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Connect the World

U.S.: Kremlin Allegations on Drone Strikes are "Ludicrous"; Israel Kills Palestinians who Killed British-Israeli Settlers; Serbia Rocked by Deadly Belgrade School Shooting; Jordan's Foreign Minister on Syria's Possible Return to Arab League; Financial System in Chaos Since Overthrow of Omar Al-Bashir; PacWest Exploring "All Options" as Separate Merger Collapses. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired May 04, 2023 - 11:00   ET




BECKY ANDERSON, CNNI HOST: This hour a case of who done it in Moscow as the mystery around two drones flying towards the Kremlin thickens? First up

though your headlines are up Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke today at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

He said Russian President Vladimir Putin deserves to be sentenced for alleged war crimes in Ukraine. Police in Belgrade are searching for the

motive for a school shooting in the Serbian capital that left nine dead they say a 13-year-old boy opened fire killing eight children and a

security guard on Wednesday.

Israeli forces have killed the Palestinian militants who last month killed a British Israeli settler and her two daughters. And later this hour

Sudan's economy on the brink we speak with the Head of the International Monetary Fund for the region.

Welcome to the second hour of "Connect the World". I'm Becky Anderson. Russia has accused the United States of directing Ukraine to fly two drones

into the Kremlin. The attack described by its press service as and I quote here, an attempt on President Vladimir Putin's life for the entire incident

is shrouded in mystery quite frankly.

The Kremlin one of the most heavily guarded government complexes in the world, while its border is also fortified questions now arising over

Russia's defenses, or is the attack even real?

So tonight, we ask who if anyone sent drones to the Kremlin? Matthew Chance back with us this hour from London and Oren Liebermann is at the Pentagon.

So let's start with you, Matthew, what do we know, at this point?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean, we know that you know what the Kremlin says, which is that these two drones

are struck in the early hours of yesterday morning. And we've got these dramatic images, which we've been seeing all over our screens.

But which more importantly Russians have been seeing all over their screens as well, showing these drones apparently striking the Kremlin Senate

Palace, which is one of the main buildings inside the red brick walls of the Kremlin Citadel in the center of Moscow.

It's extraordinary to see these explosions take place, because this is the geographical and the symbolic heart of the Russian state. And so it's

whoever did this. This has exposed the weakness, the vulnerability of the Russian state to attack if the idea was to have been to tell Russians that

the war in Ukraine won't touch them, and then this has given a light to that absolutely.

In terms of the damage that was done. Well, it doesn't seem to have been significant at all. In fact, you can see from the explosions on the video,

that they're not big explosions. It's more like a giant firework than anything else.

But the Kremlin has said that a couple of copper sheets have been damaged, which they are being already have been replaced. The flames on top of that

dome there are believe to be the burning drone, rather than the roof itself. And so there was no significant damage done.

And of course, Vladimir Putin, the Russian President to the Russians say this was an assassination attempt against wasn't even in the building at

the time he was outside of Moscow, when this attack took place, and so no significant damage, no one injured, it seems. But nevertheless, the

Russians are treating this with the utmost seriousness.

ANDERSON: I'm going to get back to you. Let me just get the perspective from the U.S. the Kremlin Spokesperson today Oren making what is, frankly,

you know, a baseless accusation that the U.S. directed this drone strike on the Kremlin, what's been the reaction where you are?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, of course, the first accusation from Russia was that it was Ukraine that was behind it and now

the Kremlin saying Spokesman Dmitry Peskov saying it was the U.S. that dictated the actions of Ukraine to carry out this drone attack on the


Well, the U.S. fired back earlier this morning, John Kirby, the Strategic Communications Coordinator for the National Security Council said on our

morning show that he couldn't use the words he really wanted to in responding to this, but here's what he had to say.



it's a ludicrous claim the United States had nothing to do with this. We don't even know exactly what happened here Kaitlan.

But I can assure you the United States had had no role in it whatsoever. And again, just to be clear and I think you've covered this at the

beginning, and we neither encourage nor do we enable Ukraine to strike outside Ukraine's borders.


