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Russia's Operations in Syria Escalate; Obama Apologizes to Medecins Sans Frontieres. Aired 3-4p ET.

Aired October 7, 2015 - 15:00   ET




HALA GORANI, HOST: Tonight, Russia's operations in Syria escalate.


GORANI: With new naval bombardments of what the country calls terrorist targets. The U.S. says Moscow's actions are a fundamental mistake.

Plus an advisor to the FIFA President tells CNN, Sepp Blatter has been temporarily suspended.

Also U.S. President Barack Obama personally apologizes to Medicins Sans Frontieres after a deadly U.S. attack on a critical Afghan hospital. We

speak with the U.S. Executive Director.

And CNN takes you inside the world's largest refugee camp where for many; a place of refuge has become a place of despair.


GORANI: Hello everyone, I'm Hala Gorani, we're live at CNN, London. A lot to get through this hour, we appreciate your company. This is The World

Right Now.


GORANI: Well, by any definition you would call this an escalation based on what we're hearing is happening on the ground. First air strikes, now

(cruise) missile attacks from the sea. Russia is taking its war tonight to a whole new level on the enemies of Syrian President Bashar al Assad.


GORANI: These dramatic pictures are coming to us from Russia's defense ministry. They show some of the 26 missiles flights launched Wednesday, all

the way from the Caspian Sea. That is not next door. 1,500 kilometers away. Russia's first naval bombardment comes amid reports of a major new

offensive on the ground. An opposition group says Syrian troops backed by Russian air power are battling Islamist rebels in Hama and Idlib provinces.


GORANI: Let's get right to our two senior national correspondents on the story. Matthew Chance is in Moscow, and Ben Wedeman is following

developments from Beirut.

Matthew, first to you, and as I was telling our viewers, there just about minute ago, this is really a whole new level as far as Russia's involvement

in the Syrian war is concerned.

MATTHEW CHANCE, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it certainly is. It's been a dramatic day of military escalation here and of course in

Syria. Dramatic week, in fact.

Over the past seven days since these Russian air strikes began Russia has carried out 112 attacks on positions, on targets inside Syria according to

defense ministry officials. Bringing a whole new level of fire power into the Syrian civil war. Fire power that's been delivered by some of Russia's

most advanced military hardware, both in the air and now in a new twist from the sea as well.


CHANCE: Tearing into the night, over the Caspian Sea, Russia's first naval barrage of its Syrian war and the latest dramatic escalation in this

conflict. Russia's military says it's now using some of its most advanced warships and precise weapons to strike ISIS and other terrorist groups in

Syria. The Russian Defense Minister proudly informed the Russian President of the details in this highly staged meeting, broadcast on state


SERGEY SHOYGU, RUSSIAN DEFENSE MINISTER: (As translated) four missile ships launched 26 cruise missiles on 11 targets. All the targets have been

destroyed, and no civilian facilities have been hit. The strike results have confirmed the missiles high long-range efficiency, at distances of

nearly 1,500 kilometers.

CHANCE: The defense ministry has released this map of the twisting route the missiles took from the Caspian across Iran and Iraq to their targets in

Syria. It's emerging as Russia's back door into the Middle East.

PAVEL FELGENHAUER, MILITARY ANALYST: While it's safe, there are no American spy ships around or drones or submarines, and so, they can't monitor our

launches, which is important. This is a kind of safe location. There's only Russians and Iranians there. So our ships from there can shoot like from

their home lake into enemy territory, and that's important and good.

CHANCE: And that of course includes Syria and Iraq if Russia has requested to do so.

FELGENHAUER: Yes, because that also includes Iraq, actually Iraq is closer to the Caspian than Syria is. Because right now, there's talk that the

Iraqi government may ask Russia to intervene and bomb ISIS in Iran.


CHANCE: But for the moment, Vladimir Putin who is celebrating his 63rd birthday, appears to have other priorities. Like playing in this exhibition

hockey match. State television announced he scored no less than seven goals for his team. Russian President seems unstoppable, both on and off the ice.


CHANCE: All right. Hala, well it seems that actually of bigger concern, maybe the fact that all of these air strikes from Russia whether by the

land or from the sea - by air or by sea seem to be supporting the Syrian government in their offensives against opposition groups on the ground

fueling that concern that Russia is all about trying to keep the Syrian regime in power and eliminating its enemies.

