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CONNECT THE WORLD
U.S., U.K., And France Launched 100+ Missiles At Targets; Russian General: Syria Intercepted 71 Missiles; Trump To Meet With Japan's P.M. Shinzo Abe; U.S. & Allies Push For U.N. Probe Of Chemical Attack; Starbucks Apologizes After Arrest Video Goes Viral. Aired 11-12p ET
Aired April 15, 2018 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:00] FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: -- high-ranking countries including Rwanda, Colombia, and China have some kind of quota to
help promote equal representation. Of course, the U.S. may move up this list as record numbers of women are planning to run for Congress this year.
Thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week. I will see you next week.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fire and fury --
PAULINE CHIOU, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Welcome to our show. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Pauline Chiou in New York sitting in for
Becky Anderson. We begin in the aftermath of this. You're watching Syria's air defense hit back at air strikes unleashed by the U.S., France
and the U.K. on separate targets Saturday. This was said to be part of a research center targeted in Damascus. Syria is defiant claiming most of
the missiles were intercepted and praising Russian defense weapons. The U.S. military is countering that saying the missiles hit their targets and
there is no sign Russia's air defense system was even used. U.S. President Donald Trump tweeting, "mission accomplished." All of this as a heated
U.N. Security Council emergency session reveals deep divisions and a new resolution backed by France, the U.K., and the U.S. is making the rounds.
We are all across the globe this hour to keep you on top of the developments. Right now our Ben Wedeman is standing by live in Beirut,
Lebanon. He's been covering the conflict in Syria for years. Sam Kiley is in Moscow with the Russia angle and Ian Lee is live in Jerusalem. Ben, I
want to start with you. You're tracking what Hezbollah's reaction has been to this so far. In fact, you're waiting for a press conference to get more
details but so far, what have they been saying?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: What is going on is Hassan Nasrallah, the Secretary-General of Hezbollah is giving a speech at
an election rally in the Bekaa Valley. Until now he's only made passing references to the events of the last few days in Syria, but obviously,
Hezbollah has been very strong and its condemnation of the U.S.-led missile strikes on Syria. So we are still waiting for him to get around to talking
about the events of the last few days. He is very methodical when he discusses these things in public and until now, he's just been talking
about the election in Lebanon, parliamentary elections to set for the 6th of May. Pauline?
CHIOU: OK, so we should be getting some comments pretty soon within the hour. Ben, thank you very much. Let's go live to Jerusalem right now
where Ian Lee is. And Ian, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has praised the strikes from overnight on Saturday. What else is coming out of the
Prime Minister's office?
IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, let me just read you, Pauline, a little bit of what also said at his weekly cabinet meeting this morning. He said
President Assad must understand that when he allows Iran and its proxies to establish a military presence in Syria, he is endangering both Syria and
the instability of the entire region. You know, with these strikes, Israel has been watching it very closely. For them, they don't want to have any
spillover that comes over their northern border. So they've been looking at that very closely. You know, the other interesting thing is you know,
they watch Syria very closely. What's happening there, where people are positioned and so they're watching the aftermath and really before and
after of these strikes that were led by the United States to see how the Syrians, how the Iranians, how they have been reacting. And last April on
April 9th, rather, Israel launched air strikes inside of Syria, this according to the Russians where they struck a base called T-4, this is west
of Palmyra. This is a base where an Iranian drone, the Israeli say which was armed infiltrated Israeli territory. This is where that drone took off
from and they struck that base killing four members of the Iranian-Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. And so, Israel is watching this and they've
said that they will used force to protect their interests. And one of their key interests they say is not allowing Iran to have a foothold in
CHIOU: All right, Ian, also Russia and Iran watching the situation very closely. Ian Lee live from Jerusalem. So let's head to Moscow where we've
got Sam Kiley. The Kremlin says President Putin has already talked with Iran's president. Sam, can you shed some light on this conversation?
SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, according to a read out from the Kremlin and it's been echoed somewhat from Tehran, I
would say it is a fairly routine exchange on the matter of Syria because of course, the two biggest backers of the Damascus regime are Russia and Iran.
They're also involved in particularly Russian efforts t0 achieve some kind of peace deal. They are arguably leading the peace efforts that have run
into the sand really in the Western-backed Geneva process and have a parallel process which has been ongoing. They are saying that the recent
air strikes conducted by the United States and their allies have definitely set that process back. They say both agreed that these airstrikes were in
violation of the United Nations' charter. So a bit of diplomatic window dressing and the normal level of liaison that you will expect between two
allies who are very deeply involved militarily in the fight for -- to protect the Assad regime. The Iranians have tens of thousands of troops
there. Over 100,000 if you add in Hezbollah that take in Iranian orders and Iranian backed and of course the Russians have a very substantial air
presence and the surface-to-air missiles that were not engaged during the latest attack.
