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Iraq Peshmerga And Others Team Up For Offensive; Tens Of Thousands Of Troops Begin To Close In; Offensive Expected To Last Weeks; Donald Trump: Election Is Rigged Against Me; CNN Speaks To Kurdish Region Foreign Minister; Fight to Oust ISIS From Mosul Underway; Grande: Mosul May Become Massive Humanitarian Crisis; Trump: Election Is "Rigged" Against Him; Many Samsung Note 7 Owners Refuse To Give Them Up. Aired 3-rp ET

Aired October 17, 2016 - 15:00:00   ET




[15:00:33] HALA GORANI, CNN HOST: Hello, everyone. I'm Hala Gorani. It's nice to be with you on this Monday. We're live from CNN London and this is


Tens of thousands of troops are marching on Mosul after months of preparation and years of brutal terrorist rule to squeeze ISIS out of the

most important city in its self-described caliphate.

CNN is there as vice begins to clamp down. Our senior international correspondent, Nick Paton Walsh, filed this report as the Peshmerga unit he

is traveling with came under fire.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Behind me now has just gone in what must surely be a substantial explosion. We haven't

been hearing aircraft in the past few moments so that may well be one of a number of car bombs that ISIS has been deploying in their bid to keep the

Peshmerga off this road.

It is a volatile situation, and it is also one in which Peshmerga at this stage appear to be prevailing. They've taken this five or six kilometer

stretch of the roads here. But the villages around it do still remain volatile.

And that is a question, what kind of resistance will they continue to face. The military, too, at some point will have to push down here towards Mosul.

But this has been an effort with much international support. A lot of coalition planning. American air power -- what are they shooting at?

Let's move.


GORANI: All right, that is usually good advice. Nick and his crew were unarmed. Peshmerga units are pushing west towards Mosul. Here's a look at

the map. Iraqi Security Forces are approaching from the south. ISIS fighters at the west perhaps they'll flee that way into that red enclave

where they have stronger defenses.

But we're a long, long way from that with fierce pockets of resistance and stepped up suicide attacks, just like this one, you see in this video with

the highlighted truck barreling down on the Peshmerga front lines.

Let's get straight to the battlefield, check back with Nick Paton Walsh. He's live on (inaudible) overlooking Mosul. Nick, first of all the latest

on this operation. Is day one still a long way to go?

WALSH: Absolutely and the initial stage was always for the Peshmerga to push down that key road to the east of Mosul, one of the most direct routes

into the sprawl of the city and take about 5 or 6 kilometers now.

As far as we can tell, they have pretty achieved that, and now the Iraqi military has a job and other angles to push further towards the actual city


Now interestingly enough, of course, simply because the Peshmerga re trying to push down that road or in this case flank it and move in on it then move

back towards that, in fact, originally began.

It doesn't mean that ISIS is completely pulled out of the area all around that particular highway. As you saw, they were able to open fire on the

Peshmerga we were with, but actually moments earlier were also seen in the hills.

Peshmerga gave chase to one ISIS fighter. They exchanged fire, a Peshmerga soldier was injured, and then we saw an ISIS fighter pop out from what

seemed to be a tunnel in the ground. Shoot at a Peshmerga and then blow himself up in front of us.

So a tenacity there and ruthlessness frankly, which will definitely be slowing the advance of Peshmerga are trying to make and their bid to clear

and secure that area properly -- Hala.

GORANI: It seems as though that's the strategy right now to try to slow that advance, right, which tells us what about what they're doing inside

the city?

WALSH: Well, there's been possibly a hope that these vast planes around the city, dusty, deserted, (inaudible) settlements on them might in fact

have been yielded quite quickly -- they want to use limited resources to perhaps focus on the city itself.

[15:05:12]Dense, packed streets that are harder for the Iraqi army to fight them and of course, the terrifying issue of 1.2 million people still be

inside Mosul themselves, potentially used as human shields or caught in the fighting.

But the fact that they're hoping to defend these claims, or putting in something more than of an effort that I think I expected to occur in vast

expanses like this.

The Peshmerga said this was (inaudible) it may have occurred does give you the idea that this would be a slower advance towards the city. And then

you have to ask yourself if they are willing to exhaust those resources in defending the plains around the city perhaps there are a more surprises

inside that densely packed urban area -- Hala.

GORANI: All right, certainly it's going to be a bumpy road ahead for all the forces trying to retake Mosul from ISIS. Nick Paton Walsh part of our

team reporting on this important story.

Now one of the bigger concerns out there is whether or not a sectarian angle could emerge from all of this. You have some of militia fighters

helping the Iraqi Security Forces, some of them are Shiite.