LIEBERMANN: U.S. officials still very much looking at this ever since the Russian accusation came out that video for a service on who might have been

behind this and what might have happened here, but there have been no definitive conclusions coming out of that.


It is worth noting that what we learned from some of those leaked documents was that Ukraine was interested in carrying out strikes inside of Russia.

But it was the U.S. that moved them away from that and convinces them not to carry out such strikes. It's also worth noting that one of Ukraine's top

requests for quite some time now months really has been a tact comes a long range missile that would be able to strike deep inside of Russia.

But the U.S. has repeatedly turned down this request to keep them from carrying out such strikes. So it has been very clear that the U.S.'s policy

pretty much from the very beginning is that this fight this war that Russia started should be limited to the borders of Ukraine, Becky.

ANDERSON: Alright, Matthew, thank you. I've got our Senior International Correspondent, Sam Kiley, with me here in the studio. You've spent months

of the last one year and a half, nearly two, in fact, in and out of Ukraine Sam. You've seen these images. What's your take? And what is our big

question I -- who, if anyone sent drones to the Kremlin?

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I guess somebody did. But I think if you look at what is in it for Ukraine, for example, there is

no military or even political agenda there that would really suit Ukraine to do this apart from the technological challenges.

They could, in theory send a drone over a vast amount of Russian territory, but it would fire up anti-aircraft systems it would attract on when

warranted attention, and it would achieve no strategic benefit. Could the Americans be behind it, same issue?

I think the balance of probability is that this is a pro Ukrainian partisan group or pranksters, pretty much. I mean, this is pretty much at a level of

a prank as Matthew said it was kind of no more effective than a firework, except that it was deeply embarrassing for the Kremlin.

ANDERSON: It certainly wasn't an assassination attempt.

KILEY: No, Putin doesn't live in the Kremlin. He barely works there. He only has official functions there. We've read reports of his secret tunnels

and railways. And so he lives in a kind of bunker mentality. So it's pretty much the last place on Earth, you'd be hanging around.

ANDERSON: You've been on the frontlines. As I suggested, when I introduce you, in fact, it's fantastic to see you back in the Bureau, which is where

you're based, of course, here with me, in Abu Dhabi, because you've spent much of the last 18 months in and out of Ukraine on the frontlines. There

is a counter offensive now expected, what's next in this war?

KILEY: Well, I think this is, I think the view of most analysts, and certainly my view after being there for as you say, rather too many months,

and perhaps is that this is in many ways the last military chance that the Ukrainians have to achieve the sort of breakthrough that they need.

That they would hope to try to collapse the Russian military to cause it to implode in on it effectively to mutiny give up and go home. They know that

the Russians are demotivated. American intelligence assessments currently are that they're not capable the Russians are not capable of launching

their own offensive.

So this is the moment now they have got a lot of new weapons from NATO, very sophisticated weapons, they will have to use those to go over the

heads of the Russian defenses and break the structures that support the Russian front line, if they can do that.

And then bring pressure to bear on the Russians who have been fortifying then they could possibly break through. But the problem is that this is a

really big, ugly war. I don't know how many wars I've covered. But I've been doing it for 30 years. This is like a war movie from the Second World


ANDERSON: You know -- you didn't expect to ever be covering a war like this again?

KILEY: This is war in Europe, with Russia with 21st century weapons, but on a scale, similar to battle lines in the Second World War. So for civilians,

the danger is almost as high in Lviv as it is in Kramatorsk on the other -- more than 1000 miles away to cover it is extremely dangerous and

unpredictable because it's very much this awful term 360 degrees it is all around you, particularly because of the drone threat. So it is sort of

industrial in its

ANDERSON: What do you make of the reporting yesterday, coming out of the states that some 100,000 Russians have either been killed or injured during

this war? It's difficult to know how you can stand those up those numbers up although Washington says they have evidence to support.

KILEY: Yes, and they say that some 20,000 they believe Russians are being killed. I have to say during our own reporting and basically a CNN policy

we stay away from those Fog of War type numbers because they can be misused and inadvertently used to indicate some kind of ebb and flow in the battle.

