Return to Transcripts main page
CONNECT THE WORLD
Women's Rights Protesters Interrupt Suffragette Premiere; What is Russia's Endgame with Syria? Sepp Blatter, Michel Platini Suspended by FIFA; Yazidi Women Tell Their Stories; Volkswagen USA President Testifies Before U.S. Congress. Aired 11:00a-12:00p ET
Aired October 8, 2015 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:16] BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: On the offensive, Syria with Russian support in the air and from the sea, launches a widescale assault on
territory the embattled government says is controlled by terrorists.
Tonight, we'll have the very latest on what is this military blitz.
Also ahead, FIFA bosses banned: President Sepp Blatter and other top executives slapped with 90 day suspensions. A live report for you from
Zurich in five minutes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENITIFIED FEMALE: It's exactly what this film is about. If you feel strongly about something, and if there's an injustice being done, you
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Suffragette premieres in London, but it wasn't the stars in the spotlight as demonstrators against domestic violence took center stage.
We take a look at life imitating art later in the hour.
ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World with Becky Anderson.
ANDERSON: A very warm welcome, it is a minute past 7:00 here. Just over two months ago, President Bashar al Assad announced to Syria and the
world that his army was struggling in its fight against anti-government rebels and terror groups like ISIS. Well, now this footage released by a
pro-Assad militia aims to tell a different story, that of reinvigorated army advancing under the crucial cover of Russian air support.
A Syrian army chief says a widescale offensive against opposition fighters of all shades is now underway.
Meanwhile, ISIS is releasing its own propaganda footage that purports to show fighting in Hamaa province. This new video shows militants firing
on what they say is a Syrian army barracks.
Our CNN senior international correspondent Matthew Chance and Arwa Damon covering this story for us from Moscow and from Istanbul this
Matthew, we are some -- what, a week in now to this Russian intervention, what are we learning about its weaponry and what's being
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we're just over a week into it. You're right, this is the eighth day of the campaign
by Russia inside Syria against what it says are ISIS and other terrorist groups. In actual fact, what it seems to be doing -- and it's not talking
about this publicly, but it's becoming pretty clear from events on the ground -- is that it is striking at any opposition group that is in
opposition to Bashar al-Assad, its long-time ally in Damascus.
Clearly, Russia is playing the air support role to a Syrian army offensive. Syria also backed by Hezbollah fighters and elements of the
Iranian military as well. And that's what's taking place. And so that situation is happening.
For the first time yesterday, the Russians launched a naval bombardment as well on targets inside Syria as well. So now they're
bringing a kind of unprecedented level of firepower to the conflict in Syria and undoubtedly that kind of firepower will eventually, if not right
now, then soon, make a difference to the balance of power on the field inside Syria. And I expect we're going to see the results of it coming to
us pretty soon
ANDERSON: Arwa, what do we know about casualties on the ground?
ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we were just actually speaking with a leading member of the Syrian civil defense unit,
also known as the White Helmets. They're a group of independent volunteers sift through the rubble in the aftermath of strikes and bombings, trying to
(inaudible) who they can. And they've doing this for quite some time now mostly due to the Assad regime's fighter jets and indiscriminate barrel
bombs. But now they're also having to contend, they say, with the aftermath of the Russian bombings.
And according to them, at least 182 people have been killed, including one of their own and over 500 wounded. These, they say, are the account
that they have of civilian casualties who, they claim, were taking place at the hands of these various different source of Russian bombardment.
Of course, Russia has been saying up until now that its strikes are precise and that it is now targeting civilians and that it has not caused
But really, Becky, no matter who it is to blame, perhaps the whole point in all of this is the fact that it is happening at all.
And while we hear Russia and the Assad regime and the United Sates and NATO talking about strategic military maneuvers and pinpoint strikes, the
reality on the ground is that people are dying, children are dying, families are being ripped apart. And what that rhetoric looks like when
you look at these horrific videos coming out of Syria, they are children being pulled out of the dust, crying. They, the lucky ones that were
rescued. There are other children like one in a video that we just saw who was covered in blood, screaming out in pain and crying out for his mother.
[11:05:29] ANDERSON: Arwa, is Russia tipping the balance for Bashar al-Assad on the ground?