They have been accused of doing and certainly committing acts in some of the liberated cities like Fallujah against some of the Sunni residents

there. But the president of the Iraq's Kurdistan region had this reassurance to offer the residents of Mosul.


MASSOUD BARZANI, PRESIDENT, KURDISTAN REGIONAL GOVERNMENT (through translator): I would like to reassure the people of Mosul that there is a

coordination between the Peshmerga forces and the Iraqi Army. We do hope that this is going to be a successful one and we also hope that there will

not be any kinds of revenge and their dignity is going to be protected, and that they can go back to their home safely.


GORANI: It is also about the post-offensive. Joining me now from Baghdad with more on this military operation against ISIS is Brigadier General Saad

Maan, the spokesperson for the Iraqi Interior Ministry. Sir, thanks for being with us. First of all, as assessment on the operation so far from

your perspective, how is it going?

BRIGADIER GENERAL SAAD MAAN, SPOKESPERSON, IRAQI MINISTRY OF INTERIOR: Yes, thank you, Hala. My greetings for you and for our friends. You know,

that today we begin our operation in Mosul. Until now we achieved the first day and first phase of it.

Today, we managed to (inaudible) 20 village and we managed to destroy ten car bombs. You know, we have five access and we have also the coordination

for all of our -- Ministry of Interior, with the federal police and also the police of Mosul and also Ministry of Defense with the nine division --

also CTS and Peshmerga, and other units with the help all the time of Iraq aviation and Iraqi air force, and also coalition forces efforts.

And for our plan, for our setup of government, we managed to have a very good going forward formation today. So (inaudible) today for us with our

improvement, with our progress.

GORANI: But we have heard from our reporter there has been some resistance and suicide bombers that approached, Peshmerga front lines, and this

perhaps was surprising. That there is more resistance in those plains outside of Mosul than expected. Did that surprise you as well?

MAAN: No, of course. You know, by our experience about Daesh techniques, which is car bombs, suicide bombs, we are aware about it. And you know,

this may be the last war with Daesh so it is very important for them. So they're trying to put all of their equipment or their fighters (inaudible).

But if we're talking about the morals, not Daesh morals, it is on zero. On the contrary of that, our fighters, for our people inside Mosul, it is 100

percent today. So we are putting in our minds everything and it will do whatever it takes.

GORANI: Can you reassure the residents of Mosul that some of the militia fighters who are backing up and supporting the Iraqi forces will not go in

after the liberation of Mosul and commit crimes and atrocities there against Sunni residents? Can you guarantee this to the residents of Mosul?

[15:10:10] MAAN: Of course, of course, Hala. I can say yes, 100 percent, I guarantee it. The (inaudible) organization and all other Iraqi now they

are one hand to defeat Daesh to liberate Mosul. We are talking about Sunni people inside of Mosul, and it does not exist. We are all of us are one

person which is Iraqi --

GORANI: Because it happened in Fallujah, as you know, sir. There have been accusations --

MAAN: Hala, there was an exaggeration and there is no objective and subjective -- there is no problem. Everyone has his role to defeat Daesh,

and of course, we will have plans to rebuild Mosul (inaudible) in general.

GORANI: OK, Brigadier General Saad Maan in Baghdad, the spokesperson for the Interior Ministry, thank you very much for joining us live from


They are talking about how 20 villages have been retaken as well as ten car bombs diffused or destroyed. This is the initial assessment there of an

operation that is currently on day one and that will take quite a long time to end in the ultimate liberation of Mosul.

Now there are now about 500 American troops committed to Northern Iraq and while most are working logistics, between 100 and 200, are being used to

advice and assist.

Joining me now with more details is the U.S. Defense Department spokesperson, Peter Cook. I don't know if you were able to hear there from

our last guest, the Interior Ministry spokesperson saying the first day went well, 20 villages were retaken. What is the assessment of the United

States of this operation to retake Mosul right now?

PETER COOK, SPOKESMAN, U.S. DEFENSE DEPARTMENT: Well, first of all, pleased to hear what the general had to say about the progress they made

today. It's the same communications we've been hearing as well that the first day of this fight has gone according to the Iraqi plan and it is the

Iraqi plan that's being carried out here with the support of the United States and the other members of the coalition.

But this is a long fight, this is only day one. We understand this will be a difficult fight for Mosul to come. We are standing shoulder to shoulder

with Iraqis providing the support that we can towards that effort.

GORANI: And we know there are thousands of American forces on the ground. You've said before they are there to assist and support, what is their

exact role? Is there any involvement in the ground fighting by American troops here?

COOK: Well, as you said, Hala, the vast majority of U.S. forces that are in Iraq and about 5,000 right now are performing things like training the

brigades that are part of this Mosul fight. They are providing logistics. They're helping to, for example, set up (inaudible) west, an airfield there

south of Mosul.