What is really important indicator is who controls what territory? And in the case of the Ukrainians they have regained significant territory in the

summer and fall last year, and then they are planning and hoping to try to do the same again the problem is that the Russians have had six months to

prepare for it.


I think anecdotally, the level of casualties on both sides and I do know, Ukrainians have taken very severe casualties are again, they're industrial

in their scale. It's not uncommon to see or hear or know of 500 men on one side or the other wiped out in a day.

ANDERSON: Well, Sam, thank you. It's good to have you back for however long. We'll follow the latest developments from Russia's war on Ukraine on

the website. Of course, we've got multiple stories up now including why the U.S. Intelligence Chief thinks it's doubtful that Russia will launch a

significant offensive operation this year.

Obviously, we've been talking about that counter offensive that we've been -- that has been speculated about from the Ukrainian so that's a on

your computer or through your CNN app on your Smartphone.

Right up next here on this show, "Connect the World" with me Becky Anderson, the recent killing of a British Israeli woman and her two

daughters shocked Israel. We'll show you how the Israeli military has responded up next. Mourners are holding a vigil for the victims of a deadly

school shooting in the Serbian capital, live to Belgrade where people are simply asking, how could this have happened?


ANDERSON: Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel sent a message to anyone who would hurt his citizens. The Palestinian gunman who killed three British Israeli

settlements has been killed in an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank earlier.

Hamas confirms that the two gunmen who shot and killed Lucy Dee and her daughters were among the dead in Nablus a third Palestinian militant who

was helping the government was also killed in the raid.

Well, the British Israeli settlers were gunned down you'll remember last month while on a family outing. Their deaths sparked outrage in Israel and

thousands of people attended their funeral. Let's get you to our Jerusalem Correspondent Hadas Gold for more, Hadas?

HADAS GOLD, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Becky. Lucy Dee and her daughter's Rina and Maia were driving in Homra in the occupied West Bank

last month, when another car came up alongside them and shot at them Rina and Maia were shot dead at the scene.

And Lucy died of her wounds a few days later. Now, since then, there had been no information on the suspected gunman or any sort of information on

whether authorities knew where they were and that was until this morning when we received word from Israeli authorities of a daytime warning time

raid in Nablus in the caused by the old City of Nablus.

And as we've experienced and understand what these types of Israeli raids when they happen in the daylight hours, that tends to be rarer and that

tends to indicate that the Israeli authorities are operating on information and intelligence they believe is time spent today.


And according to Israeli authorities more than 200 forces participated in this raid. This included everything from ground forces to drones that were

used at this time when they went and they surrounded the apartment building where they believe the suspected gunman was being held. They said that

firefight happened and then in exchange of fire, they said that three Palestinian men were killed.

Now Hamas and Israeli authorities have confirmed that two of those killed were the gunmen in that attack that killed Lucy, Rina and Maia and then a

third man Israeli authorities say was helping to hide the two gunmen.

Now Hamas has claimed all three as part of their militant wing and even calling them heroes of the operation in the Jordan Valley. We are getting

word from the Lucy Dee family Rabbi Leo Dee who was the father and husband saying in a statement that he and his surviving children are delighted to

hear that the terrorists were limited today.

Most of all, he says it was done in a way that apparently did not endanger the lives of Israeli soldiers. Now, the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin

Netanyahu, as you noted, sending out a message essentially saying that his message is those who want to harm us is that whether it takes a day or week

or month. You can be certain that we will settle accounts with you.

Becky, this has already been a very deadly few months since the beginning of this year, more than hundred Palestinians that number includes civilians

and militants have been killed so far in the occupied West Bank and Israel. And something like 19 people have been killed in Palestinian attacks.

Targeting Israeli so far this year, that number includes almost all civilians except for one security officer. We are already on pace to break

the record from last year, which was already the deadliest year for both Israelis and Palestinians across Israel and the occupied West Bank since

the days of the Second Intifada, and it is very likely we will beat that record this year, Becky.