GORANI: And Ben Wedeman is in Beirut covering developments on the Syrian side of this story. What impact do we know is this having on the ground in

this, in the course of the war in Syria right now.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: What we've seen from the morning Hala is an intensification of military activity in western

Syria focused very much on Hama province, just north of Homs where we're seeing the intense bombardment, air activity, and artillery barrages going

into this area north of the city of Hama.


WEDEMAN: And certainly, what appears to be an offensive driving towards Idlib province which is the one large contiguous area controlled by non-

ISIS anti regime rebels. What we've seen however is something interesting. We're seeing that those elements that remain of the free Syrian army seem

to be using the tow anti-tank miss also this they've received, we believe in part from the United States, quite effectively against Syrian tanks and

armored personnel carriers.

We've seen four separate video clips of these tow missiles being used to destroy oncoming tanks and anti-personnel carriers. So it doesn't appear

that despite the Russian air cover, despite a week of intense air strikes that in fact the Syrian army at the moment is making dramatic progress in

retaking areas north of Hama.

So it's certainly - it also appears that United States continues to be very unhappy with this Russian focus on the non-ISIS opposition to the regime.

In fact, the U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter said, the Russians are doing the wrong thing in Syria at the moment.

ASHTON CARTER, U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: We believe Russia has the wrong strategy. They continue to hit targets that are not ISIL. We believe this

is a fundamental mistake. Despite what the Russians say, we have not agreed to cooperate with Russia, so long as they continue to pursue a mistaken



WEDEMAN: And of course, the question is, is hitting ISIS, the strategy of Russia in the first place, clearly they're in Syria to back up the regime

of Bashar al Assad which in recent months have suffered a series of setbacks on the battlefield. But not against ISIS necessarily, but more in

places like Idlib province in north western Syria where they're definitely, they had their backs to the walls. But now, of course, they're getting this

help from the regime, or rather from the Russians, and it seems if things could actually change. Hala.

GORANI: All right, Ben Wedeman in Beirut, and Matthew Chance in Moscow, thanks to both of you.

For more now on how Russia's intensified attacks may change the situation on the ground in Syria, I'm joined by our military analyst, Peter Mansoor,

he's a retired U.S. Army colonel who once served as General Petraeus's executive officer in Iraq. Thanks for being with us.

First I want to ask you about these attacks from the sea. These missile attacks launched from the Caspian Sea, we're talking 1,500 kilometers away

geographically between where these attacks originate from and where they are intended to strike.


GORANI: What do you make of the use of this weaponry in particular?

PETER MANSOOR, MILITARY ANALYST: Well, clearly the Russians have capable technology, they want to get all their players into the game, and they only

have a limited number of aircraft on the ground in Syria, maybe three dozen or so. So using cruise missiles filed from their ships in the Caspian adds

to the arsenal at their disposal, and also gives them a chance to test these weapons.

Russia hasn't been in combat lately and so it allows the Russian Defense Ministry perhaps to do some operational testing of missiles that could be

used in other conflicts as well.


GORANI: And we're showing our viewers on the map where the Caspian Sea is in relation to Syria, and of course there's Iran to fly over. There's at

least parts of Iraq, unless you want to the fly over turkey which I'm sure they're not doing in this particular case.

Not sure if we've lost -- we have lost Peter Mansoor, apologies for that.


GORANI: Just so we keep our viewers updated, we were showing you there a map of the area where we believe some of these missiles were launched from

the in the Caspian Sea. There intended target, of course Syria, some rebel- target positions. We'll try to get to Peter Mansoor and reconnect with him, if we can.

In the meantime, we're going to take a quick break. We already know FIFA's President is on his way out.



GORANI: The question is will it be sooner or later? Find out what one of his own advisors told CNN, coming up.




GORANI: Welcome back, we've been watching FIFA's President survive blow after blow to keep hold of the top job at least for now.


GORANI: But it seems Sepp Blatter may be losing grip on the situation. One of Blatter's advisors tells CNN he's been suspended from the organization

for 90 days by its ethics committee. FIFA is trying to sort itself out as accusations of corruption continue to encircle it, let's get more now. CNN

World Sports, Amanda Davies joins me in our studio.