[11:06:09] CHIOU: Sam, we did see Russia push back verbally at the U.N. security council yesterday, but we didn't see them taking sort of military
action during the strikes overnight even though they were forewarned something would happen. So this has really brought U.S.-Russian relations
to a new low. But in your view, how low has this gone?
KILEY: Well, relations have been very mixed with the Trump administration, indeed. So you have on the one hand, if you like the wider western
establishment with whom America -- sorry, the bilateral relations between the west in general and the Putin administration in the Kremlin are
difficult to find a lower point apart from, perhaps, you know, the Cuban missile crisis or something, an extremely low, very tense because mainly of
the illegal annexation of Crimea and the continued destabilization of Ukraine and then on top of that, Russia's role in Syria which is seen
through a moral prism by the west. The west, of course, don't have a strategy whereas, of course, the Russians do have a strategy on Syria, but
nevertheless they see as an immoral activity. And then you have Donald Trump who as we know has been personally reluctant to personally call out
Vladimir Putin for his actions as the President of Russia until relatively recently. Now I think that there is more alignment, at least at a tactical
level between Trump, his administration and other western allies that have been shown by these latest air strike. But the relationship is pretty
jolly, very, very chilly.
CHIOU: Yes, and Nikki Haley has indicated that we might be hearing more news of sanctions on Monday when the security council meets tomorrow. Many
thanks to all of you, Ben Wedeman live in Beirut, Ian Lee live in Jerusalem and Sam Kiley in Moscow. As we just heard, the Kremlin says President
Putin talked about Syria with his Iranian counterpart on Sunday stressing that any new airstrikes would lead to chaos in international relations.
The Kremlin adds that the country's both backers of the Syrian government expressed interest in further cooperation. Amir Daftari is in Tehran with
Iran's reaction to the strikes.
AMIR DAFTARI, CNN SENIOR PRODUCER: Pauline, as you might expect, reaction from Iran has been quite harsh, but that is no way unusual. Many top
officials here have been warning those involve of consequences to come. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei even went a step further and called
the attacks a crime. He said and I quote, "I clearly declare that the President of the United States, the President of France and the British
Prime Minister are criminals. He also said that the U.S. won't benefit from the strikes, the same way they didn't benefit from going into Iraq.
President Hassan Rouhani has also been condemning the attacks but also lending his support to the people of Syria, saying the Islamic Republic
will stand side by side with the Syrians. The Foreign Ministry, however, has taken a different approach. They've been focusing on those chemical
gas attacks in Douma saying the U.S., the U.K. and France should have waited for a more comprehensive and detailed investigation into the attacks
before launching their strikes. So harsh words overall, but that's all they are. I think many here were expecting something far worse and a
bigger strike than what they have seen. Pauline?
CHIOU: Many thanks to Amir Daftari there in Tehran. As country after country weighs in, Syria's Ambassador to the U.N. spoke at the emergency
Security Council Meeting on Saturday. Syria accuses the U.S., the U.K., and France of undermining international peace and security with an act of
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[11:10:00] BASHAR JAAFARI, SYRIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS (through translator): These three states should realize that after seven years of
terrorist war that was imposed on my country, a war carried out by these three countries and their agents in the region, their missiles, their
planes, their bombs will not weaken our determination, our determination to defeat and destroy your terrorists. This will not prevent the Syrian
people to decide on their own political future without foreign intervention.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHIOU: The leaders of the U.S., France and the U.K. are calling the strikes successful, but within the U.K., the Prime Minister is coming under
pressure. We'll have that and more reaction from Europe later on in the show. U.S. President Donald Trump is hitting back at critics who are
mocking his use of the term mission accomplished to describe the Syria strikes. It's a phrase associated with George W. Bush's ill-fated use of
the phase early on in the Iraq war. Well, Mr. Trump tweeted that he knew the media would seize on this. This tweet is just from a couple of hours
ago, but that it's a great military term that should be brought back and used often. Our Jim Acosta has more on the President's choice of words.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: It was a sobering message delivered to Syria backed by U.S. military might.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical
ACOSTA: While the Pentagon insists U.S. forces along with Britain and France achieved their objectives in striking Syrian chemical weapons
targets, it's one of President Trump's tweets that may have misfired. Celebrating the operation, the President tweeted a perfectly executed
strike last night. Thank you to France and the United Kingdom for their wisdom and power of their fine military. We could not have had a better
result. Mission accomplished. That phrase "mission accomplished was the flashback to 2003 when then-President Bush landed on an aircraft carrier
and declared victory in Iraq, a war that continued for eight more years. Over Bush's shoulder was a banner reading mission accomplished.
GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Major combat operations in Iraq have ended in the battle Iraq. The United States and
our allies have prevailed.
ACOSTA: Even Mr. Trump's supporters are cringing. Former Bush Press Secretary Ari Fleischer weighed in on Mr. Trump's tweet saying, "I would
have recommended ending this tweet with not those two words." Asked about the President's confidence, the Pentagon didn't disagree with the Commander
DANA WHITE, SPOKESWOMAN, PENTAGON: Last night's operations were very successful. We meet our objectives. We hit the sites, the heart of the
chem weapons program so it was mission accomplished.
ACOSTA: Still, on a conference call with reporters, the senior administration officials conceded air strikes may not have neutralized the
chemical weapons threat in Syria, saying if this does not succeed we will be prepared to act again. Which means the age-old question that comes with
every U.S. intervention have returned. How does the U.S. define success and how long will that take? Two weeks after Mr. Trump raised the prospect
of removing U.S. troops from Syria.
TRUMP: I want to get out, I want to bring our troops back home. I want to start rebuilding our nation.
ACOSTA: Democrats are raising questions.
REP. BRENDAN BOYLE (D), PENNSYLVANIA: I cannot tell you what this administration's policy is towards Syria. One week ago, he was talking
about entirely pulling out. That ended up giving -- appeared to give a green light to Assad and you saw how Assad took that green light and ran
with it in terms of gassing innocents including women and children.
ACOSTA: The other looming question is how to handle Syria's two biggest backers, Russia and Iran.
TRUMP: To Iran and to Russia, I ask what kind of a nation wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women, and children?
ACOSTA: Vice President Pence continued that tough talk at the summit of the Americas in Peru.
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES: Our message to Russia is you're on the wrong side of history.
ACOSTA: President Trump will face more of these questions about Syria next week when he meets with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe down at Mar-a-
Lago. But the President will be splitting his time discussing the fate of another rogue nation with weapons of mass destruction, that is North Korea,
another foreign policy crisis with no easy answers. Jim Acosta, CNN, the White House.
CHIOU: President Trump's personal lawyer's due in court on Monday at a hearing related to a payment he made to porn star Stormy Daniels. Now,
Daniels' lawyer tells CNN that she will also be at that hearing. So as to say the FBI seized recordings of conversations between Michael Cohen and
the former lawyer for Daniels and also Karen McDougal, both who claim to have had affairs with Mr. Trump. Brian Todd has more now on the
President's right-hand man, Michael Cohen.
[11:15:05] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, so before you knock each other over, we're all good?
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Donald Trump's personal lawyer and confidant in serious trouble on several fronts. Michael Cohen is coming
off a tumultuous week which included FBI raids at his home, office and hotel room. And the news that Cohen has been the subject of a criminal
investigation for months. As he prepares to follow a judge's order for him to go to court on Monday, Cohen could be on the verge of taking a major
legal hit ostensibly of the service of one man.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The next president of the United States of America.
TODD: Prosecutors say Cohen has told at least one witness, Donald Trump is his only client. For 12 years, Cohen has been Trump's personal attorney or
as many call him, Trump's fixer. One former Trump campaign official says Cohen is a less cool version of Ray Donovan, Showtime's fictional Hollywood
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, Jesus, Ray!
TODD: But if Cohen is less cool than Donovan, observers say, he's every bit as tenacious.
MARC FISHER, CO-AUTHOR, TRUMP REVEALED: When it comes down to threatening people, he is a guy who carries a pistol in an ankle holster. He makes it
clear to people he's a tough guy.
TODD: From sometimes ruthlessly maneuvering against people who have damaging information on trump, to trying to facilitate business deals for
his boss, observers say Michael Cohen consistently, doggedly displays the one characteristic Donald Trump values most.
FISHER: There's very little in the world that's more important to Donald Trump than loyalty and Michael Cohen has shown for more than a decade that
he will hold confidences and he will fight for Trump in the way that Trump likes. And that is to hit hard, to always hit back harder than you've been
TODD: Cohen's legal handling of the Stormy Daniels case has come under scrutiny. He recently said he used his own personal funds to "facilitate a
payment to the porn star shortly before the 2016 elections." Trump recently said he had no knowledge of the payment, something legal experts
say is almost unheard of.
MARK GERAGOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: It is extraordinary and I would -- I would tell you that probably 99.9 percent of the lawyers in America would
never even contemplate doing this.
TODD: Cohen tells CNN his legal handling of the Daniels case has been solid, airtight and that he believes it's Daniels who's now liable for
millions in damages based on her conduct. But Cohen is also being criticized from a pure public relations standpoint.
MICHAEL RUBIN, CRISIS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST: I think the entire thing was either reckless, naive or completely incompetent.