ANDERSON: Yes, Hadas thank you! And if you want more perspective on that or anything happening in the Middle East, don't forget to subscribe to our

Mideast Newsletter. It's called "Meanwhile in the Middle East" and it brings you an insider's view of the tensions and triumphs happening every

day in the region.

You can see that bottom of your screen, how you can log on you can scan the code with your phone's camera, subscribe at the website please do give it a go. Well, a shaken Serbia is facing three days of national mourning starting on Friday. It is also

asking one simple question very, very simple question why?

After Wednesday's horrific school shooting that left nine people dead, eight of them were children. Officials, their teenage boy opened fire on

his classmates at the Belgrade Elementary School. The motive for the attack is under investigation. CNN's Scott McLean joins us now from the Serbian

Capital, Belgrade. What is the mood like there Scott?

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, you know, Becky today earlier, we were at a blood donation clinic just a few blocks away from this school.

And the folks there said that they were seeing twice the usual number of people coming in to donate blood.

Because of course, there are still people in hospital two of them fighting for their lives, according to authorities. And the donation clinic said

that they don't need the blood right now. They're not desperate for it. But they don't want to turn people away because a lot of people come in saying;

I just want to do something.

We have also seen a steady stream of students from across this city coming to the school to pay their respects to lay flowers to put down candles and

they have done that in almost total silence. Other people that we spoke to, though, simply didn't know what to say listen.


PETER, ACQUAINTANCE OF VITIMS: I personally knew three people that tragically died here. Few of them lived very close to me, and it's -- I saw

them every day.


MCLEAN: Now, that interview ended abruptly after that because this young person clearly was too emotional to continue describing his relationship.

There is also some anger out there as well. Last night outside the education ministry, there were students chanting for the resignation of the


I spoke to his deputy earlier who said that his boss actually offered his resignation. It's up to the government on whether or not to accept it, but

he insisted that there is nothing more that the school could have done security wise to prevent this.

He said that all of the elements were in place. He said this could have happened frankly, anywhere. That's not good enough for some teachers who

are planning to walk out tomorrow, though over safety concerns and whether they like it or not, that school will also be back open to students

starting on Monday, Becky.


ANDERSON: What are we learning about the actual shooter, Scott?

MCLEAN: Yes, so we're getting some new details from police. We interviewed the police chief today who said that there was no indication that he had

used drugs. He also said point blank that he had not been bullied though he did give a bit of context in saying that he had recently fallen out with

his friend group, so he was obviously having some social difficulties there. He also shed some light on what he had watched the night before the

shooting, listen.


VESELIN MILIC, BELGRADE POLICE CHIEF: I've never experienced such a tragic day in my career. It's something our society couldn't imagine could ever

happen. The statements of the boy who did this monstrous deed are very strange. The boys said that the night before the massacre, you watch some

strange American movies about the school shooting and that in that movie, that boy who committed similar murders didn't feel any empathy or remorse.


MCLEAN: Now, the chief also said that the boy was oddly remarkably, really proficient in the use of gun something that's not normal. And he said that

his father had taken him to a gun range earlier today. We went to that range earlier it was closed. But the chief pointed out that it is not legal

for children to handle weapons in this country. Prosecutors have told us that they're looking into that.

The range itself has so far declined to comment. There was a lot of focus on this country around violent video games or on social media, and also

around guns. The government is now proposing to put a moratorium for two years on the issuing of new gun licenses. You also, you already have to

jump through some hoops to get a gun license in this country.

But they're proposing to stop that at least temporarily until they can perhaps strengthen their gun laws. They've also proposed to ban cell phones

from inside the classroom altogether and to tighten regulations when it comes to social media and young people, Becky.

ANDERSON: Scott McLean is in Belgrade in Serbia for you, Scott, thank you. Well, as we've been reporting, the country has the highest level of

civilian gun ownership in Europe. Yet shootings of this kind are comparatively rare. More on the latest from that school attack and how it

is sparking a national conversation about Serbia's or use the CNN app.