DAMON: It looks as if it is, or as Matthew was just saying it eventually will be. The difference between what Russia is doing, what the
U.S.-led coalition is doing, is becoming very painfully apparent. Russia, of course, saying that is targeting ISIS and other terrorist organizations,
which in its perspective may perhaps be the case, given that the Assad regime does consider just about every single rebel entity to be a terrorist
But it is at the end of the day targeting these areas that are strategic locations that Assad's forces had been trying to advance in, and
it does seem as if eventually it will be paving the way for them to do that, because the rebel fighters on the ground do not have American or
other firepower at their disposal that they can call in.
So, yes, speak to the activists, speak to the rebel commanders and they do say that eventually the scales will tip in favor of the Assad
regime. More people will die and more people will be displaced, more refugees will flood across the borders. This is a sheer and utter
And we've been saying that phrase ever since the Syrian revolution turned civil war began. But right now when you talk to those people that
are having to endure these bombings on a regular basis, it is beyond anything even they could have imagined.
ANDERSON: Arwa Damon is across the border in Turkey for you, Matthew in Moscow. Thank you.
Later in this show, we're going to look at Russia's long-standing ties with the Arab world from Cold War alliance to Putin era partnerships. A
special report coming up in about 20 minutes time for you.
And I'll also be asking Harvard professor Stephen Walt what he thinks the U.S. and Russia's propping up of opposing sides in Syria will lead to.
And after more than a year of some 7,000 U.S.-led airstrikes against ISIS, the group still has a firm hold on its territory. In the last in a
series of reports, we look at the theology they use to justify their crimes.
Moving on, and officials in Yemen say that hospitals are overflowing with victims in the southern town of Sanabani (ph) after airstrikes hit a
wedding celebration there. They say at least 30 people were killed in Wednesday's attack, dozens more, they say, were wounded. The wedding took
place in Damaa Province (ph) in an area controlled by Houthi rebels.
The Saudi coalition who is bombing Houthi targets denies responsibility saying it did not carry out strikes there.
This is the second recent attack on a wedding party in Yemen. Last week, at least 131 civilians were reported killed.
Well, for months Sepp Blatter has managed to weather the storm surrounding corruption allegations at FIFA, until now, that is. He's been
banned from the organization for 90 days. The same suspension added to the UEFA boss Michel Platini. And FIFA's general secretary -- Secretary-
General Jerome Valcke.
The decision taken by FIFA's ethics committee and kicks in straight away.
Let's get you to Zurich and CNN's Amanda Davies who is standing by outside FIFA headquarters.
Is this the beginning of the end for Sepp Blatter?
AMANDA DAVIES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: You think it probably is, Becky. We understand that Sepp Blatter went in to the office in defiance
really as he has acted throughout the recent weeks and months of speculation. But then at around half past 12:00 here Zurich time we got
the news, the press release from the FIFA ethics committee from the internal investigatory body, really, that was examining the FIFA president,
which said that they had agreed to provisionally to suspend him for 90 days. That's a suspension that takes him through until January. And the
head of the African football Issa Hayatou is the man who has stepped up as the acting president of FIFA, but he very much insists that that is only
until February 26, which of course is the date of the presidential election that had been set for Sepp Blatter's long-term successor.
But I have to tell you, Becky, there is a 48 hour window where both Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini and Jerome Valcke can appeal this ruling by
the ethics committee. To do that, they have to send a fax to FIFA. They would appeal to the appeals committee, this is a body that loves a
committee -- there's a committee for everything. But the appeals committee would be the one that would examine the case. If they didn't like that,
then they could of course take it to the court of arbitration for sport.
But I think it needs to be stressed, Becky, that this is an internal suspension from FIFA. This is in now related to those police inquiries and
investigations that are going on both here in Switzerland and across the pond with the FBI in the United States.
So, there's still much, much more that can come.
ANDERSON: Amanda is in Zurich and if she gets wind of that fax -- does seem quite ridiculous in 2015 -- I'm sure she will let us know.
Still to come tonight, three new stabbing attacks. Israel on edge. We'll see how prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is responding to the
ANDERSON: German prosecutors have raided Volkswagen's headquarters to search for documents related to the carmaker's emissions scandal. Right
now the head of Volkswagen U.S. -- I'm going to show you him -- testifying before a congressional committee on that scandal. These are live pictures
for you. Michael Horn apologized to lawmakers and said it was only last month that he learned about the software the could cheat emissions tests.