GORANI: So Amanda, first I have to ask you about the terminology, what does provisionally suspended exactly mean?

AMANDA DAVIES, CNN WORLD SPORTS: Well, what I can tell you is that I have spoken to a very long time close adviser of Sepp Blatter.


DAVIES: A Swiss, another Swiss man, called (Klaus Stockler) who has told me that Sepp Blatter has been provisionally suspended for 90 days. This is a

suspension that we understood -- understand is being passed down by the FIFA ethics committee. That is the FIFA internal independent regulatory

body that has been looking into their President after the Swiss Office of the Attorney general opened their criminal investigations some two weeks



DAVIES: It was last week that Sepp Blatter after those investigations were open, stood in front of his staff at FIFA House in Zurich and said I am

going nowhere, these are investigations, it's not an indictment. It was at that point, the ethics committee opened their investigation. There have

been meetings over the last few days, they have been gathering evidence from a number of people after the allegations from the Swiss Attorney

General that Sepp Blatter took part in two activities that they were investigating.


DAVIES: One was the unfavorable contract with Jack Warner Concacaf, alleged to have taken place in 2005 over television rights. The other issue they've

been investigating is the disloyal payments as they called it to the Head of European Football's Governing Body, Michel Platini.

But I have to say, the official people that we're talking about here, the ethics committee, their two bodies, the Investigatory Chamber and the

Adjudicatory Chamber have responded to all of our e-mails, all of our telephone calls with no comment.

GORANI: Right. So right now it's coming from one Blatter advisor, yes, but he is close enough to him that of course his information is certainly

deserving of, a lot of --

DAVIES: (Klaus Stockler) is somebody who has, he has said he's been speaking to Sepp Blatter in the last, over the last couple of hours. He

said he's going to be speaking to him over the next 12 hours or so when he said the FIFA President has a number of big decisions to make. But he said

the message is that Sepp Blatter still continues to serve FIFA as President.

GORANI: So how does that work? Because when you're suspended from your job, you don't continue to do your job. Isn't that the whole point of a

suspension? How did he continue to be President while suspended? There's no-one else to step in.

DAVIES: Because we are hearing from the, we still need to wait for the official --

GORANI: I see.

DAVIES: Ruling from the Adjudicatory body of the FIFA Ethics Committee which is a man called Hans-Joachim Eckert, he is a .

GORANI: .but when that --

DAVIES: .. A German judge.

GORANI: OK, I was going to say when that -- if and when that comes down, someone must step in in the place of Sepp Blatter for 90 days?

DAVIES: You would presume so, Yes.

GORANI: OK, just so we're clear.

DAVIES: But Sepp Blatter insists that he's not going anywhere. But yes, Sepp Blatter is a man who has had charge of this organization for 17 years,

and he's played by his own rules up to this point. Of course, this isn't an official legal process. This is the FIFA ethics committee.


DAVIES: And there is an argument that because he is the man who said he wants to lead the reforms forward until the election on February 26th,

maybe he is the best person because who knows what could come next.

GORANI: Amanda Davies, thanks very much for talking us through this. We'll see if we can get official word in the coming hours. Perhaps as early as

tomorrow. Thanks very much, Amanda.

GORANI: Let's return to the top story, we were interrupted there in our conversation with Peter Mansoor, the retired U.S. Colonel army, very close

to General David Petraeus during his time in Iraq.

First, let me ask you, we were talking about these missile launches from the Caspian Sea, and I was asking you why would Russia now choose to use

this weaponry.


GORANI: And you said they might be testing it out and they don't have perhaps as many planes to conduct the air strikes as they want to now. Will

it be a game-changer do you think, why or why not?

MANSOOR: I don't think it'll be a game-changer simply because they can't launch enough cruise missiles to impact the war in Syria to any great

degree. It'll just add to the fire power at Assad's disposal and be part of the offensive operations that are now taking place north of Homs in the

Hama region.

But it is another tool at the disposal of Vladimir Putin and Bashar al Assad as they continue this war against what they term terrorists and is

really in part U.S. backed forces in Syria.