Well, I've got some breaking news for you now out of the United States and guilty verdicts coming in related to the January the sixth insurrection at

the Capitol. Four members of the far right proud boys group have been found guilty of seditious conspiracy by a Washington DC jury, these charges for

that role in forcibly trying to prevent the transfer of power from then President Trump to Joe Biden after the 2020 election.

Prosecutors use video and social media messages to make the case that the proud boys animated by Trump and his election lies began calling for

violence and revolution against the incoming Biden presidency. Well, still to come. What Jordan's foreign minister has to say about the new CNN

reporting that most of the Arab league is willing to have Syria at its upcoming summit more than a decade after much of the region boycotted

President Bashar al-Assad.

New fighting breaks out in Sudan with both sides blaming each other, we look at that and the wider impact and the violence could have when it comes

to the country's economic future.



ANDERSON: Welcome back, you're watching "Connect the World" with me Becky Anderson. These are your headlines this hour and a half past seven or just

before half past seven, 25 past seven here in the UAE. Israeli forces have conducted a raid in the West Bank killing the Palestinian militants who

were behind last month's deadly attack on a British Israeli mother and her daughters.

Some has --confirmed that two of the three men killed today were involved in the shooting deaths of Lucy Dee and her daughters Maia and Rena. Serbia

is in shock after Wednesday's deadly school shooting in the capital of Belgrade. People have been leaving flowers at the scene of the attack.

Eight students and the security guard were killed.

And police say a 13 year old student opened fire. A spokesperson for the White House says the Kremlin's claim that the U.S. directed and alleged

drone attack on the Kremlin is ludicrous. Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov made that baseless accusation.

They're also saying that Ukraine was acting at the bidding of Washington. John Kirby of the National Security Council says U.S. had nothing to do

with the strike and called Peskov a liar. A diplomatic source tells CNN that most Arab League members are willing to include Syria in the group's

summit later this month in Riyadh.

The source adds that members will meet before then and decide whether to send an official invitation. That was unclear if President Bashar al-Assad

would lead the Syrian delegation there. The Arab world is looking of course to normalize relations with his country. It's been frozen out of the league

since Assad's violent crackdown on protests in 2011, which led to the Civil War.

Well, joining me now live from Amman is Jordan's Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Ayman Al-Safadi. And for our viewers who may not be

across the machinations of this region's politics as much as you are, foreign minister, just remind us the significance, if you will, of this

Arab League moment for Syria, whilst largely symbolic. Why is it important to Syria that the Arab League bring it back into the fold?

AYMAN AL-SAFADI, JORDANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER & DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER: Good evening, Becky. And as we discussed before, the whole movement in the Arab

world to try and have a leading role, and efforts to bring about a political end to the Syrian crisis took place against the backdrop against

the reality in which really, there was no effective effort to solve the crisis.

It was pretty much the status quo politics and status quo politics only resulted in more elves and more pain and suffering for the Syrian people

and in growing threats to the region, including Jordan.

So as we've discussed earlier, Jordan a while ago, came up with a paper that developed into a Jordanian initiative that was predicated on a leading

Arab roll on a step for step approach, coordinated with our partners and allies and consistent with the resolution to fight for, to progress towards

a solution.

Dynamics in the Arab region have shifted and it looks now that yes, you're correct. The Arab League will consider very soon serious return to the Arab


ANDERSON: So Foreign Minister, I want to read out a statement from the U.S. State Department with regard to this. The U.S. and I quote here, "Will not

normalize relations with the Assad regime and we do not support others normalizing with Damascus either. We've made this abundantly clear to our

partners; the U.S. believes that a political solution outlined in resolution 2254 is the only viable solution to this conflict in Syria".


The U.S. does not agree with your position or other members of the Arab League, they say. Does that tally with your conversations that you're

having with partners in Washington?

AL-SAFADI: Yes, as I said, Becky, when we came up with our initiative, we did discuss it with the U.S. and there are partners and our allies, and we

work very closely together, other Arab countries did so as well. What we're talking now about now is, is a political process in which the Arabs will

have a leading role in efforts to try and bring about a solution to the crisis.