Well, for the latest from there, Rene Marsh joining me from Washington.
What's he being asked and what's he said at this point?
RENE MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right now, as you can see, he is still fielding questions from lawmakers right there on Capitol Hill. Amongst the
questions asked of him -- did he know about all of this? When did he know about it? Who is responsible?
He's told them so far that he did not know that this software was installed. He knew of the of the possibility in 2014, but he also told the
committee that he didn't know how the software worked.
He also said that this would be a major fix in order to correct the issue on these vehicles. He also laid out that this would be a multi-year
remedy. So it will take several years before all of these vehicles are remedied.
He spoke just a short time ago. His words very apologetic before this committee on Capitol Hill. I want you to take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL HORN, VOLKSWAGEN USA CEO: I did not think that something like this was possible at the Volkswagen group. We have broken the trust of our
customers, dealerships, employees as well as the public and the regulators. And let me be very clear, we at Volkswagen take full responsibility for our
actions. And we are working with all the relevant authorities in a cooperative way.
I'm here to offer the commitment of Volkswagen AG to work with this committee to understand what happened and how we will move forward.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARSH: All right. And of course we got to this point, because the automaker is accused of cheating on emissions standards here in the United
States by using software to essentially trick emissions tests into believing that the VW diesel cars were in compliance, but in fact the cars
were spewing out 40 times the emissions allowed. Again, he admitted to knowing about a possible scheme in 2014, but said that he didn't know
definitively until last month -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Rene, thank you.
Live from Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World with me, Becky Anderson.
16 minutes past 7:00 in the UAE. Coming up, a wave of stabbing attacks reaches Israel's commercial capital. We're going to get a live
update on the escalating violence for you.
[11:20:19] ANDERSON: These are pictures of just some of the thousands of patients who retreated over the last four years at the Medecins San
Frontiers hospital in the Afghan city of Kunduz. Some of them were children, and many of them were injured in the country's brutal war. That
clinic was bombed in a U.S. airstrike on Saturday, which killed 22 people.
You're watching CNN. This is Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. Welcome back.
For 35 years, Medecins San Frontieres has been helping people in Afghanistan. It could now be pulling out of the country following that
MSF says it expects the death toll to rise with 33 people still unaccounted for.
President Obama has apologized to the organization.
Meanwhile, the battle for Kunduz continues. Afghan government forces are fighting the Taliban for control of that strategic city. A great deal
resting on its outcome.
Get you to the Afghan capital where CNN's Nic Robertson is live for you.
What is the pull of the Taliban movement, Nic? It's clear that they are a formidable enemy to both Afghan government and its international
allies. What's the lure for the average Afghan to join the group?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, some of them it might be sort of a little ideological. They believe in the very
conservative brand of Islam. But there's a growing number of young people here who just cannot get enough money to feed their families and they're
turning to the Taliban as their only option to put money in their hands, bread on their table at home. For some of them we've talked to here they
say we're going to take this option to join the Taliban, but if the economy picks up and we can get a job, then we'll go back to having a job.
And when we talk to people here who have got university educations, people who have worked for international NGOs in the past, the economy here
has taken a significant downturn. So, they have -- they feel they have nowhere else to turn to put food on their tables apart from the Taliban
where they can earn more money than they would if they do in the Afghan army, and certainly there are opportunities because the Taliban make money
as well through sort of shakedowns on gas stations and other businesses. There's an opportunity to earn extra money as well.
The economy has a lot to do with it, Becky.
ANDERSON: In his report to the U.S. congress, the special inspector- general for Afghanistan -- Afghanistan's reconstruction, a man by the name of John Sopko said, and I quote, "corruption could have the effect of
generating sympathy for the insurgency." You're in Kabul. As you say, you've spoken to many people there. How much of an issue is this for them?
And is it also playing into the hands of the Taliban?
ROBERTSON: Yes and yes. It is an issue. The president here, Ghani, is trying to tackle it. But the perception is that it's moving too slowly
in terms of sort of morale within the military and corruption within the military, that requires further changes of senior leadership and leadership
further down the command structure. That hasn't been happening as quickly as people might have hoped it would. So you have low morale in the army.