TODD: Crisis communication specialist Michael Rubin says it was a bad idea to believe paying Daniels off would make her go away. What should Cohen
have told Trump?
RUBIN: Tell him this isn't going to work. That's what -- that's what he really should have done. There was nothing they could have done to make it
go away. So dealing with it honestly is pretty much the only choice they have.
TODD: Cohen defends himself on that score, as well telling us, he hopes Daniels and their attorney are enjoying their 15 minutes of fame, that he
thinks that will diminish significantly when a judgment is entered against her. As for allegations of an affair, Mr. Cohen reiterated his strong
denial of an affair on three separate occasions. Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.
CHIOU: Another thorn in Mr. Trump's side right now. Fired FBI Director James Comey speaking out about the 2016 election in his new memoir. Today
the U.S. President lashed out again on Twitter slamming Comey's leadership of the top law enforcement agency. He again calls Comey a slime ball for
how he handled the investigation into Hillary Clinton's e-mails. Mr. Trump's latest attack came just before Comey's first T.V. interview to
promote his book. Some say, Comey, cost to Clinton the presidency by revealing just before the election that the FBI was reviewing additional e-
mails. Here's what Comey said about that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES COMEY, FORMER DIRECTOR, FBI: I don't remember consciously thinking about that, but it must have been because I was operating in a world where
Hillary Clinton was going to beat Donald Trump. And so I'm sure that it was a factor. Like I said, don't remember spelling it out, but it had to
have been that she's going to be elected president and if I hide this from the American people, she'll be illegitimate the moment she's elected, the
moment this comes out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you knew that letter would elect Donald Trump, would you still send it?
COMEY: I would. I would.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHIOU: And Comey's book is releasing on Tuesday this week. Coming up, a CNN exclusive. Arwa Damon shows us how children in Syria are reacting to a
chemical attack that almost killed them. Stay with us.
[11:20:00] CHIOU: Live from New York, you're watching CNN and this is CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Pauline Chiou. Welcome back. Now to a CNN T.V.
exclusive. We're the first to speak with survivors of that suspected chemical attack in Douma just over a week ago. It killed more than 70
people and wounded hundreds others. Some of the survivors shared their terrifying stories with CNN's Arwa Damon at a camp near the Turkish border.
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There's definitely something that stinks.
These backpacks belong to Malaz and Beza, seven-year-old twins from Douma.
They're a little shocked.
I smelled something, Malaz says that.
Their mother (INAUDIBLE) tells us they remember everything vividly. They were hiding in a basement when the alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma
took place. They could barely breathe. She felt her body go weak. She clawed her way up dragging her daughters, but then the other strikes began.
We were between two deaths, she remembers, either from the chemical strikes or the others on the rooftop.
The smell is still quite strong. These are the things that they weren't able to watch yet. And look, that's the toy that her daughter hid away to
try to keep her safe and she would tell the toy, you know, you might -- you might suffocate, but at least you'll be safe from the bombing. That's how
-- that's how the kids' minds work.
Yesterday they were digging a tunnel for the ants so that the ants wouldn't suffocate, just in case something happened.
In another tent, we meet a boy with a jagged scar running across his abdomen from shrapnel. His uncle who doesn't want to be identified was
among the worst affected in the family in the chemical strike. He says his blood sample was taken the day before. This new camp is inhabited with
those who survived the siege of Douma. Its relentless month-long bombing that drove people underground so that something as simple as feeling the
sun on their skin was a luxury. (INAUDIBLE) and her family thought there was a lull in the bombing and went outside when she says three air strikes
slammed right next to them. The next thing she remembers is being in the hospital.
She had just gotten out of surgery in the hospital when the wounded from the chemical strikes, she says, coming in. The scene was so horrific. She
says she forgot her own pain. What she doesn't know, what no one has the heart to tell her is that her husband is dead. Her son just two years old
is too young to remember his father.
[11:25:04] The limited U.S., France, U.K. strikes may have sent a message to the Syrian regime about chemical weapons, but not about the rest of its
arsenal. For those who have endured the unimaginable, it's little more than a move on a gruesome test port. 68-year-old (INAUDIBLE) arrived here
four days ago from Douma. She has buried too many relatives to count including her son and two grandchildren.
There's nothing left for them. I mean, even if they could go home, there's nothing left.
She says her country has caused her too much pain and remembering the long, lost days when her family was around her when they were all alive, when
feeling safe wasn't a luxury, it's all just too much. Arwa Damon, CNN, (INAUDIBLE) refugee camp, Syria.
CHIOU: For more insight from the ground in Northern Syria, Senior International Correspondent Nick Paton Walsh joins us live. Nick, you're
in area of Syria that is not under government control. So what's the assessment there of how the air strikes went?