And we hosted a couple of days of Amman, a meeting of the Jordan, Egypt, Iraq, of course, Saudi Arabia, and with Syria, following up on a meeting

that Saudi Arabia hosted for GCC countries, plus Jordan, Iraq and Egypt, to see what we can do to work together towards a solution that is consistent

with 2254 and on the basis of this four step approach.

The U.S. is a major ally of us and we're having that conversation. I think we want the same end, in terms of a solution that addresses all

humanitarian security and political consequences of the crisis. In order for us to succeed, we will all need to work together.

And that in that regard, the Amman statement was very clear that what we're doing is an effort that will bring about a realistic into the crisis. And

take us to be -- away from the useless and dangerous, the status quo a situation where nothing was moving forward, and the situation was


ANDERSON: Let me be quite clear, then, do you believe that you have Washington support on this because you are taking a leading role on this?

AL-SAFADI: Becky, I just -- through a phone call with the Secretary Blinken, I think they -- thus support working towards a solution to the

conflict consistent with 2254. What we're doing is to have a new process led by the Arabs to get us to an end to that solution.

And look Becky, there's symbolism and there's real work on the ground. The return to the Arab League will be symbolic; it will usher in a more active

Arab elbow involvement in efforts to end this catastrophe. But ultimately, in order for us to really end it, we'll have to make sure that the whole

international community is on board.

Because by the end of the day, there are sanctions, there are European sanctions, there are American sanctions, and there is going to be

tremendous need for a global effort for reconstruction. So I think everybody realizes here that success in this --requires the international

community being on board.

And the international community being on board would require steps from Syria, supported by us that address the challenges that the crisis has

produced so that we move forward. Other than that, yes, the return to the Arab League would happen symbolically, it will be important.

But realistically, we will not be able to solve the crisis without the support of the international community, and hence the very, very close

coordination that all of us, Jordan, Saudi, Egypt and others, Emirates and others, Qatar, everybody is having with the international community.

ANDERSON: And let's be quite clear about this. Most, but not all members of the Arab League, as we understand it are on board, who is not on board and


AL-SAFADI: Look, everybody is on board to end the crisis. There are differences on what's they approach. Our initiative initially was

predicated on a step for step where normalization will be the outcome of the process.

But as I said, regional dynamics have changed. We have to adapt and we have to do what's best and what's possible. And what's possible now, and what's

best is to work together as Arabs, in coordination with the international community to -- to move forward.

There are some countries that probably would have preferred to see the Arab League happening at a richer and happening at a later stage, but all agree

on the need to solve the problem. And by the end of the day, there are mechanisms within the Arab League that regulate how we can reverse the

decision of freezing Syria to return to the region.

I'm not going to go into whose up and who's against; I think you will see, I think the votes enough votes are there for Syria to return to the league.

But that should not be the end that is only the beginning and a very humble beginning.


Amman and Jeddah before were the beginning of what will be a very long and difficult and challenging process given the complexity and the difficulty

of the crisis after 12 years of conflict that not only has produced challenges to the region, but has globalized the conflict as well. I mean,

if you look at Syria now, it is also a battleground for regional and international agenda.


AL-SAFADI: So it's not an easy process at all. But again, the question that we need to address if I may, Becky, what do we get from the status quo? As

I said, we're getting more suffering, more pain, more threats, and more destruction. Can we stop it to reverse it, or at least start with, with a

process that will ease the suffering of the series and put us on track? I think that's what we're all about now.

And that is the process that we'll engage in very thoroughly and again, in coordination with partners with a view to moving, towards ending a crisis

that has been devastating to the Syrians and very threatening to the region in every sense of the word.

ANDERSON: They're extremely destabilizing to the region and catastrophic for so many Syrians. Final question, many will be asking what Arab

countries like yours are getting in return for bringing Syria back into the fold. What's in it for you guys?

I mean, Prime Minister, has Syria given you iron clad guarantees, for example, on stopping the drug trafficking that we know to exist across your

border from Syria?