The army doesn't do so well. The Taliban looks like they're doing well. The Taliban look like a good place -- a better outfit to go and join.
I mean, all these things are connected. None of it is simple, if you will. It's a multiplicity of issues. But the perception that this
president hasn't been doing well and hasn't been addressing the problems of corruption, of some poor leadership within the army and corruption within
the army and reaching people's aspirations here, that's part of the picture, too.
ANDERSON: The push and pull in Afghanistan with Nic in Kabul for you.
The latest world news headlines -- thank you, Nic -- are just ahead on this show. Plus, from Cold War competition to post-Soviet partnerships.
We're going to take a look at the extent of Russia's ties in the Arab World and what future they might have in what is a fast changing region. More on
that in a moment.
[11:28:18] ANDERSON: At just before half past 7:00, this is Connect the World with me Becky Anderson out of the UAE. The top stories for you
FIFA President Sepp Blatter has been provisionally suspended for 90 days by the organization. The president of UEFA, Michel Platini and FIFA
Secretary-General Jerome Valcke were given the same suspensions. The Vice President Issa Hayatou, who now becomes the governing body's acting head.
Aid organization Medecins San Frontieres is reviewing its operations in Afghanistan following last weekend's attack on its hospital in Kunduz.
At least 22 people were killed and the number is expected to rise. The group has been operating in Afghanistan since 1980.
At this hour, the head of Volkswagen U.S. is testifying before a congressional committee on the carmakers emissions scandal. Michael Horn
apologized to lawmakers and said it was only last month that he learned about the software that could cheat emissions tests.
His testimony comes after German prosecutors raided Volkswagen's headquarters to documents related to the scandal.
Israel is on edge tonight after three new stabbing attacks. One of them happened in the heart of Tel Aviv. Six people in all were wounded
allegedly by Palestinian attackers.
The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is taking steps to try to diffuse the situation after promising a crackdown on the wave of terror.
Let's get you to Jerusalem. And Erin McLaughlin for the very latest - - Erin.
[11:29:54] ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, we have new details about that attack in Tel Aviv. Israeli police
saying that a Palestinian man stabbed and lightly wounded. Four Israelis using a screwdriver before being shot dead by an Israeli soldier. The
attack took place, police say, near army headquarters in Tel Aviv.
We're hearing from a mother of one of the victims, a 20-year-old Israeli soldier. She says that she saw her daughter being stabbed by a
man, her daughter lying on the ground on her rifle to try and prevent the man from snatching it before he ran off.
And this attack comes amidst a wave of violence. We've seen persistent clashes throughout the West Bank today. Overnight, there were
clashes in the West Bank, east Jerusalem as well as Arab cities throughout Israel.
And we're also hearing from Palestinian officials, Saeb Erekat saying that he's very concerned that the situation is getting out of hand. He
says that there have been repeated calls from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to try and de-escalate the situation. They said that people on the
streets want to know what would happen after a de-escalation, if the humiliation, in his words, would continue.
Now Israeli leaders, for their part, blaming Palestinians. We heard from Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. According to Israeli
officials say, calling on members in the Knesset as well as government ministers not to go to the holy sites known to Jews as the Temple Mount,
known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary to pray. In a bid to de-escalate things.
We are expecting to hear from the Israeli prime minister later this evening at a press conference alongside security officials.
ANDERSON: Erin Mclaughlin is in Jerusalem for you.
Let's get you back to our top story this evening. Russia's strikes by air and sea on Syrian rebels supporting Damascus, as they put it, against
terrorists. It's Moscow's most overt move yet in Syria. But Russia's links to the region go back decades. The Soviet Union wooed various
regimes from the 1970s onwards with varying success.
Then, as now, Moscow is trying to balance big risks with even bigger gains.
ANDERSON: Cruise missiles spiral into the night sky headed for fresh targets in Syria nearly 1,000 miles away.
Potent images of Russia's dramatic reemergence center stage in the Middle East.
Yet with each bombardment, President Putin has drawn further into the affairs of a region that has proved difficult to navigate for some of his
Including Nikita Khruhschev, Leonid Brezhnev, Mikhail Gorbachev.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every time you cultivate a friend in this part of the world either he becomes a traitor or he's overthrown.
