that the international community failed to stop the war in Syria, that's one reason. But the reason is the rather sectarian nature of the policies
that they've issued in Baghdad during the last three years or something like that.
Could have done more to stop it? I don't know. But we need to learn from those particular lessons. We need to prevent this crisis from
spreading even more.
Whether we could have done more in the past, I don't know. There's going to be a debate about that. But clearly now we must hope for some --
trying to help the people and trying to help it from spreading even further in Iraq and in the region as a whole.
ANDERSON: Lastly, what's your response to those who say that the U.S. action in the air -- and we know we've seen these air strikes and drone
strikes over, for example, Mosul dam, has been too little, too late to save the country from splitting apart. And that that may even be the ultimate
prize for many in the west who have interests, for example, in oil in the north and in the south.
You will be well aware that those criticisms are being held around, not least at the U.S. and for the likes -- at the likes of you as a
BILDT: I don't think that's been an issue. But I mean, that's been a part of the domestic U.S. controversy over Iraq policy. And I leave that
to the U.S. politicians to pursue.
I do think that there has been a lot of international attention to Iraq, perhaps too little. There was the tendency to leave Iraq and say
that things have been sorted out, things are moving along. They were not. There was a crisis breeding here, and perhaps we should have been more
alert to it than we were.
Now, the international community is coming in big-time (inaudible), also security-wise to a certain extent, but we also need to have a long-
term political strategy for the entire country.
ANDERSON: Right. Is that long-term political strategy, to your mind, the splitting up of Iraq?
BILDT: I don't think so, at least not at this particular time. I mean, the splitting up is what is happening now with massive waves of
people displaced and some people being killed and threats of genocide against the most exposed communities, if you say splitting up you open --
you risk opening truly the gates of hell. So at the moment, I think the diplomatic energy is spent on trying to get an inclusive government in Baghdad that can hold as much together.
Then there most be a political solution that takes care of the protection of the minorities and the devolution and all of those issues that have been
on the table before.
But at the moment, keeping people together, (inaudible) should be the focus.
ANDERSON: Sir, we very much appreciate your time. I know you're a very busy man. And times are tough where you are. So, again, very much
appreciate your time here on CNN this evening.
You're watching Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. Your world news headlines are up next.
ANDERSON: You're watching CNN and CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. The top stories for you this hour.
The Israeli-Gaza cease-fire has been broken. Israel launched more airstrikes on Gaza after the Israeli military said three rockets were fired
from Gaza into southern Israel. Hamas says they are not responsible.
Kurdish and Iraqi military forces are now in full control of the key Mosul Dam. They are, though, still fighting remnants of ISIS militants
around that facility. Peshmerga officials say they expect the militants to regroup in their stronghold city of Mosul.
Protest in Ferguson, Missouri deteriorated into violence again on Monday night. Police fired stun grenades and teargas after they were hit
with rockets and -- sorry, rocks and Molotov cocktails. Demonstrations have been ongoing after the police shooting death of unarmed teen Michael
Brown. We just learned a federal autopsy is now complete, but results are not being released until a civil rights investigation is now complete.
And Ukraine's military says soldiers have recovered at least 17 bodies from Monday's attack on a civilian convoy. But heavy fighting with pro-
Russian rebels around Lugansk is preventing them from reaching more victims. A military spokesman says at least six civilians are being
treated in hospitals for their injuries.
Residents in Donetsk have also been forced to flee heavy fighting around the city. Our Will Ripley has more details for us from Kiev.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We continue getting reports of intense fighting in the city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, the
pro-Russian separatist stronghold that Ukrainian military says they have slowly been reclaiming through street-level fighting.
And that's what Reuters is reporting right now, saying that gunmen have been shooting from behind cars, ducking behind buildings, opening
fire, exchanging gunfire with the Ukrainian military as they try -- the military tries to reclaim that city, already capturing one police station
from the rebels and raising a Ukrainian flag overhead.
Meanwhile, civilians continue to be caught in all of the middle of this, and some have tried to escape through humanitarian safety corridors
established to get them to a safer place, away from the violence and away from the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian conditions.
Not only in Donetsk, but in Lugansk, which has been without electricity, without running water, without most food and medical supplies
for going on two weeks now, where we're told sewage and trash is piling up in the streets.
But a group of civilians who tried to get out, they were in a convoy that was trying to leave over the weekend, and convoy that the Ukrainian
military says came under fire from the pro-Russian separatists using Grad rocket launchers.
A brand-new number of those killed has just been released by the counter-terrorism office in Kiev. They say 17 civilians, including women
and children, were killed, and six others are in the hospital right now.