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it depends frankly on how you as a Syrian Kurd would perceive the regime. We've seen
strangely although there are regime pockets of loyalty here after the strikes. People parading in cars with Syrian regime flags tooting, honking
their kind approval at how the regime had endured. But I can tell you for a fact that majority of Syrian Kurds have little love lost for the regime
and they've always had this sort of tenuous acceptance of each other kind of detente if you like. But it's more important way to assess how the
regime have tried to weather this. As we saw yesterday, Bashar al-Assad (INAUDIBLE) into work on video with a brief case in his hand like he lost
no sleep at all. And today he was meeting Russian lawmakers and trying to suggest that really Soviet-era air defense systems had kept the country
safe which I have to say is somewhat farfetched against laser guarded precision missiles launched from B-1 bombers. And also, too, the Russians
claimed about two-thirds of the missiles have been intercepted. That's way different to the Pentagon's tape which was frankly, everything had hit
their target before anti-aircraft fire was even in play. And the Pentagon do have before and after satellite pages that are commercially verifiable
to fact, those claims are. But Syria really I think trying to -- the regime side saying, well, it could have been a lot worse and move on.
CHIOU: Yes, two very, very different narratives. Nick, you've been there and so you're getting a sense of what the perspective is there from
Northern Syria in talking to your sources as well within Syria. What's the takeaway after the last couple of days?
WALSH: Well, I think, two things, really. It's quite clear the U.S. does not want to intervene here and change the course of Syria's civil war full
stop, but it is also clear that the U.S. does have military superiority here, frankly and the Russians did not want if they technically could to
have taken out the missiles or blocked them. They were given some elements of diplomatic warning that they weren't the target of any strike and they
were presumably told at the time of -- the time the strikes themselves sort of to stay out of their way to the deconfliction line. So that myth, you
might like to say Russian resurgence and the military power in this region, with them being on top is sort so slightly popped by this U.S. unleashing
the firepower. It was focused, it was targeted and only had one objective to deter the use of chemical weapons and we don't know if it's done that or
not because it certainly sent message to those three countries that were involved. On the other side too, you have to wonder whether or not Moscow,
Tehran, backing Damascus, it seemed the last week has done anybody any favors. They were doing frankly in that perspective to the more case aside
quite well in retaking Ghouta. They inflicted unbelievable brutality on civilians there for months and the international community had little to
say for it apart from harsh rhetoric and the occasional packet of aid here. And suddenly these chemical weapons are used and air strikes launched.
There's finally some sense of international cohesion about what to do with the regime's brutality and has not done anybody any favors in terms of
pursuing their military goals here and it may turn out possibly tomorrow if you listen to U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley, there could even be
economic sanctions against Russia too. So not frankly a particularly useful week for the regime and its backers in terms of pursuing their
strategic goals and that may have lots of consequences. We simply don't know this conflict has found new ways of renewing itself and continuing.
We'll have to see exactly where it goes next week.
CHIOU: All right, thank you so much for putting that all into context. Nick Paton Walsh there live in Northern Syria. Now, this is CONNECT THE
WORLD. Coming up, the action of allies, it wasn't just the U.S. that bombs (INAUDIBLE), France and the U.K. struck targets as well. Next, we're live
in London, Paris and Cypress, home to a British military base.
[11:33:27] CHIOU: Live from New York, you're watching CNN and this is CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Pauline Chiou, welcome back. There is a renewed
push for the United Nations to act on Syria. The U.S., the U.K., and France want a, quote, irreversible end to Syria's chemical weapons program.
A resolution (INAUDIBLE) by France and backed by its allies calls for an independent investigation into the suspected chemical attack inside Syria,
which prompted the trio to strike Syrian targets on Friday.
Now, Friday saw a heated debate at the U.N. Security Council -- actually Saturday, and that was between the U.S. and Russia over these attacks. A
Russian resolution condemning the allied air strikes on Syria failed. No surprise there, China and Bolivia were the only council members to join
Russia in supporting the measure.
And just a short time ago, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley suggested that further American sanctions against Russia could come on
Monday. Those would be economic sanctions.
We're covering the story from every angle for you with reporters all over the globe this hour. CNN's Atika Shubert is live in Paris, Phil Black is
live in London, and our Matthew Chance is live in Cyprus, which is home to a British Royal Air Force base. And Matthew, let's start with you, this is
a small island with a very big role to play here.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It is, and it's from this small island here in the Eastern Mediterranean, little more than
a hundred miles off the coast of Syria. That the four British fighter jets -- tornado fighter jets took off in the early hours of yesterday morning to
carry out the British parts of that combined allied effort to strike it's Syria's chemical weapons facilities.