ANDERSON: Professor Yorgi Delugin (ph) is an expert on Russia's engagement here in the Middle East.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: First, they bank on Israeli. They bank on Nasser in Egypt. So there was a huge friendship you know but it all ended badly.
Soviet Union had very bitter experiences with Saddam and with Gadhafi and Algeria. Afghanistan was a very traumatic experience, like it's done
to Americans. It is the Russian Vietnam.
ANDERSON: President Putin belongs to a generation that endured the 10 years Soviet-Afghan war in the 1980s. And although he didn't fight, some
of his friends did and died there in a prolonged and ultimately deadlocked conflict.
One of the few historical successes for Russia in the Middle East was Syria. In Bashar al-Assad's father Hafez the Soviets found someone they
could do business with. The alliance dates back to the Cold War when the Soviets gave military support to the elder Assad. In return, a naval
presence was secured in the Mediterranean by the Syrian port of Tartus.
But why wade into a regional proxy war that's been raging for four years at a time of economic challenges at home and with an ongoing low
level conflict in Ukraine? Well, the answer to that question may lie outside the Middle East.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In spite of all of his problems, President Putin has an even greater sort of ambition. He does not care about ISIS to the
extent that the west is worried about it. And he's not even particularly interested in his client patron relationship with Bashar al-Assad. But
what he is interested in, is Russia sitting at the top table being irrelevant is the worst thing possible for Vladimir Putin's vision of
ANDERSON: Putin wants to send a clear signal to anyone willing to listen. In Russia, you have an ally you can trust, an ally that will not
abandon you even when the cost it high.
It's a high risk, high reward gambit. A Russian roulette of sorts played out in the conflict battered lands of the Middle East.
[11:35:10] ANDERSON: Well, I want to bring in Stephen Walt now who is professor of international affairs at Harvard University in the States.
What is Russia's endgame here, sir?
STEPHEN WALT, HARVARD UNIVERSITY: I think Russia has a very simple and clear objective, which is to preserve the Assad regime as a meaningful
political actor in the Syrian conflict and in so doing preserve their one real point of influence or point of access to the region.
That's a fairly straight forward goal. It's one they're willing to pay some degree of price for. And in contrast to say Americans goals,
which are much more complicated and in some ways much more contradictory, I think that's an achievable goal at least in the short-term.
ANDERSON: I want to talk about the U.S. goals, or gameplan, whether it has one or not. Just in a moment. Firstly, I want to show our viewers
a recent poll from Russia's Independence Navada Center, showing that 72 percent of Russians now support airstrikes against ISIS, with only 14
Support for backing al-Assad is lower at 47 percent, but even this is a big turnaround as just two days ago a poll suggested only 14 percent of
those surveyed supported Russia's military intervention.
It looks like Putin's gamble is paying off domestically. Do you buy that?
WALT: Well, I think that in most countries not -- including the United States, decisive action usually wins some political support
initially. But I think you also will remember that Russia has faced a problem with Islamic based terrorism in places like Chechnya for many
years. And I think the many Russians regard this action as partly intended to prop up Assad, but also intended as a blow against various forms of
Certainly ISIS, but also other groups that are anti-Assad that are also rather extremist. So it's easy to present this to the Russian people
as something that is not just about retaining Russian influence in the Middle East, but also about trying to head off a longer-term problems with
Islamic terrorism that might actually come back to Russia itself.
ANDERSON: The U.S. defense secretary has had more strong words for Russia this Thursday. He's just spoken at NATO headquarters. I want you
and our viewers just to have a listen to what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ASHTON CARTER, U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY: They've come within just a few miles of one of our unmanned aerial vehicles. They have initiated a joint
ground offensive with the Syrian regime, shattering the facade that they're there to fight ISIL. This will have consequences for Russia itself, which
is rightfully fearful of attack upon Russia.
And I also expect that in coming days, the Russians will begin to suffer casualties in Syria.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: President Obama has said that Russian airstrikes in Syria won't draw the U.S. into, quote, a proxy war. But Russia's involvement
surely still poses major implications for the U.S. and its military. I said I was going to ask this question, and I will, what's the U.S.
gameplan? Does it have one?