The hope is that there is some sort of a diplomatic solution here, perhaps a cease-fire, a humanitarian cease-fire between the pro-Russian
separatists and the Ukrainian military. That would allow that Russian aid convoy that continues to sit stalled on the other side of the border to
cross through rebel-held territory and safely deliver supplies to the people who need it..
But before that can happen, all sides need to sit down and come up with a deal to end the violence. As a sign of how seriously this is being
taken across Europe and across the world, the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, has confirmed she's coming here to Kiev on Saturday to meet with
President Poroshenko and other top officials to try to figure out ways to diffuse this crisis before the violence continues and more innocent people
Will Ripley, CNN, Kiev, Ukraine.
ANDERSON: OK, that's the situation in Ukraine. Back to the Middle East for you now, and the Pentagon says 35 US airstrikes destroyed more
than 90 targets to help recapture the Mosul Dam from ISIS, or IS, as they would like to be known.
The US president, Barack Obama, says that winning back that dam is a major step for Iraqi and Kurdish forces. He also said the appointment of a
new Iraqi prime minister is a step in the right direction, but more needs to be done.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Dr. Abadi has said the right things. I was impressed in my conversation with him about his vision
for an inclusive government. But they've got to get this done, because the wolf's at the door, and in order for them to be credible with the Iraqi
people, they're going to have to put behind some of the old practices and actually create a credible united government.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Mr. Obama went on to say that if Iraqi leaders can unite, they'll get more support from the US and other nations in the region.
Well, for more on US involvement in Iraq, let's get Washington for you. Our senior White House correspondent, Jim Acosta, joining us now. And the
president, Jim, has been much criticized for his -- let's call it -- minimalist approach towards the region --
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Right.
ANDERSON: -- as a whole. An article in "The Washington Post" recently pointing out that the White House, for example, could have heeded
Kurdish requests for weapons to fight the Islamic State two months ago, perhaps forestalling this crisis. Is that criticism misplaced, do you
ACOSTA: This is a cautious president, Becky, and he is guided by a principle that we've heard around the White House a lot these days, and
it's been described as "Don't do stupid stuff." The president has actually uttered those words, he's actually uttered a saltier version of those
words, and that is a guiding principle of this White House.
It's not their entire foreign policy, but it is something that they believe. And what does that mean? It means not plunging back into some
sort of military intervention in Iraq that we saw during the Bush administration. Their belief here at the White House is that they're here
to end wars and not start them.
But the threat posed by ISIS or the Islamic State is a difficult nut to crack, and I think what the president is saying -- we heard him say
yesterday is that he's not making any blanket commitments as to a timetable, as to how long this might last.
And so while the president is saying that yes, he is hemming in this authorization for airstrikes only when they pertain to protecting US
personnel or dealing with that humanitarian situation at Mount Sinjar, they are leaving the door open just a crack to further airstrikes against ISIS
in the future.
ACOSTA: But I think if that were to happen, you would see additional authorizations from the president in order to do that. Otherwise, he would
be sort of going back on things that he said to us publicly that he wants to keep it contained just to the current mission at hand.
ANDERSON: Jim, a question being asked in this region, in the Middle East, and I'm sure in the US as well, is why is the United States
intervening in Iraq while avoiding Syria?
ACOSTA: I've talked to administration officials about this, and they were very concerned about what would happen in Syria if they were to go in
militarily, if they were to launch airstrikes, would there be a lot of civilian casualties, and would it really disrupt the balance of power?
Giving weapons to the moderate Syrian opposition, would that have really made the difference in Syria? They're not exactly sure of that.
Whereas in Iraq, you have a very different situation. You have this militant what the president calls terrorist organization threatening the
very existence of Iraq as it stands now on the world map.
If they take Baghdad, if Baghdad falls, obviously we have a very different situation here. And so, they see that as a potentially dangerous
situation in the region, and potentially down the road a threat to the United States. And by the way, you heard the president say there, talking
about partners in the region, partners in the Iraqi government.
They are very, very committed to this notion that if the Iraqis can somehow form a unified government, if Dr. Abadi can have a unified or a
more unified government in Baghdad, that more US assistance will come down the road in the form of humanitarian aid, in the form of weapons, in the
form of, perhaps, more airstrikes against ISIS.
But a lot of it depends on Baghdad, and the president, unless he's going to go back on his word, has made it very clear that that is a key
condition in all of this, Becky.
ANDERSON: Yes, fascinating stuff. Jim, thank you for that.
ACOSTA: You bet.