There will be a launch pad for some of these operations already performing that role right now and you have some Americans who are performing that

advice and assist mission who are working with Iraqi commanders both the counterterrorism service, the Iraqi Army as well as the Kurdish Peshmerga

and providing advice to those units as they move forward.

I will be Iraqis in the lead, but there are Americans, other members of the coalition are providing advice on how best to carry out that fight.

Obviously coordinating that as well with the coalition air campaign.

So far, it's worked well in Iraq. It's working well so far in Mosul, and the air campaigns are a key and an integral part of this entire effort.

GORANI: And speaking of the air campaign, there must be concerns, this is a densely packed city with probably up to a million -- I mean, 1.2 million

now, but possibly up to half a million civilians. Do you have concerns from your perspective that some of these targets that you will end up

having issues and targeting areas and that will end up leading to the loss of life of civilians in Mosul?

COOK: Well, we're going to do everything we can as we have from the start of this fight with ISIL to reduce and minimize the risk of civilian

casualties. This is an urban environment in which if there are air strikes, they are going to have to be conducted with precision.

We are confident we are able to do that in Mosul specifically and in the surrounding area. But this will be difficult and this will be something

we'll be working at very carefully with the Iraqis, jointly with the Iraqis, as to whether or not a particular location is an appropriate


There will be some very tough decisions on that and obviously everything is going to be done to reduce the risk of civilian casualties. ISIL knows

that and definitely they're going to attempt to use civilians as a human shield. It is something we will be watching very carefully.

GORANI: Salam Mustafa, the Kurdish foreign minister will be airing that (inaudible) a little bit later, but he told me he was very grateful for

American help. That the Peshmerga's are making good progress, but perhaps they need more equipment from the United States, more help from the

coalition in the regard. Do you think the U.S. should be doing more there?

[15:15:06]COOK: Well, we provided a substantial amount of equipment and a substantial amount of resources to the Kurdish Peshmerga. They have been

resilient, dying fighters in this effort and very successful against ISIL so far.

Of course, we will continue to have conversations with the Kurdistan Regional Government, with the Peshmerga, about their needs going forward,

but as you know we have been providing not only equipment.

But also some of the stipends, actual pay for some of these fighters because they have demonstrated such a willingness to take the fight to

ISIL. They've been very effective.

We will have that conversation, of course, take a look at the needs going forward to see if there is something more the United States might be able

to provide.

But we will continue to do that not just with the Kurdish Peshmerga, but with the Iraqi forces as well. We're confident that these forces have the

capabilities to take this fight to ISIL to succeed in Mosul.

We are seeing the cooperation between the Kurdish Peshmerga and the Iraqi Security Forces, we're encouraged by that and the first day.

GORANI: Lastly, I want to ask you about the post offensive because possibly this is going to be the easiest day of the entire campaign and

then we're talking about street to street fighting and after that, when ISIS is driven out eventually. Is the United States concerned at all that

you might have sectarian issues emerge once again in the city like Mosul?

COOK: Well, obviously, this have been a concern given the past history and strife that we have seen, but we are encouraged by what we see by the

leadership of Prime Minister Abadi, his message that there will be zero tolerance for that kind of sectarian violence that you refer to.

We're encouraged by the clear examples of cooperation. We have a common enemy here. The Iraqi people have a common enemy and that's ISIL. You

heard the general speak to that just a short time ago.

That enemy is unifying the people of Iraq we think in a solid way. We will wait to see how this plays out, but it's important to watch that carefully

we're confident Prime Minister Abadi is doing so.

GORANI: All right, Peter Cook, Pentagon spokesperson, thanks very much for joining us on CNN. We appreciate your time from Washington.

A lot more to come this evening, Donald Trump says the system is rigged. The Republican presidential candidate is doubling down on claims that a

conspiracy is under way to keep him out of the White House. Stay with us.


GORANI: Donald Trump is down in most polls and has only three weeks left to gain ground on Hillary Clinton. But the closer we are to Election Day,

the more he insists that the whole thing is rigged against him.

The CNN poll of polls was just released. It shows Trump trailing Clinton by eight points nationwide. The surveys were conducted after that 2005

tape emerged that showed Trump bragging about being able to get away with sexual assault.

[15:20:05]But according to Trump, his biggest problem is that he is the victim of large scale voter fraud. He tweeted about it just hours ago even

picking a fight with fellow Republicans who disagree. Phil Mattingly has that story.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Remember this, it is a rigged election.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For Donald Trump, there is only one reason he is trailing in the polls, a conspiracy to keep him out

of the White House.

TRUMP: The election is being rigged by corrupt media pushing completely false allegations and outright lies in an effort to elect her president.