WALT: I don't think the United States does have a clear gameplan now. And that's been the fundamental problem for several years. The problem
with the United States position, or the United states strategy, if you want to call it that, is that we're trying to pursue a series of contradictory
goals all at once. We don't like ISIS. We don't like Assad. We don't like al-Nusra, the al Qaeda affiliate that is fighting Assad. We don't
like Iranian influence there and now we don't like Russia's intrusion.
The problem is that you can't pursue all of those goals simultaneously. You have to decide which the greater problem is, is it ISIS
or is it Assad or is it outside interference?
I actually believe Russia's intrusion is an opportunity. It may not work, but it is an opportunity for us to try and rethink our strategy and
actually use this as a (inaudible) approach, one that would involve cooperating with Russia to try and focus more attention on ISIS and less
attention on trying to eliminate Assad. What we need in Syria is an end to the civil war as our first goal and then a focus on the Islamic State or
ISIS as our second goal.
ANDERSON: Do you see that coordination and cooperation as realistic? Afterall, it was only, what, six months or so ago that the U.S. was calling
for Putin to hit the exit ramp, for example, in Ukraine. Is it going to call for the same thing in Syria or do we see some coordination going
[11:40:07] WALT: I think there's no question that there are political obstacles to try to work together with Moscow, but smart strategists adapt
to new conditions. And we certainly need to have some coordination with Moscow to prevent any kind of dangerous military accident between our
forces in the region and their forces in the region. We ought to also be at least exploring the possibility of whether or not some kind of join
diplomatic coordination would begin to bring the Syrian civil war to an end. Russia may have to tacitly agree that Assad can only be a
transitional figure, can't stay there forever. That's a possibility as well.
And plus the fact we need to start trying to assemble a regional coalition with Russian help to focus on ISIL and rather than prolonging the
Syrian civil war, which doesn't benefit us, doesn't benefit Russia and is certainly a disaster for the Syrian people.
ANDERSON: With that, I'm going to leave it there. Stephen Walt, professor of international affairs at Harvard University. It's a pleasure
having you on this show, sir.
And this just in to CNN. The U.S. air force says one of the France train attack heroes has been stabbed. It says Airman First Class Spencer
Stone is hospitalized in stable condition. A defense official tells CNN he was stabbed several times during an incident at a bar in Northern
California. Stone won international praise back in August when he and several others subdued a gunman on a train heading for Paris, you will
You're with us out of Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World with me, Becky Anderson. Coming up, another very disturbing account of the terror
inflicted by ISIS. Yazidi women reveal the militants are committing rape and saying it is not a sin. The last in what has been a series of reports.
is coming up.
And the film premiere about women's rights protesters that was disrupted by women's rights protesters. We'll have that full story in just
a few minutes. Taking a very short break. Back after this.
[11:45:37] ANDERSON: The CNN Freedom Project is dedicated to giving a voice to the victims of modern-day slavery. And we make no excuses about
that. All this week we've been bringing you special reports on the plight of Yazidi women and girls in what is ISIS controlled territory. Hundreds
of them have been bought, sold and assaulted.
Those who escape say rape isn't just accepted, it is encouraged.
In our final installment of what has been a special series this week, Atika Shubert takes a disturbing look at how ISIS has made rape a core
ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Yazidi are a people as ancient as the stones they kiss at this holy spring.
SHUBERT: A unique religion that blends elements of Islam and Christianity and even more ancient practices, including sun worship,
beliefs that ISIS use to justify the murder, enslavement, and rape of the Yazidi.
Here's how one ISIS fighter explained it to the Yazidi woman he bought and raped.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
SHUBERT (on camera): So he showed you a piece of paper, a photo of that paper on his mobile phone?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
SHUBERT (voice-over): In ISIS territory, Yazidi women can be bought and sold for money and weapons.
SHUBERT: ISIS has made rape and slavery part of its theology. In its online English magazine "Dabiq," ISIS laid out its justification on
religious grounds, quote, "Enslaving the families of the Kuffar and taking their women as concubines is a firmly established aspect of the Sharia,
that if anyone would be denied or mock, he would be denying or mocking the verses of the Koran and the narrations of the prophet," end quote.