ANDERSON: Live from Abu Dhabi, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD with me Becky Anderson. Amid all the conflicts and suffering out there, we pay
tribute tonight to the work of aid workers on this World Humanitarian Day. Stay with us.
And a tenuous cease-fire shattered in Gaza. We're going to take a look at the impact on sensitive talks in Cairo. That coming up right after
ANDERSON: Welcome back. Indirect talks between the Israelis and Palestinians are now in tatters after a temporary truce was broken just a
short time ago. Israel's military says three rockets fired from Gaza hit the Beer Sheva area in southern Israel, as you can see here. Hamas denies,
though, firing any rockets. Israeli forces have retaliated with more airstrikes on Gaza.
Israel has pulled out of talks in Cairo, now, over this renewed violence, but Hamas is raising questions about their motives. To discuss
this further, Daniel Levy, director of the Middle East and North Africa Program for the European Council on Foreign Relations joins me now from
In the past, you've taken part in Israeli negotiations with the Palestinians. Do you smell something iffy here?
DANIEL LEVY, EUROPEAN COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS: Well, Becky, I think the parties are very far apart. Despite the destruction, the
devastation, especially for the Gazan civilian populations, the fundamentals haven't changed, not the big picture of settlement and
occupation. There's no Palestinian state.
Israel hasn't defeated Hamas. That would be too costly to Israel. Hamas can't force Israel to open Gaza. So, I think what we're seeing is
that you don't actually have deal.
And perhaps the fishy smell is that the Israeli prime minister feels that it might be better for him to go back to his own cabinet with
unilateral decisions rather than with an agreement. But unilateral by definition is less predictable, more risky, and let's hope that today
doesn't signify a return to the devastation of the past weeks.
ANDERSON: You make a very good point. Daniel, if you'd been part of the Israeli negotiations and behind closed doors in a cabinet meeting just
some 24 or 36 hours or so ago, would you have been as surprised if some of the right-of-center cabinet members who -- and this is a Haaretz report I'm
quoting here -- were absolutely horrified to find out, they say, that Netanyahu had tried to conceal the draft of a cease-fire agreement. You
will have read this Haaretz report as I have. Your thoughts?
LEVY: I think they may be hamming it up a little to the media, their level of surprise. But yes, Israeli politics has moved to the right. The
prime minister is from the right. But his opposition from the left is weak, his own cabinet is probably even further to the right of him, many of
And I think what you have is an Israeli prime minister who essentially cornered himself. He talked the language of demilitarizing Gaza. That
can't be achieved. People who are kept in an open-air prison are going to resist.
But he has also compared Hamas to groups like ISIS and Boko Haram. That's PR messaging. In reality, it's nonsense. Israeli is negotiating
with Hamas in Egypt. But what it means is, it's much more difficult for the prime minister afterwards to turn around and sell a deal to his own
cabinet if he's talked about and depicted Hamas in these terms and been doing such saber rattling.
So, that is one of the reasons why I think we're stuck. I think the Egyptian mediator is somewhat more problematic. But you may end up needing
a deal that third parties secure with Israel and also with the Palestinians on Gaza.
And the most crucial thing is will Gaza be opened up to the world, because as long as Gazans feel that they are living in an open-air prison,
it will be human nature to do something about it, to resist, and to get people's attention.
ANDERSON: In your words, not mine, "If peacetime doesn't lead to the opening of Gaza, then Gazans have no incentive for peace." Sir, with that,
we're going to leave it there. Always a pleasure to talk to you. Thank you.
Well, there is no denying the damage and human suffering that this violence has caused, but animals, too, have been caught in the crossfire,
as CNN's Fred Pleitgen now reports.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The violence between Israel and Hamas claimed more than 2,000 lives, and it's
not only humans that are suffering.
This is Gaza's zoo. It was hit by several airstrikes during the hostilities. The sole surviving baboon sits in his tiny cage while the
carcasses of his mate and five babies lie decomposing in the August heat.
"Eight to ten monkeys were killed," says the zoo's chief vet. "Also, a peacock, a gazelle, a lion, and a fox." The ground around the cages is
littered with carcasses. And the surviving animals seem traumatized. In this cage, a crocodile, a duck, and a pelican huddle together.
To make matters worse, the zoo says it can't afford to feed them anymore, and that they're not getting any help. The vet says the lions
especially are close to starving. "They haven't eaten in 10 to 15 days," he says. "We couldn't get here while the fighting was going on."
The situation is so bad that we decided to buy chicken meat for the lions at a local market. It was clear just how hungry they were when we
fed it to them. The zoo is part of a larger amusement park operated by Hamas.