MATTINGLY: In rally after rally, tweet after tweet, Trump pushing the theory without any evidence or recent historical precedent that the

electoral results will be rigged. Trump's runningmate, Mike Pence trying to tone down the rhetoric saying Trump doesn't mean literal electoral


GOV. MIKE PENCE (R-IN), VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: We will absolutely accept the results of the election. The American people are tired of the

obvious bias in the national media. That's where the sense of a rigged election goes here.

MATTINGLY: But Trump under cutting that very message only minutes later tweeting explicitly that the election is, quote, "Absolutely being rigged

at, quote, "many polling places." This part of a Trump Twitter storm that included multiple personal attacks against House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Ryan pushing back on Trump's rigged election theory. A spokeswoman telling CNN, the speaker is, quote, "fully confident the election will be carried

out with integrity.

Hillary Clinton's running mate, Tim Kaine, calling on more Republicans to speak out against Trump's allegations.

SEN. TIM KAINE (D-VA), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He started to make wild claims, kind of scorched their claims about the election being rigged,

et cetera. So we have to keep putting out our message and we need to call on everybody to speak out about the fact that we run elections and we run

them well here. And we ask the GOP leaders also to stand up for the integrity of the American electoral process.

MATTINGLY: Trump also continuing to fire back allegations of sexual assault and unwelcome sexual advances. Now accused by nine women. Trump

attacking their voracity, character, and looks.

TRUMP: Believe me, she would not be my first choice that I can tell you.

MATTINGLY: And unleashing one new line of attack on Hillary Clinton that she is taking performance enhancing drugs.

TRUMP: We should take a drug test because I don't know what's going on with her.

MATTINGLY: The Clinton campaign calling this a shameful attempt to undermine the election.


GORANI: Trump's unsubstantiated claims of fraud are raising concerns that he could undermine voter trust and do lasting damage to the U.S. political


Let's bring in Dylan Byers, a CNN senior reporter for media and politics. We are joined by Karen Tumulty, a political correspondent for "The

Washington Post."

So Karen, first, I want to ask you, of course, we showed that nationwide poll that shows that Hillary Clinton has a healthy lead. But in swing

states like Ohio, Donald Trump is still ahead by two percentage points.

So this leaked tape of him bragging about being able to grab women wherever he wants, et cetera, doesn't seem to have done that much damage in an

extremely important swing state.

KAREN TUMULTY, POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, "WASHINGTON POST": That's right. I mean, if you look at some of the state by state polls, it remains close,

but I think if you look -- if you take those polls and sort of do the Electoral College count out of that as CNN has done, it is still looking

like a pretty big win for Hillary Clinton.

GORANI: But I just wonder what it says, though, about the U.S. electorate that despite all of these damaging, you know, revelation about Donald Trump

that even though Ohio would always lean Republican, and Donald Trump has always led there for months, what does it say, though, about the mood in

the United States right now?

TUMULTY: Well, it says two things. It says that Donald Trump supporters are pretty fixed in place. It takes a lot to shake them from their

support. And number two, it also speaks to Hillary Clinton's weaknesses as a candidate. And I think that this is a reflection of both of those

things. What it could be is we are heading for a pretty low turnout election.

GORANI: And Dylan, let's talk about these claims that the election is rigged, that the media is fixing this whole thing. Any evidence at all to

support these claims?

DYLAN BYERS, CNN SENIOR REPORTER FOR MEDIA AND POLITICS: No, there is really no evidence at all to support these claims and you know, Donald

Trump we have gotten so familiar with some of the outlandish and unprecedented things that he has said over the course of the last 15, 16

months, that, you know, we are certainly becoming inoculated to them.

Now that said, calling the very election and the legitimacy of the election into question really sort of undermines or casts doubt on what is the

underpinning of American democracy, which is a peaceful transfer of power.

[15:25:14]And to do that and to make those claims with absolutely no basis in evidence to suggest that that is actually happening at precincts and

polling places, you know, is sort of the height of your responsibility.

And you know, if I could just go back to the last question that you ask regarding why so many people continue to support Trump, look, Karen is

absolutely right, the electoral map works entirely in Hillary Clinton's favor.

Even after November 8th, Hillary Clinton supporters and others are still going to have to reconcile themselves to the fact that they live in a

country where this many people were willing to turn out and support Donald Trump despite all of the things that he said.

GORANI: And some of the articles I read over the weekend, quoting Trump supporters at his rallies, after he made some of these claims that the

whole process was rigged against him were essentially threatening violence.

They were saying we will never accept Hillary Clinton as our president if she's elected. She will be illegitimate. She belongs in jail. How much

concern is there that this might lead to real issues of violence after the election?

MYERS: I think there is a great deal of concern. What you're effectively doing is you're telling your core group of supporters, a loud and vocal

group of supporters, who have no intention of going anywhere after November 8th.