GORANI: But of course it's not just Russia that's involved, the United States, other countries are conducting air strikes in Syria. And there are

major risks, I don't have to tell you that to countries on different sides of the battle with different allegiances, sharing the same air space over a

country at war. How concerned are you here?


MANSOOR: Fortunately, cruise missiles fly very low to the ground. So I don't think that they're going to hit anything. I'm much, much concern

about the Russian aircraft that are flying unimpeded around Syrian air space with no coordination with the coalition air campaign violating

Turkish air space, locking their radars onto Turkish F-16s, and this, the chance for an air to air collision or an air to air engagement is very high

right now.

GORANI: OK. And we understand, in fact, that perhaps there even have been instances in which jets have flown very close to each other already.



GORANI: Let's talk a little bit about the ground battle here with reports that there is a major Syrian army offensive against some of those rebel

positions inside of Syria.


GORANI: Will the air cover, the air assistance from Russia be for them, for the Syrian army, and its battle against these rebel groups, a deciding

factor? Is it the kind of assistance that would allow them to achieve victories it couldn't otherwise.

MANSOOR: Yes, Russian air cover could provide the decisive edge that could allow the Syrian army to win these battles. Modern combined arms warfare

with tanks and armored personnel carriers and helicopters is highly dependent upon control of the air and air to ground fire power.

And having three dozen or so Russian jets at the disposal of the Syrian air force now and the Syrian army is a game-changer in that regard. The Syrian,

I would expect that this offensive is going to make some headway now against the rebel forces who are now unfortunately outgunned.

GORANI: And unfortunately because some of these rebels are anti-Assad rebels, they are not ISIS combatants, they're not even geographically near



GORANI: I mean, has the U.S. over the last year and a half, since it started these anti-ISIS strikes really just basically strategically lost to

Russia as Russia is shaping events inside Syria now?

MANSOOR: Well, the United States hasn't lost geostrategically yet, but it could if it remains on the sidelines for too long.

Clearly Vladimir Putin has changed the geopolitical game with his involvement of Russia forces directly into combat in Syria. His formation

of alliance, passive alliance with Iran and Iraq as well, and as well as Syria.


MANSOOR: And, his continuing support for the continuing existence of Bashar al Assad's regime. On the other side, you see the Obama administration and

the coalition doing very little to push back. Even when the attacks are not going against ISIS, but other rebel groups.


GORANI: Well, certainly that's been the criticism directed at the Obama administration as far as its strategy inside Syria. We'll see if anything

changes in that respect. Peter Mansoor, thanks very much, we really appreciate your analysis here on the program.

MANSOOR: Thanks Hala.

GORANI: A lot more to come tonight.



GORANI: Do these images show a crime scene or the site of a tragic mistake? The U.S. is on one side of that argument, Doctors Without Borders, the

other. We'll have who's saying what, next.




GORANI: The American President Barack Obama has personally called the head of Doctors Without Borders to apologize for a deadly bombing at a hospital

in Afghanistan.


GORANI: It comes as the organization is demanding an independent war crimes investigation. The hospital in Kunduz was the only one of its kind in the

region. The commander of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan says the bombing was a mistake, MSF says it was deliberate.


GORANI: Of the at least 22 people killed in the bombing, 12 of them were MSF staff members. Let's speak to Jason Cone now, he joins us live from New

York. He's the Executive Director for Doctors Without Borders in the United States.

Thanks, Jason Cone for being with us. First, let me ask you a little bit about MSF requesting this independent investigation. How would you like to

see it play out?

JASON CONE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS: Well, we've requested the U.S. Government to both consent to participating to and

cooperating with an international investigation led by an international humanitarian fact-finding commission.


CONE: We feel like this is absolutely necessary in order to have an independent and impartial accounting of what happened in Kunduz and why our

hospital was bombed by U.S. Forces.

GORANI: You don't trust a U.S. military investigation or an Afghan investigation into this? You want an outside body to conduct it.

CONE: Yes, we want an outside body. We think that's the only way to find out independently and partially what happened. I think the changing stories

of the last 72 to 96 hours since our hospital was bombed only underscores the need to have this impartial independent investigation. We think it's

absolutely critical, and it's the only way to get down to the answer as to how and why that this brave attack on international humanitarian law took


GORANI: And does MSF believe it was deliberate? I mean this despite the fact that President Obama called to apologize. I mean, has that changed any

minds or is that still the position of Doctors Without Border?