PLETIGEN (on camera): This recreation area was built in 2008, and it was supposed to be a tourist attraction for people here in Gaza. But now,
as you can see, most of the park has been destroyed in the recent fighting.
PLEITGEN (voice-over): The Israeli military says it's investigating claims it hit the park. Hamas says this is a civilian area, but we did see
charred and mangled metal cases on the ground that looked like destroyed rocket batteries, which Israeli sources tell CNN may have been targeted in
But no matter the circumstances, the animals here continue to suffer. Held in inadequate and damaged cages, traumatized by violence, and now
facing the prospect of starvation.
Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Jabaliya, Gaza.
ANDERSON: From civil strife in the Middle East to a deadly disease outbreak in West Africa, the world is facing a lot of challenges right now.
But amid all the misery, the thousands of humanitarian aid workers who risk their own lives to help others bring us a glimmer of hope, of course.
Today is World Humanitarian Day. We want to pay tribute by hearing from a many who symbolizes the human spirit, Saleh Dabbakeh of the
International Committee of the Red Cross. Have a listen to him.
SALEH DABBAKEH, INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS: I have been working throughout my professional life in international organizations,
international humanitarian organizations. And I believe that ICIC is doing a great job assisting people, especially in conflict -- armed conflict
I have lived in a refugee camp for the first years -- 14 years, actually -- of my life. Time to pay back some of that. I've seen hundreds
and hundreds -- thousands, actually -- of displaced people that could not even find shelter in any place whatsoever, so they ended up under bridges.
It's extremely difficult.
And we're talking about probably over one million people that have been displaced during the past eight months in Iraq. It's very difficult
to actually access a lot of these people. Many of these people that had been displaced mainly because it's too dangerous.
And I have seen last week that were able only to run away, to flee their villages with only what they had on, just their clothes. They need
everything, all the necessities that people take for granted, these people have lost totally.
Suddenly, it's a time when we really need to reinforce our humanity, when we need to reinforce the fact that we need everybody to behave in wars
according to the international humanitarian law.
ANDERSON: Those words on World Humanitarian Day. I'm going to take a very short break, back after this.
ANDERSON: A couple of minutes left of this show. We are talking shop before we go tonight. We're going to look at how Asia and the Middle East
are making retail therapy big business in every possible way. It is One Square Meter for you.
JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR (voice-over): For the last decade, China has had the most dynamic retail sector. Colossal
consumer power saw mega malls built at a rapid rate. Shanghai's Global Harbor, the biggest and latest addition.
Retailers who successfully entered this market now shift focus to the next shopping frontier. Young populations and rising incomes put Southeast
Asia in the spotlight. Developers in the region are keen to tap into this demand. Meet queen of the mall Supaluck Umpujh. She wants to make Bangkok
a shopping destination.
SUPALUCK UMPUJH, VICE CHAIRWOMAN, THE MALL GROUP: I have a winning formula to win the heart of our consumer. We like to set a new benchmark.
We would like to make something unique, outstanding, one of a kind, and it has to be world class.
DEFTERIOS: The latest addition to the Mall Group portfolio is Emquartier Retail District in Sukhumvit. This 700,000-square-meter area
will include luxury stores, restaurants, entertainment, helipad, and waterfall. Malls are not just palaces of consumption in some regions, but
serve a social function as well.
NICK MACLEAN, MIDDLE-EAST MD, CBRE: The malls in the Middle Eastern context have a different function for society than they do, perhaps, in the
US or other markets around the world because they're a social meeting point.
The number of cafes and the F&B outlets in all of them are invariably packed. So the social components of a mall here is much more important
than it is in some of the other overseas markets.
DEFTERIOS: That social component and hot summer weather helps keep Middle Eastern visitors returning and the mall projects growing in size.
Where the most spectacular will be the Mall of the World in Dubai, a 4.5 million-square-meter indoor city.
BARRY HUGHES, SENIOR VP ARCHITECT, HOK: I don't think a mall can ever get too big anymore than I think a city can get too big.
DEFTERIOS: Architect Barry Hughes of HOK is a retail specialist who has built successfully around the world. The Lusail Doha Marina Mall is
their latest development.
HUGHES: I think what ends up happening is you end up with a shopping mall that operates on a number of visits. It's sort of like Disneyland.
Most people don't do Disneyland all in one day.
DEFTERIOS: Umpujh is preparing for the future. She has another bigger Bangkok project in the pipeline. When it comes to shopping malls,
she believes there's no need to think small.
DEFTERIOS: John Defterios, CNN.
ANDERSON: And that was CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. Your news follows.