You're effectively encouraging them to fight, you know, what is supposed to be a very legitimate election. You're encouraging them essentially to take

up arms either in the literal sense or at least in the ideological sense.

And sort of go to war with the American democratic process, and that is very dangerous. And again, it does not bode well for the future of at

least presidential politics in this country going forward four or eight years from now, what have you.

GORANI: And Karen, there is no precedent for this, right? We're really in unchartered territory here.

TUMULTY: But I would also argue that people do tend to say sort of hysterical things right before an election. Cycle after cycle you have all

these people who declare that they will move to Canada, or they will move somewhere else if their candidate doesn't get elected and that doesn't


I think that, you know, a lot of this is going to just, you know, hinge on the size of the victory assuming it is Clinton. A lot of it is going to

hinge on the Republican Party's ability to bring its own troops back together after this election. It is not all that unusual I think to see a

lot of overheated rhetoric and claims?

GORANI: You don't think this is unusual, Karen. It's interesting because, I mean, some of the rhetoric, election observers have said we have never

heard or seen this kind of thing, we have never seen this phenomenon.

TUMULTY: I think in the particulars, but what is very common is people making these sort of operatic claims about how they will not be able to

live in a country under -- you know, if the candidate they're not supporting wins.

GORANI: All right, Karen Tumulty of "The Washington Post" -- Dylan, quick, we literally have seconds, go ahead.

BYERS: Sure, very quick point. I think America is always sort of hyperbolic leading up to an election day. But I wouldn't under estimate

the sort of movement going on here among the far right, and they see this very much as the first inning in a very long game of them trying to push

through their agenda. So I just wouldn't under estimate that.

GORANI: All right, thank you very much, Dylan Byers. We appreciate it and Karen Tumulty of "The Washington Post," thanks to both of you.

A lot more to come, many of the fighters battling to take back Mosul don't even think of themselves as being Iraqi. So what is in it for them? My

interview coming up next with the Kurdish region's top diplomat next.


HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Back a look at our top stories, less than a day into the battle for Mosul and alliance leaders say

their forces have already inflicted some losses on ISIS, but they've also been meeting some pretty heavy resistance as they close in on the city.

The offensive may last for weeks or even months.

The Russian military says it will halt airstrikes on Aleppo, Syria on Thursday to allow civilians and rebel fighters to leave. The Defense

Ministry says people can get out along designated routes during the eight- hour bombing pause. We've heard that promise before.

An airstrike Monday, though, killed an entire family of 14 people including two infants and eight children, at least 45 people have died in Aleppo

since Sunday, too late, for the ceasefire or the humanitarian corridor will do nothing for them.

More than a dozen unaccompanied refugee children who have been living in the Calais jungle camp are now in the United Kingdom. Take a look at the

scene in South London today. The British and French governments are rushing to process hundreds of kids. Their faces are blurred there to

protect their identities before bulldozing that camp known as the jungle.

It could be ISIS's last stand in Iraq as the all-out fight for Mosul advances. The battle could determine the future of the country in that

part of the land and many factions are piling in even some which usually oppose each other are fighting side by side.

Of the 100,000 troops taking part in the assault, almost half are battle hardened Kurdish Peshmerga fighters storming villages east of the city.

They won't be getting much closer, though, because of Iraq's delicate politics in a negotiated deal. They are technically not supposed to step

inside Mosul itself.

Just before the show, I spoke to (inaudible), the foreign minister of the Kurdish Regional Government in Iraq. I began by asking him about the

offensive and how far Kurdish troops are willing and able to go.


FALAH MUSTAFA BAKIR, FOREIGN MINISTER, KURDISTAN REGIONAL GOVERNMENT: We will implement the plan as it is, if any, we get the support they will be

able to provide that support because for us this is an important chapter. This is the beginning of the end of ISIS and we have to work together in

order to eliminate and destroy ISIS.

GORANI: And how much help are you getting from the United States, or are Peshmerga forces and the Iraqi Security Forces, how instrumental is U.S.

military help here?

BAKIR: Well, needless to say the United States has played an important role in leading this 67 nation international coalition. With the U.S. and

coalition support, we would not have been at this stage today.

But again I would like to say that the Peshmerga's still need support and assistance in order to be provided. There has been an excellent

cooperation, coordination, and understanding between (inaudible) coalition in order to prepare the ground force for this battle, which is an important

battle and the whole world is watching Mosul today.

GORANI: Certainly, and you sound a lot more satisfied and happier with the level of cooperation you have been getting from both Baghdad and the United

States, a lot happier than the last time we spoke when you essentially said we're not getting enough help. Have things changed dramatically from your


BAKIR: The point is that we're realistic. We still have not received the kind of support and assistance that we have wished to.