CONE: Our position is is that this hospital's existed for four years. It was active and treating nearly 400 wounded in the days leading up to the

attack on Saturday, October 3rd. We provided GPS coordinates of each of the structures on our large hospital compound. And the same building was

repeatedly stuck and led to the death of our staff and patients.

Those are the facts we know. There are many more facts to be accounted for and that's why we think it's critical that we have this International

Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission. It was created by 76 states that have signed the convention. And its role is to enforce international

humanitarian law and to investigate brave reaches like the one that played out on Saturday morning.


GORANI: And so you're referring to the International Humanitarian Fact Finding Commission, it was set up in '91, it's never been used which is

something I didn't know. Neither the U.S. nor Afghanistan are signatory. So this is -- there's quite a -- I mean there are many challenges ahead before

this can happen.

CONE: Only one state has to consent and basically sponsor the investigation. And then the U.S. and Afghanistan do have to consent to it,

obviously. There are a number of, there are a number of states that could sponsor this, sponsor this inquiry, and I think it's absolutely critical

that they step forward if they have any credible claims to defending the Geneva Conventions and the Rules of Law. Rules of war rather.

GORANI: OK. And was this brought up with President Obama in the call today, do you know? And if so, what was the response?

CONE: We actually don't comment on the nature of calls between our International President and Heads of State. I can tell you that we did

inform the U.S. Government ahead of this public announcement, formerly, through a letter to President Obama, Secretary of Defense, and Secretary of

State before we made the public announcement and we sent messages to all the 76 signatories to the convention.

GORANI: All right. Jason Cone, the Executive Director of MSF USA, thanks very much. And of course our condolences to your organization, a terrible,

terrible event there. We really appreciate you joining us this evening.

CONE: Thank you very much, Hala.

GORANI: This is The World Right Now.


GORANI: Coming up, find out how the FBI and Moldovan authorities say they thwarted the potentially smuggling of nuclear material. We are live in New

York with that story, stay with us.





GORANI: Welcome back, a look at our top stories. Russia's defense ministry says it has carried out more than 110 air strikes in Syria between

September 30th and today.


GORANI: That news coming via twitter as much of the news we get these days in fact comes to us. And new video shows Syrian troops advancing into

rebel-controlled areas in Hama province, some 220 kms from Damascus. Syria's opposition says the Russian military backed up the ground advance

with air strikes in Hama, but also in Idlib. More on that in a moment.


GORANI: Also among the top stories, the President of the FIFA, Sepp Blatter has been suspended for 90 days according to one of his own advisors who

spoke to CNN.


GORANI: He says the decision was made by FIFA's ethics committee. But in a statement, to CNN Blatter's lawyer said he had not yet been notified of any

action taken by the committee.


GORANI: The FBI helped authorities in eastern Europe thwart the smuggling of radioactive and nuclear material, according to a law enforcement source.


GORANI: The sting operations took place in Moldova and are several years old. They were concerns that the material would be sold to extremist



GORANI: All right. Let's go live to New York for the very latest, CNN's Evan Perez is there.

Talk to us a little bit about this information, which as I told our viewers is not recent, but it's something that's been made public today.

EVAN PEREZ, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Hala. There's a series of these operations that have been done by Moldovan authorities with

the concerns simply that there was - there's these smugglers both in Moldova and across the border in the Russian-controlled (inaudible) region.


PEREZ: Which when you have these smugglers who are willing to sell to anyone. These are people who could perhaps sell this radioactive material,

nuclear material to extremist groups. That has been the concern on the minds of the FBI and the Moldovan authorities.


PEREZ: They've arrested several of these people over the last couple of years. Actually, one of the arrests, most recent arrest occurred in

February. The FBI assisted in helping set up these stings in which essentially informants were posing as middlemen for extremist groups and

they were trying to make these deals with the smugglers who are believed to have ties to Russian criminal groups.


PEREZ: Again, these are groups that don't really care to whom they're selling to, they want money. And so the concern from, in the hands -- in

the hands of extremist groups, this material could be used to make some kind of dirty bomb for use either in the battlefield in Syria and Iraq, or

perhaps in Europe or the United States.