AL-SAFADI: Becky, as you said, we're a bordering country to Syria, we have 378 kilometers of borders of Syria. We have received 1.3 million Syrian

refugees, only 10 percent of whom are in refugee camps. We have, we had the threat of terrorism, now we have a very dangerous threat of drug smuggling.

So it is in our interest to solve that, that to help solve that crisis, to create conditions conducive to the return of refugees, in cooperation with

the U.N. voluntarily, and I stress voluntarily return of refugees, to counter drug trafficking. So for us, it is a must that we end this crisis,

because we've suffered tremendously from its consequences as the Syrian people and others, we cannot live with the status quo anymore, we have to

do something.

And yes, we'll be working within the Arab League. But we'll also; we'll be working within our own bilateral channel and our measures to make sure that

we mitigate any threat to Jordan and security. And we are not taking the threat of drug smuggling likely if we do not see effective measures to curb

that threat.

We will do what it takes to counter that threat, including taking military action inside Syria, to eliminate this extremely dangerous threat, not just

in Jordan, but through Jordan to the Gulf countries or Arab countries and the world. So we will do what it takes to contribute to ending the crisis.

Meanwhile, we'll do what it takes to protect Jordanian national interest as well.

ANDERSON: This is the drug trafficking of the Amphetamine Captagon. I mean, this is a multi-billion dollar industry. I hear and our viewers will hear

what you are saying here, sir. The very visible visit of the Iranian President Raisi to Syria, just yesterday will remind people just how

involved the Iranians have been in financial and military support for the Syrian president and his regime.

What do you make of that visit? And what should other Arab nations make of that visit? Do you ever concern about relations between Syria and Iran? Or

is that now off the table?

AL-SAFADI: Very frankly, Becky, I mean, Syria is a sovereign state they can have whatever relations it has, it wants with whatever country. But what

we're concerned and others are concerned about, is that there should be no ability for any country to project the threatening power out of Syria, to

us and to our allies in the region and beyond.

So it is no secret there are, there is Iranian presence in Syria. There are militias supported by Iran. That is something that we do not accept, and we

will continue engagement directly with the Syrians, with the Iranians and with our partners and allies, to make sure that nobody can project the

threatening power out of Syria to the rest of the region.

Iran is part of the region. We want good relations with Iran. But our position has always been that in order for those good normal relations to

evolve. We need to address the causes of tension and those causes tension have to do with Iranian policies in the region, interventionism and others.


And also with policies and movements and actions inside Syria that pose a threat to the national interest of Jordan and other countries. So, as you

said, it's a very complex situation. We're working with, with all our allies and our friends in the region and beyond, to try and address all

consequences of the crisis.

Remember, we will also have the challenge of terrorism in Syria, terrorist groups are trying to rebuild, and they still exist on our border and in the

northern part of Syria as well. A drug trafficking as you said, and these are not your usual regular gangster, this is a huge operation that is

backed by militias and, and some official elements. And there are, you know, conditions on the ground are not conducive to the return of refugees,

a very complex situation.


AL-SAFADI: But the point of departure is that, we cannot continue to double down on policies that did not work. We have to try and bring about a change

in dynamics with a view to eventually incrementally solve this crisis consistent with internationally agreed mechanisms. The Syrian people have

suffered for far too much and far too long. The crisis is continuing to produce evil and pain to this -- and to the region. We've got to stop that.

ANDERSON: Foreign Minister, we thank you very much indeed, for your time, despite this war in Syria, largely having ended turmoil very much remains

Syria is in no way stable, safe, prosperous or free. And many Syrians have been calling for President Assad to be tried for crimes as the foreign

minister of Jordan points out.

This is not an easy time. You've heard from the foreign minister, where Jordan and other Arab countries believe the best foot forward is at this

point. Well, Ukraine's president insists his country doesn't target Russia or its president and only defends its own territory.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke at the International Criminal Court at The Hague saying Russian President Vladimir Putin deserves to be sentenced there for

war crimes and will be when Ukraine wins the war. He spoke after another night of intense Russian attacks, Ukraine's air defenses repelled the

largest airstrikes of the year on Kyiv with no damage or injuries reported.