[15:35:08]We would have wish to receive much more weapons, ammunition, and support for the Peshmerga, protection, gear, gas masks, counter IED, et

cetera. But we are grateful for the support that we have received. We have received from the United States, from Germany, from France, Italy, the

U.K., and all other coalition members.

GORANI: But there has to be some concern about how to manage the after offensive, right? I mean, the fact that this will be seen as a Shiite-led

government operation. That it won't be viewed through a sectarian prism. What are your concerns on that level?

BAKIR: Well, we have been very clear on that. From day one we said that it is important to have coordination on the military aspect. It's

important that we have a country with a military plan to liberate Mosul.

But have always emphasize the importance of the day after, the political governments and the political arrangements for the day after. Mosul is a

diversity. Different ethnic, religious (inaudible) groups living in these province.

Therefore, we have emphasized the fact that we need to work together to address the issues that were the concern of the communities and also we

have to be realistic that eliminating ISIS militarily does not mean that everything is over.

We have to be mindful of the fact that the political reasons have to be addressed. We have to go back to the history of ISIS emerging in Iraq.

The Sunni-Arab community, where do they stand in this? Have they been embraced? Where are they in their political future? So these are the kind

of things that we have to work together.

GORANI: You said it yourself none of that has been resolved. I mean, essentially the symptom is being treated here not the cause, is that what

you're saying?

BAKIR: I say that it is important for us to be mindful of the fact that the reasons -- the causes of this problem, the root causes have to be

addressed, and we have emphasized that in Baghdad, and in the last -- they have agreed on having a high level of political -- in order to be in

parallel of this military committee in order to address the issues that come up.

We believe that today is the first step, the military path was important. The first day was conducted successfully, but we have also to work together

in order to provide a good future politically for the province, but also for Baghdad relations for the future.


GORANI: That was the Kurdish region's foreign minister, Falah Mustafa joining me from Irbil.

Let's go inside Iraq now to our senior international correspondent, Ben Wedeman. He is just east of Mosul and the city of Irbil. So Ben, as we

were discussing earlier, this is day one of a long protracted process.

But we were talking to Nick Paton Walsh a little bit earlier and he said some of the resistance surprised him that the thought initially was that

leading up to the city it would be pretty smooth sailing, but it appears that didn't really happen today.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No, and it should not come as a surprise given that ISIS has put so much political capital in its

occupation of Mosul, which has been in control of since the 10th of June, 2014.

Don't forget, Hala, it was in Mosul that Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi on the 29th of June, 2014, declared the caliphate. This is a city that ISIS has used

in many propaganda videos to show that they are running a paradise for the true believers showing ordinary life and busy well-stocked markets.

It has been a great propaganda tool for its attempts to recruit fighters from Europe and elsewhere and therefore, losing it is definitely going to

be a body blow to its self -- its image of an Islamic paradise.

And therefore, yes, we can expect them to fight and fight hard. Now the area where Nick is, is basically open plains and deserted villages. The

Kurds are saying that they were able to take 200 square kilometers and nine villages within less than 24 hours.

But the real battle has yet to come, that is going to be the city of Mosul itself. Now many Kurdish officials and Iraqi officials are saying they

don't expect much resistance on the eastern bank of the Tigris River.

But in the west where the old city is located that they do believe that many ISIS leaders are held up including some believe Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

himself and therefore, they will continue to put up a fight probably to the bloody end -- Hala.

GORANI: All right, thank you, Ben Wedeman in Irbil. We were discussing with Ben a little bit earlier that there was a lot of concern that the

battle to oust ISIS for Mosul could be devastating for the city's civilians.

The U.N. estimates as many as a million people might try to escape. That's about five times as many people who live in Geneva, Switzerland, all

needing a way out, somewhere to stay, something to eat with their kids, fleeing the terror of yet another battle in their country.

Joining us now is the U.N.'s human coordinator for Iraq, Lisa Grande. She is in Baghdad. You told reporters at a U.N. briefing that Mosul could be

the largest and most complex humanitarian operation in the world in 2016, could you expand on that?

LISA GRANDE, HUMANITARIAN COORDINATOR FOR IRAQ, UNITED NATIONS: When we say that what we're anticipating is a worst case scenario. A million

people might move, and of the million people who might flee, as many as 700,000 may require shelter. If that happens, if the worst case happens,

it would be the largest humanitarian crisis this year.

GORANI: But I mean, the internally displaced people's camps inside Iraq are setup for, I believe, for 65,000 to 70,000 people. I mean, even if a

worst case scenario doesn't materialize it seems like you would need a lot more to take care of hundreds of thousands that are going to be fleeing the

city when the battle comes to their doorsteps.