GORANI: All right, thanks very much. Evan Perez with the very latest on that story.

U.S. Defense Secretary calls Russia's campaign in Syria, "fundamental mistake." But Washington's objections are not slowing Russia down.


GORANI: Today, for the first time, the navy launched precision strikes, or at least they're meant to be, precision strikes at ISIS targets from the

Caspian Sea. Let's look a closer look at the latest escalation with Fawaz Gerges, he's the Chair of Contemporary Middle East Studies at the London

School of Economics and the author of the New Middle East.


GORANI: Fawaz, thanks for being with us. So we have a map -- because you lose track or because we talk about Syria every day, but we're not sort of

contextualizing it in terms of where the strikes are happening. There it is behind us. Fawaz so, red is where ISIS is in control, but most of the air

strikes are centered around Hama, Idlib province, in that part of the area.

FAWAZ GERGES, AUTHOR NEW MIDDLE EAST: This is Hala, the soft valley of the Syrian army. You're talking about Homs, Hama, and Idlib. And if you see

almost 90% of the air strikes, Russian air strikes are really on this soft valley. I mean most of the reports you have seen today talking about the

Syrian army, the ground forces advancing to gain territories.


GERGES: In fact, it's not about gaining territories, it's about consolidating areas under its control. They want to prevent the so called -

the army, the conquest army which is made up of (inaudible)


GERGES: . (inaudible) is the official arm of Al Qaeda, (inaudible) which is a (inaudible) and other Syrian army groups to prevent the army of conquest

from strengthening (inaudible), which is really the heartland of the Assad regime. And also its threatening transportation on the highways between

Hama, Homs, and Damascus.

GORANI: Could we be, but when we look at this map, could we be seeing the beginning of what might one day sadly become a de facto partition of this


GERGES: Actually if you want to make sense what's happening now really is about consolidation. It's not about the Syrian army gaining more

territories, basically by preventing the opposition, mainly the hard core opposition (inaudible) and other groups from threatening the areas under

the Syrian army control. This is really what's happening on the ground. Even though, the Russians are really trying to play, play thick for saying


GORANI: They're saying they're targeting ISIS, but they're really targeting ISIS a lot less than they're targeting these other groups that you mention.

GERGES: Absolutely. They're basically if you tell me what are the base targets of the Russian. The basic targets are (inaudible) front, this is

the official arm of Al Qaeda central. And they're targeting (inaudible) another powerful Islamist faction and some minor Syrian opposition groups.

So this is really where the heartland, this is where the never center of the Syrian regime is.

GORANI: I want to remind our viewers what they're seeing on the map in terms of the colors.


GORANI: Because what's red on the map is the ISIS-controlled territory. Not sure you can say with confidence that it goes as close as we have it

indicated there to the Turkish quarter, but certainly the general area East of Aleppo to Raqqa, their de facto capital. Of course they now control

Palmyra as we've seen the tragedy there in all these antiquities destroyed.

But most of the air strikes there much closer to the coast, Homs, Hama, and Idlib.

GERGES: This is really, this is where basically Russians are concentrating their attacks. Because in the last six months, Hala, as you know, you and I

have been talking about it. Basically the army of conquest (inaudible) and other opposition forces have been really making (inaudible) gains against

the Syrian army. In particular, in Latakia. Latakia is where Assad comes from. It's really the power place.


GORANI: Yes, it's the Alawite heartland there. But could we -- is this consolidation preparation for the eventuality of an Alawite sort of regime

controlled section of Syria? That this becomes the kind of Alawite area?


GERGES: Well, I mean it's on the ground you have this integration map. You have fragmentation. So you have, I mean hundreds of war lords, but the idea

is I don't think an Alawite state is durable. In fact today, the Russian President made a (inaudible), even though the air strikes are really

coordinating with the ground forces of the Syrian army. He said the only way is a political solution. Let me put an eye on the table you might

disagree with me, and probably your audience.


GERGES: My take on it is that the Russians might discover sooner rather than later that air strikes will not make a strategic defense on the

ground. Syria now, and this is why the Russians would have no --

GORANI: So then what? Well of course if you look at the U.S. air strikes.

GERGES: Absolutely.