According to the British, it went well, the target was about 15 miles west of Homs in northern Syria. It was a place where the precursor chemicals
for the manufacture of chemical weapons, they say was stored and the operation was completed without any civilian casualties or any casualties
But you're right, this is a very sensitive moment for Cyprus because in some ways it feels torn in its loyalties. On the one hand its part of the
European Union, and it houses these British military facilities, of course. On the other hand over the past several years, Cyprus has been building an
ever-closer economic relationship with Russia. And so, you know, it feels like as is say torn on having to strike a balance between these two various
powers, the west, and Russia.
The other side of this, from a simpler point of view, is that just a short distance, geographically away from the Middle East and they want to make
sure that the troubles that have afflicted that region for so long do not spread over here to this island. And that concern was provoked even
further when the Russian said that they would consider retaliating against the locations where strikes were launched from -- would Russian soldiers or
Russian troops -- Russian's troops have been a target that, that didn't happen. But again, it raised and amplified that concern that is held by
many people on this island. Pauline?
[11:36:41] CHIOU: Matthew, thank you for providing all that backdrop there with the delicate balance between the Russian-Cypriot relationship. With
the Royal Air Force base there, as well. Let's go live to London right now. And Phil Black, where Phil, Prime Minister Theresa May is under a lot
of pressure for actually not getting parliamentary approval for the strikes in lining up with Trump who's considered an unpredictable leader. So far,
how has she responded?
PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the messages from Downing Street from the British government have been very subdued. No talk
of mission accomplished or being lock and loaded and ready to go again if necessary as we've heard from the U.S. administration. A subdued message
here stressing they believe that the operation was a success. But how do you measure that? Because today the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, said
he couldn't be sure to what extent the where this chemical weapons capability of the Syrian regime had, in fact, been degraded.
What he hoped, what the British government hopes, is that the real success of the operation will be as a deterrence. That it will stop the Assad
regime and potentially others around the world from using chemical weapons like this again in the future. Take a listen now to Boris Johnson speaking
on this subject to the little earlier today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BORIS JOHNSON, SECRETARY OF STATE, BRITISH FOREIGN AFFAIRS: We hope that, that has degraded his capability, but at the very least what it has done?
Is sent a signal that the world wouldn't tolerate the continual erosion of the taboo against chemical weapons and the psychological boundary that
there should be in people's minds about the use of such weapons needs to be restored. It's been there for a hundred years.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACK: Now, you're right, Theresa May has irritated many politicians, or even in her own party here by choosing to take part of this military
operation without first receiving the permission of British Parliament. She doesn't have to that, but that has been the convention here going back
to the Iraq invasion of 2003. This is a country that is very skeptical about military interventions, foreign military actions, and in particular,
their consequences. What happens after? Because his people he learn through Iraq, and again later in Libya, it can often trigger unintended
consequences that result in uncertainty, chaos and a lot of internal bloodshed.
Tomorrow, Monday, Theresa May will address British Parliament. She says she will take questions from MP's there, it is likely to take some time and
is very likely that a lot of them are going to give a something of a hard time over the way that she's proceeded through this. The way that she's
attempted to sell it to the British people, and she's still very much doing that, stressing the fact that it successful in her view, it was limited and
focused purely design to deal with the chemical weapons and capability. Not looking at regime change, not looking at getting bogged down in any way
in the Syrian conflicts. And another thing they'll be talking about a lot here is the wide, international support that Britain has for having taken
this action. Pauline?
CHIOU: All right, Phil. Thank you very much for the perspective there from London. Let's move now live to Paris, in Atika Shubert. And Atika,
tell us about this French-backed resolution that's going to be discussed at the U.N. on Monday, and more on France's role.
[11:39:57] ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, France has been leading the effort on this, drafting the
resolution. And it basically makes the three demands. First, that Syria's chemical weapons stocks be verifiably and irreversibly stopped and
And what they really want to see is independent process to investigate that. The second thing they want to see is the cease-fire so that they can
allow humanitarian convoys into Eastern Ghouta. And the third is a commitment by the regime to an inclusive, political solution. Now these
are very lofty goals considering that the war has been raging for the last seven years and you know, perhaps, the belief among the three powers that
carried out these strikes is that this will be enough of a stick to compel Syria to the negotiating table, but in so far, in the last few years it
hasn't worked. But France is giving this a renewed push.
In the meantime, French President Emanuel Macron, who hasn't addressed the nation directly, all of the news that we are getting out yesterday was
actually be at Twitter. He will be having a live interview tonight with two high-profile journalists where he'll have to make his case to the
French public for why he committed French troops to the strikes.