But theologians the world over have said it is ISIS that is denigrating the holy book.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In Islam, taking anyone as captive, mistreating them, using them as sex slaves, torturing them and killing them is totally
prohibited. God says in the Koran those people who lose the capacity to use their brain, their perceptive capacity to see and hear the truth, they're
worse than animals. That's exactly what they've demonstrated. So there's no room for any discussion on this. It's harem (ph), it's empty Islam, and it
should be treated as such.
SHUBERT: As for the Yazidi, the tragedy is so great that their own strict traditions have had to adjust. Before ISIS came, marrying outside
the faith was strictly condemned. Those accused of adultery or even a victim of rape could be killed for dishonoring the family. That is
We sat down with Yazidi spiritual leader, Babasheik (ph), to ask how the faith is dealing with the victims.
BABASHEIK (ph), YAZIDI SPIRITUAL LEADER: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
SHUBERT: Those words are a source of comfort for the tormented. Even as ISIS attempts to destroy the Yazidi in the name of religion, they may
still find solace back home.
Atika Shubert, CNN, Lalesh, in the Kurdish region of Iraq.
[11:53:08] ANDERSON: It was a case of live imitating art, a group of protesters stormed the red carpet during the London premiere of the new
film suffragette. Neil Curry has more.
NEIL CURRY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Leicester Square has hosted hundreds of movie premieres in the century since suffragettes took
their campaign for women's votes to the streets of London. But perhaps none quite like this.
CURRY (on camera): This is the opening night of London Film Festival. The film playing tonight is "Suffragette," starring Meryl Streep, Helena
Bonham Carter and Carey Mulligan. Just as the stars were arriving, a group of protesters -- you can see behind me -- against domestic violence went
over the barriers, got themselves on the red carpet, and they're linking arms and refusing to move. The stars have just arrived. Romola Garai,
Helena Bonham, Carter who just arrived. They're continuing to do interviews but they can't make their progress up the red carpet.
The protesters have been shouting, "Romola join us." Will you go find out what they're up to?
ROMOLA GARAI, ACTRESS: I'm on stage doing a production of "Measure for Measure" in about 20 minutes. I would chain myself to the railing if I
didn't feel I would be slightly hampering the young Vic's production of "Measure for Measure." But it's great to see feminism alive and active in
MERYL STREEP, ACTRESS: For 50 years, we have labored peacefully to secure the vote for women.
CURRY (voice-over): Meryl Streep plays Suffragette leader, Emmeline Pankhurst, in the film. And Mrs. Pankhurst' descendants were on the red
carpet, delighted to be witnessing female voices raised in protest once again.
HELEN PANKHURST, GRANDDAUGHTER OF EMMELINE PANKHURST: The contrast between the glitz and the glamour, yes, we need it. It's important. It will
bring people to watch the film. But at the same time we have the reality of direct action. And you know, the two come together. Very fitting.
HELENA BONHAM CARTER, ACTRESS: I think it's perfect. It's the perfect opening to -- a perfect advertisement for this film. That's exactly what
this film is about. If you feel strongly about something, and if there's an injustice being done, you protest.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Women should not exercise judgment in political affairs.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If we allow women to vote, it will mean the loss of social structure.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a film about women protesting, women protesting to create change. So it's not an action that we discourage. And
we very much welcome the fact that they have now moved on and allowed us to continue with the premiere.
CURRY (voice-over): Outside the premiere, there were further demonstrations, both in sympathy with and against the Suffragette cause.
CURRY: By the time Meryl Streep and Carey Mulligan made their way along the carpet, the demonstration had been dispersed. But just as in the
days of Emily Pankhurst and the Suffragettes, women's voices had been heard on the streets of London. Life imitating art, or the other way around.
Neil Curry, CNN, London.
[11:56:20] ANDERSON: And Parting Shots for you tonight, something I don't normally get to say: a good news story from Syria. Amid the violence
of the last four years, which has been just too, too dreadful, the country's football team if flourishing. They are aiming to get to the
World Cup in 2018, a competition that they have never qualified for.
They won their first three games in Asian qualifying, only suffering their first loss in the last hour to one of the region's strongest teams,
which is Japan. That game was a home one for Syria, but it had to be played in Oman due to the conflict.
I'm Becky Anderson. That was Connect the World. From the team here in the UAE and those working with us around the world, it is a very good