GORANI: It hasn't - it hasn't driven back ISIS --

GERGES: 7,000 American air strikes have not dented the strategic balance either in Iraq or Syria.


GERGES: My hope, our hope, the Russians would come to their senses, they would exert pressure on the Syrian President to come to the table and the

Russian President what did he talk about? Merging the free Syrian army with the Syrian army. This has been (inaudible)

GORANI: But if this helps him - if this helps him because you are air strikes as well as missile strikes from the Caspian Sea, if this helps him

then there's much less of an incentive to push President Assad to make any kind of concession on the negotiating - around the negotiating table.

GERGES: Absolutely but the Russians now, they have their prestige and interest involved. The Russians will discover, they cannot change its

strategic balance. If they want to win the Syria, the only way the Russians can win is to really find a way to bridge the divide between the Syrian

opposition and the Syrian army.

I don't expect the Russian to be very foolish. The thing that Assad really could regain control of all of Assad. In fact, Putin's statement today

about merging the free Syrian army with the Syrian army is the (inaudible) plan. Is the U.N. officials' basically tentative plan for Syria. This could

be the beginning, even though now it's the first round, the second and third round, the Russians would discover. Like the Americans.

GORANI: What I do agree with you on is that the more you have a stake in the game, the more likely you are to be pressured into negotiations.

GERGES: Absolutely.

GORANI: We'll see. I mean for the sake of the Syrian people. Thank you very much Fawaz Gerges, as always, a pleasure talking to you. This is The World

Right Now.



GORANI: Four years on from a devastating famine in East Africa. CNN's David McKenzie returns to meet people in what is the world's largest refugee

camp. Some startling images, ahead.





GORANI: Well the European Union is to begin seizing boats, smuggling migrants across the Mediterranean.


GORANI: The operation is named Sophia, after a baby born on a rescue ship in august. They will be focusing on the Mediterranean Sea north of Libya.

You can see the number of people who've crossed the Mediterranean to Italy; more than 130,000, and a lot more are crossing into Greece. More than

400,000. But crucially a lot more have died attempting to come to Italy. 2,700 compared to 260 trying to reach Greece.


GORANI: The refugee crisis in Europe has grabbed world headlines for months, but of course it is not the only crisis in the world. There are

millions of refugees around the globe. Four years after famine struck east Africa, David McKenzie revisits the world's largest refugee camp in Kenya.


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Even in the best of times, (inaudible) the refugee camp is unforgiving. And we've come back four years

after the devastating famine of 2011.

So we think he's here in K1 section. He looks very familiar.

Looking for a man whose story deeply moved us. We met Adnan Nuud Ibrahim as he carried Sarah, his dead child. Ibrahim fled war and starvation but he

couldn't afford the $1 it took to take Sarah to a hospital. So she died of hunger.

Today, in the maze of tents, we find Ibrahim's family, they are still struggling to survive. (Inaudible) says her husband left the camp in

desperation. He felt so ashamed she says that he couldn't provide for our remaining children. He went to Somalia to try to find some work. The

agencies have abandoned us. Like everyone here, their food rations have been cut by 30%.

The Dadaab set up more than 20 years ago has a temporary refuge for fleeing the civil war. Now there are more than 300,000 people living here, it's the

biggest refugee camp in the world.

Dadaab has become one of Kenya's largest cities but remains a maze of temporary structures built by a population that needs permission to leave.

Two-thirds of refugees globally, more than 14 million people live in protracted situations like this.

Has the world forgotten about Dadaab?

DR. JOHN KIOGORA INTERNATIONAL RESCUE COMMITTEE: I think the world has forgotten Dadaab and they are going to other emerging emergencies like


MCKENZIE: So Doctors like John Kiogora continue to treat babies like one day old Nira.

KIOGORA: So the baby's fine.

MCKENZIE: He says, recent aid cuts could cause malnutrition to spike. Why aren't things changing?

KIOGORA: There's no (inaudible) solution for (inaudible) here.

MCKENZIE: When they fled Somalia, (Arden Ada) says they never knew how long they would stay. We were running for our lives she tells us. She lost her

child, and now her husband. I'm heartbroken, she says. Years later, the refuge she hoped to find has only brought her struggle,

David McKenzie, CNN, Dadaab, Kenya.