GRANDE: That's exactly right. Right now as the battle for Mosul starts, there is capacity to support 60,000 people in six emergency camps and

emergency sites. That's not enough and that is the reason why the United Nations and our front line partners are racing against the clock to build

more than 20 new emergency sites. There is nothing more important right now than getting them up and operational.

GORANI: I was speaking with Filippo Grandi, the U.N. high commissioner for refugees. I asked them in the Middle East, sadly over the last several

years when a temporary camp is set up, it ends up becoming very, you know, tragically permanent for many people.

I mean, here again you have a situation just like Fallujah and other parts of Iraq where perhaps these people will need to be taken care of for weeks

if not months. Is there enough funding? Is there enough support, staffing in Iraq for this latest crisis?

GRANDE: There is a rule of thumb in the United Nations that if you see a population movement at one time of more than 150,000 people, there is not

an institution anywhere in the world that in realtime can cope with the mass movement of that size. That could be exactly the case in Mosul.

Right now we are going to do our very best to support the people to make it out to safely. But if a large number of people are displaced for a long

period of time and they can't go home to Mosul because their homes are destroyed or the city is unsafe, no, we don't have the resources in order

to be able to cope with that.

The humanitarian operation in Iraq is already seriously underfunded before Mosul starts. We have been appealing to donors and they have been

generous. They've been giving support, but they have not given us enough and they have not given it to us in time to be ready at the scale that we

need to and we're very worried about that deficit.

GORANI: All right, we will continue to follow the story. Lisa Grande, thanks very much for joining us, the U.N. humanitarian coordinator for

Iraq. Thank you for your time and good luck to your teams.

This is THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. Donald Trump claims the U.S. election is rigged. We'll have more on his astonishing assertion next.

Later, Samsung says its newest devices are not safe. But guess what, many people are just refusing to give them up.



GORANI: With just 22 days until the American presidential election, new CNN/ORC polls released in the past few hours show a tight race in three

important battleground states.

In North Carolina, Hillary Clinton has a razor thin lead, just one percentage point. In Nevada, Clinton leads Trump by just two points, 46 to

44 percent. But Trump is holding on to Ohio, our poll there shows Trump leading by four points, 48 to 44 percent.

Trump tweeted out the results of the Ohio polls saying they are, quote, "great." He attacks the media except in this particular case he was happy

with this CNN poll.

Despite tweeting out his happiness, Trump is increasingly propagating a new and dubious narrative that the election is somehow rigged.

Let's get more on this with Michael Smerconish. He is a CNN political commentator and the host of "SMERCONISH." He joins me from Philadelphia.

So Michael, what is Donald Trump trying to do here? He has been attacking the media all weekend. He's telling his supporters the system is rigged.

What is his strategy exactly?

MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think, Hala, what he is trying to do is fire up his base for a last ditch effort to try to motivate

everyone willing to vote for Donald Trump, and secondly, I think he is laying the foundation for an excuse.

Because there is a consistency now to the polls that you've just described. Both the national head to head contests and more importantly what's

transpiring in the so-called battleground state and clearly the momentum is on her side.

You know, that Donald Trump doesn't like to lose. He always speaks dismissively of losers. So he is blaming the media. He is conflating two

things, by the way. He is saying that there is media bias and that the election is rigged against him.

We could deal with those separately, but he is trying to get his supporters to go and vote regardless of what these polls show.

GORANI: But can you explain to international viewers, after that hot mic video of 2005 where he brags about being able to basically sexually

assaulting women. I mean, many people, thought, OK, this is it, you know, even in the battleground states for sure he is going to lose support. He

certainly will lose presumed conservatives. There is no way he can hang on to some of the leads and yet he is. Can you explain what is that portion

of the U.S. electorate that is still backing Donald Trump, what the reasons are for that phenomenon?

SMERCONISH: I know this is going to sound strange worldwide, believe me, it sound strange here at home as well, but that tape actually changed very

few minds. When you look at the internals of the most recent polling and I've done it, you're hard pressed to find individuals who say I've decided

to vote for or against Donald Trump.

I mean, you would expect against Donald Trump as a result of that videotape and here is what it speaks to, this election is largely an election where

Americans are0 voting against someone. They are voting against Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.

These two individuals have the highest net negatives of any candidates having been put forth by our major parties in the modern era. Certainly in

the 30 years that I've been paying close attention.

So people might be offended by what they saw with regard to Trump on that video, but so long as she is still his opponent, many of them will not

leave his side.

GORANI: Is there a concern -- there has to be some concern over the weekend in some of the Donald Trump rallies, there were coach from his

supporters because he has gotten them so fired up about this idea that the system is rigged saying if Hillary Clinton wins, we will not accept it, if

we have to, we'll get violent.