CHIOU: And Atika, he'll make his case in that live interview. I'm wondering if he also is facing the same kind of criticism that Theresa May
will have to answer too, on Monday, in going along with the U.S. in these strikes without going to lawmakers first.
SHUBERT: He doesn't have to go to lawmakers. First, and it's not as much of a convention here so he's able to order those military strikes as
needed. But, he still has to make his case to the French people, and it's not something that he can take for granted. In 2013, when President
Hollande, was ready and willing to strike a chemical weapons starks in Syria, but didn't end up going through with it because the United States
had also backed out and turned around. At that point in 2013, a recent of poll showed that you know, a majority of respondents did not support
strikes at that time. So, he certainly can't take public support for granted this time around either.
CHIOU: Yes. Atika, thank you so much. Atika Shubert, live from Paris. Phil Black, live from London, and Matthew Chance, live from Cyprus. Thank
you to all of you. So, were these air strikes a military success? Did they accomplish their goal? Well, here is the Pentagon's assessment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LT. GEN. KENNETH F. MCKENZIE JR., DIRECTOR, JOINT STAFF: Against the first target, the Barzeh Research and Development Center which is located in the
greater Damascus area, we employed 76 missiles. 57 of these were Tomahawk land attack cruise missiles, and 19 were Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff
Missiles or JASSM's. As you can see for yourself from the graphics, initial assessments are that this target was destroyed. This is going to
set the Syrian chemical weapons program back for years.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHIOU: For more analysis now, I'm joined by CNN military analyst, retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Rick Francona. Lieutenant Colonel, thank you
so much for being with us. You actually know Syria very well, you are an attache there, and you know one of those targets quite well. The Barzeh
Research Facility. Do you agree that the strikes -- this one-shot deal that the Pentagon is calling has really set back the chemical weapons
program for years?
LT. COL. RICK FRANCONA (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Yes, it set the program back, not necessarily the capability. I think it would be foolish
for us to assume that one strike -- a series of strikes in one day is going to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons' stockpile. I don't think that was
the goal. But this particular facility and this particular building on that campus. It's a sprawling campus in the Barzeh's section of Damascus
is the heart of the research and development of all of the weapons of mass destruction, biological program, the chemical program.
So, this was a very significant target hit and not only did it have an impact, but also sent a very strong message to the Syrians about their
advanced weapons programs. So, and also, the fact that they were able to put these missiles -- you know, what it would this is 76 missiles into an
area that small in the center of a heavily populated city, heavily defended part of the city was quite remarkable.
CHIOU: He also said in that briefing that he believes there was chlorine and sarin there, as well. I do want to ask you about the inspections that
have been done there in the past because it was inspected and verified in March of last year. So, if it was verified, how easy it is? Is it to move
some of this material within a year and to build up that facility?
FRANCONA: Yes. When you're -- when you're inspecting these facilities and they know you're coming, of course, they can hide anything. They can move
things around and all of that. You know, Syria has got other facilities rather than the Barzeh, R&D facility. Most of the R&D happens at Barzeh,
but the production really doesn't happen there. The chemicals are produced at other facilities throughout the country they're stored at other
facilities throughout the country.
It's an extensive program, probably at least -- you know, 10 other sites that would need to be totally destroyed to eliminate their capability
altogether. And hopefully, that's what will happen, they come up with a verifiable inspection regime to search all of these places. But barring
that, we will never eliminate the Syrian chemical weapons capability.
[11:45:18] CHIOU: We will never be able to do that. Now, many leaders in the international community say the solution is to be -- have on a
diplomatic, political and economic solution altogether. But then you hear words like locked and loaded. Nikki Haley, yesterday, the U.S. Ambassador
to the U.N. was paraphrasing President Trump, saying that if Syria uses chemical weapons again against their own people, the U.S. is ready to
strike again, they are locked and loaded. Is this kind of language the right kind of language to use in your view when you're talking about so
many tentacles in a very delicate geopolitical crisis?
FRANCONA: Well, it seems to be the only language that Bashar al-Assad understands. But you shouldn't use the language unless you're willing to
back it up. And I think this administration has certainly backed up its rhetoric. I don't think we're going see any more chemical usage in the
near-term, just as we didn't see it for a year after the strikes on Shayrat Airbase in April of 2017. These do tend to have at least a temporary
But I think in Syria now, we're dealing with a different geopolitical situation, with the Russians firmly in the power position in Syria, giving
advice, orders, if you will, to Bashar al-Assad. I don't think we're going to see any more chemical usage, and the use of chemicals by the Syrians in
Douma was really uncalled for, it was unnecessary. They were about to achieve victory. And as we saw how it turned out, it turned out to be a
negotiated solution where the fighters are allowed to move up to Eden, as we've seen throughout the fight.