GORANI: Still ahead, if you think space is already limited on planes --


GORANI: Airbus has come up with new plans that might make today's airplane's seem downright roomy. Stay with us.




GORANI: Does flying make you feel crammed in like a sardine? Well guess what, Airbus has filed a patent to cram even more passengers on planes. The

designs include stacking flyers on top of one another. Samuel Burke is here to explain how it would work.

SAMUEL BURKE: Hala, when I got in the airplane to come over to London, I thought why can't we fit more people in the airplane.

GORANI: That's my first thought when I'm on a plane. Why can't they just add an extra person next to me.

BURKE: So take a look at these pictures, this is a patent that Airbus submitted to both the EU as well as the United States.


BURKE: You know the middle row in business class, so there's six seats --

GORANI: This is a business class cabin?

BURKE: This is a business class cabin. Good news for people in economy for one, they actually want to stack one row on top of another. So there would

actually be little stairs that you would climb up three stairs, and people would be on top of each other.


BURKE: Your producer pointed out something, what if they're serving food and they drop it on you.

GORANI: Maybe there are two bands, like the sort of real business and then the sort of lower level business where you only get cold cuts and water.

BURKE: So it doesn't hurt when they spill it on top of the people below. Now you know in business class, the seats go all the way down, on this

mezzanine level, they're calling it, it sounds posh when you say mezzanine level, the seats will also go all the way down. 600 patents are submitted

each year by Airbus, and very few of them actually ever come to life.

GORANI: Look at these -- this is the same height of a ceiling, right?


GORANI: It's not like they're expanding the cabin to add an extra layer. We're bunking. This'll be bunk beds.

BURKE: I always wanted a top bed when I was a kid, but now I'm thinking the bottom sounds okay.

So basically what they're saying Airbus is that on some airplanes in the middle section of business class, there's no room for baggage as it is.

Apparently on some airplanes.

GORANI: There's no room for baggage, but there's room for you.

BURKE: So they say, it's just dead space, in fact, let me read for you --

GORANI: Don't use our words.

BURKE: Oh yes, sorry. What exactly it says in the patent.


BURKE: Airbus saying "in modern means of transport, and in particular in aircraft, it is very important from an economic point of view to make

optimum use of the available space in a passenger cabin." So apparently, that's just free space that they had to use, I just --


GORANI: Let me ask you this though, business class passengers, I mean they're picky, you know they obviously have the money to fly to pay

thousands of dollars to fly --

BURKE: Or their companies do.

GORANI: Or their companies do. You know, is this going to fly so to speak?

BURKE: Oh, very clever. So apparently you can get 30% more people in the business class section with these seats.

GORANI: Oh, so that just means we're going to get a 30% discount.

BURKE: Oh Hala, I wish you were running the airlines. Somehow or another, I don't feel like ticket prices are going down any time soon. Even though the

price of fuel is going down and they're packing us in like sardines --


GORANI: Still the same ticket price. When we will know if this is going to get the go ahead?

BURKE: Only time will tell.

GORANI: All right, Samuel Burke, thanks very much for that. All right. Might be interesting -

BURKE: Or no thank you for that.

GORANI: Or no thanks - no thanks. Thanks for nothing. All right, thanks, Samuel Burke.

It is always annoying by the way to lose your ID card, I don't know if it's happened to you, it's annoying, it takes forever to replace it. It happened

to a student named Lauren, but guess what, Hollywood superstar Tom Hanks is trying to help. He tweeted out this -


GORANI: "Lauren, I found your student id in the park, if you still need it, my office will get it to you." Her ID shows she studies at Fordham

University in New York City. I wonder though Samuel if she's going to get a personal deliver from Tom - Mr. Tom Hanks.

BURKE: Have you ever seen the blog where they collect pictures of people who tweet out pictures, I just got my new credit card and they actually

take photos of the new credit card, the numbers and everything, tweet it out for the world to see and this blog collects all these idiot's pictures.


GORANI: And then on the signature script, just the little security code as well to make it easier for you to steal my card.

Thanks very much. Don't forget you can check out our Facebook,, we always appreciate your thoughts on the


This has been The World Right Now. I'm Hala Gorani, from Samuel and the team and myself, thanks for watching Quest Means Business is next.