[15:50:04]I mean, is this just talk or is there really concern that there could be violence here if Hillary Clinton is elected?

SMERCONISH: Well, I noticed something over the weekend that is that Mike Pence, who is the Republican running mate for Donald Trump. He is running

for the office of vice president. He was asked the question as to whether the ticket, he and Trump, would accept the results of this election and his

answer was absolutely that they would.

My hunch is that if this election ends the way it is forecast, meaning for Hillary Clinton to win and perhaps to win by a significant margin, you

might see a divide immediately on the Republican side of the aisle where Donald Trump tries to question the results and Mike Pence's running mate

stands by them.

GORANI: Yes, and there are these reports that Donald Trump's son-in-law was sort of putting feelers out by getting funding for Trump TV. The Trump

brand beyond the election might live on perhaps even with Roger Ailes at the helm in some other form.

SMERCONISH: So the Trump campaign in its waning days really is taking a page from our conservative media. We have such a divided media landscape

in this country and I think that the way that I would sum it up to a worldwide audience is that whatever viewpoint you're interested in, you can


You want to find something from the left, the center, the right, we have it all between cable television, satellite radio, and of course, the internet.

And where Donald Trump seems to be taking direction from the very conservative media, where his campaign is literally being run by the former

leader of Breitbart News, which is a very conservative website.

Many are now wondering if his next move will be to open or to form some kind of a conservative media conglomerate to draw in Roger Ailes. He used

to be the chairman of Fox News with his son-in-law and that this could perhaps be a career path going forward after the election.

GORANI: All right, we shall see. Michael Smerconish, thanks very much joining us from Philadelphia. Always a pleasure. Don't forget you can

check out our Facebook page,

Quick break. When we come back, the pariah of smart phones still has plenty of devoted fans. We'll explain why the fire prone Samsung Note 7 is

not going away for many people.


GORANI: OK, the risk of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphone catching fire is so great, it's now actually banned on most commercial flights. Sneaking

it into checked luggage is a crime and last week, the company admitted the phone is (inaudible) and stopped making it.

So everyone has quit using them you would think, right? Not even close. New data actually suggest the Note 7 is just as popular as ever. So what's

going on?

Our CNN money and technology correspondent, Samuel Burke, who is jet lagged join us. I actually was on a flight from Australia where they said if you

have a Galaxy Note 7, do not switch it on. They didn't ban it entirely.

SAMUEL BURKE, CNN MONEY BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT: Since you got off that plane, now you can't have it in checked luggage. There are

rules in the United States, now everybody has followed suit that say if there is a problem with lithium ion batteries, you can't take them in the

plane whether it's above or below.

[15:55:04]GORANI: Yes, why are people keeping them because there is a clear recall, there is a clear risk even according to Samsung?

BURKE: We've shown pictures of the phones going up in flames, in smoke seemingly blowing up, but take a look at some of the tweets that we have

seen in the past couple weeks. Die-hard fans saying thing like "Thinking about keeping my Note 7. It is a hassle to switch phones especially three

times in two months."

The next tweet, this guy says, "I don't know about y'all, but I'm keeping my Galaxy Note 7, luckily I won't be boarding a plane any time soon." This

is not just anecdotal from social media, Hala.

There is actually some numbers from a group called Apptelegent. They look at how many people are using what Android devices and if you look in the

past week the same amount of people are using the Note 7 as when the first recall that took place.

So yes, you can see it's going down, but there is still a lot of people using them.

GORANI: So is the phone blowing up doesn't convince people to turn them in? What will convince them?

BURKE: Cold hard cash. So just a reminder to people, if you're clinging to that phone that Samsung will give you money to bring it back. They will

give you $100 if you return it for another Samsung phone.

They'll even give you $75 extra if you returned it at a time when they would only give you a $25. They'll even give you that whole 100 bucks or

if you just want to be done with Samsung or smart phones in general, you can return it, get all of your money back plus $25.

I think what all this shows is that this is actually a much bigger, more difficult situation than anyone can imagine. It is not just about

recalling them. It is about getting all of these seemingly dangerous devices back. It is a huge challenge for Samsung.

GORANI: Right. And when do they make this announcement, this cash phone announcement?

BURKE: They've actually made it about a week ago. It hasn't been that well publicized and yet you just saw those tweets. I'm about to go and

talk to somebody else too, who says they're not going to give it up. Theirs works just fine and he believes he'll be OK, hopefully not on any of

our flights.

GORANI: I saw a guy on a hoover board yesterday, too. It was fine. Everyone was fine. Thanks very much, Samuel Burke.

This has been THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. A lot more on the Mosul offensive coming up after the break. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" picks it up next on CNN.

Stay with us.