So, there was no reason to use chemicals, and I doubt that they even went to the Russians and told them they were going use chemicals, because the
Russians would have said, don't do this because you're going to bring in international attention that we don't need. It upsets what the Russians
are trying to do.
CHIOU: Lieutenant Colonel, thank you so much once again, for joining us. Lieutenant Colonel Rick Francona, joining us from Oregon. Live from New
York, this is CONNECT THE WORLD. Coming up next, Starbucks is under fire after two black men are carded out of a store in handcuffs, and it's all
captured on video. How the coffee giant is responding to the brewing outrage? Coming up next.
CHIOU: Starbucks is in damage control mode after two black men entered one of its stores for a business meeting and were let out in handcuffs. Matt
Petrillo, with our affiliate KYW, has the story.
[11:49:59] MATT PETRILLO, FREELANCE REPORTER, PHILADELPHIA: Viewer video shows the controversial arrest of two black men at this were (INAUDIBLE)
Starbucks, Thursday evening.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's ridiculous!
PETRILLO: That man in the gray vest is a real estate investor. The two men were supposed to meet him to discuss a business project.
LAUREN WIMMER, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY, PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA: The video in this case essentially speaks for itself.
PETRILLO: Now the men have hired attorney Lauren Wimmer. She says they were waiting for the investor in the Starbucks for less than 15 minutes
before police arrived.
WIMMER: These guys were doing what people do every single day. They were having a meeting and they were undoubtedly singled out because of their
PETRILLO: People inside the Starbucks at the time, also thought the man were being singled out because of their race. Some stepped in to try to
KANT KHATRI, WITNESS: Six or seven of us went outside, and started asking police officers like why are they doing this? At which point, they
eventually took the two gentlemen away.
PETRILLO: But Philadelphia police commissioner Richard Ross took to Facebook live Saturday to say a Starbucks employee first asked the men to
buy something before then telling them to leave. When they didn't, police were called.
RICHARD ROSS, POLICE COMMISSIONER, PHILADELPHIA POLICE: These officers did absolutely nothing wrong. And that they did a service that they were
called to do.
PETRILLO: Still, many people think, the Starbucks employee overstepped by calling the cops.
ALANNAH CALDWELL, PHILADELPHIA: You can't even stand in a Starbucks without somebody arresting you is crazy to me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That just doesn't even sound like something that's worthy of calling the cop, much less an arrest. It's pretty upsetting --
PETRILLO: Starbucks issued a statement that reach in part, "We apologized to the two individuals and our customers. And are disappointed this led to
an arrest. We take these matters seriously and clearly have more work to do when it comes to how we handle incidents in our stores."
PETRILLO: And Starbucks, also says it's reviewing its policies and plans to work with the community and police department to try to prevent another
situation from happening again. In Philadelphia, Matt Petrillo, CBS3, "Eyewitness News".
CHIOU: Live from New York, this is CONNECT THE WORLD. Coming up, the FBI raid on Trump Attorney, Michael Cohen gets spoofed on "Saturday Night
Live". Complete with a couple of star cameos.
CHIOU: "Saturday Night Live" is known for taking on the biggest news stories of the week with satire. Last night, they had some big names join
in on the fun.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Excuse me, Mr. Sessions?
KATE MCKINNON, PORTRAYED JEFF SESSIONS: Oh, no. Are they here for us? I'll go peacefully.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, it's not the police. The president's lawyer Michael Cohen is here to see you?
MCKINNON: Oh, finally, it's by all means of send him in.
BEN STILLER, SPOOF MICHAEL COHEN: Hi. Hey, how are you doing? Yes, that's right. It's Michael Cohen, attorney at law. And also sometimes not
CHIOU: Comedian Ben Stiller as Mr. Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen. The FBI raided his office, home, and hotel room last Monday. Cohen wasn't
the only one in the cast with a major Hollywood player.
[11:55:06] ROBERT DE NIRO, SPOOFED ROBERT MUELLER: Looking for something, Mr. Cohen?
STILLER: Robert Mueller?
DE NIRO: Why don't you have a seat, Mr. Cohen? Here, put these on. Do you ever use a lie detector before?
STILLER: I feel like I have.
DE NIRO: Great.
Did you make a payment of $130,000 to Stormy Daniels?
DE NIRO: And did President Trump, know about it?
DE NIRO: I think you're lying.
STILLER: It was -- yes, it was supposed to be a surprise for Stormy, like a gift.
DE NIRO: A gift?
STILLER: Yes, gift. Like a rock, you thrown through a window with a note tight with it says stop talking.
CHIOU: A brilliant legendary actor Robert De Niro there as Special Counsel Robert Mueller for that bit. I'm Pauline Chiou and thank you for joining
me on CONNECT THE WORLD. Thanks for watching.