But shelling in Kherson has killed at least two dozen people. For the latest from Ukraine, CNN's Nick Paton Walsh is live in Zaporizhzhia. And

the news out of Kherson, of course is extremely worrying.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean, look, it's a reflection of what ordinary Ukraine have been dealing

with for the last year, but particularly intense over the last week or so. Kherson hit at its railway station at a key supermarket there as well. A

lot of the time in the city center, we were there recently, you hear the consistent booms and clear if it's quite what it's coming from.

But certainly an intense barrage yesterday that happened causes damage in the middle of the morning way before the Kremlin made these unsupported

allegations that a drone had hit the Kremlin indeed. Also to yes, we have been seeing overnight, a continuation of a trend over the past three or

four days.

Here officials were referring to not last night being the worst so far this year, but the -- period of the last few days, suggesting an intensity and

frequency. Last night in fact, most of the drones that flew towards the Capitol were in fact taken out according to official statements, a similar

picture too in Odessa, the key southern city.

So air defense playing an important role here, Becky, certainly. But in instances like the apartment block hit in Oman last earlier on this week,

and also the Kherson attack you were referring to as well, a continued sense of horror, frankly, for ordinary civilians. We're one house not far

from where I'm standing to see two craters.

And the fact that there was a small gap between those two missiles landing around the house enabled those inside it to get into the bathtub and hide

the children in shelter so ordinary Ukrainians here really constantly is bearing the brunt of Russia's often indiscriminate barbarity, Becky.

ANDERSON: Nick Paton Walsh on the story for you, taking a very short break folks, back after this.



ANDERSON: Let's connect you to Sudan now where the U.N. says almost half a billion dollars could be needed to support people desperately fleeing the

violence and that is in the first instance. Fierce fighting is continuing on Thursday despite an extension of a ceasefire with both sides blaming

each other.

The U.N.'s refugee agency predicts a total of 860,000 could flee by October, putting the cost of refugee response alone at $445 million. This

as the Red Cross has just announced an emergency appeal. Well, even before the latest conflict in Sudan, there were already pressing concerns about

its economy.

It's something I discussed with the IMF's Director for the Middle East and Central Asia at the recent launch of the group's 2023 outlook. The big

question overall was how to maintain economic stability in troubled times. But given developments in Sudan, the IMF regional boss told me that there

comes a point when the priority is survival.


ANDERSON (voice over): A fragile truce in Sudan, marred by outbreaks of violence, slim hopes of two warring sides coming to the table. Those

suffering most are civilians already operating within a broken economy.

Even before the overthrow of President Omar al-Bashir in 2019, Sudan's financial system had been in chaos, crumbling even more since then. A

transitional government led by Abdalla Hamdok attracted billions of dollars in international support aimed at rebuilding the country that included $50

billion in debt relief from the IMF.

JIHAD AZOUR, IMF DIRECTOR, MIDDLE EAST & CENTRAL ASIA: We were hopeful a couple of years ago, we were working on huge relief operation for Sudan.

And we were expecting that this will trigger certain number of reforms that will improve the huge potential that Sudan has in terms of resources in

terms of also large market.

ANDERSON (voice over): But that aid was suspended after security forces staged a coup, detaining Hamdok and dissolving the civilian government.

Army Chief General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan took control and the economic outlook didn't just worsen, it fell off a cliff.

Currency devaluations and subsidy reforms drove up prices, the COVID-19 pandemic slowed down growth. And then Russia invaded Ukraine and Sudan

which imported nearly 90 percent of its wheat from there or Russia took the hit.

The World Bank estimated that before the coup, more than half of Sudan's population was surviving on less than $3.20 a day, a figure that is likely

to have only become worse. Now the focus has shifted from rebuilding the country's economy to survival.

AZOUR: Now, I think the priority is to protect people's lives. We have refugees, we have people that are internally displaced, and also we need

after we stabilize or after the conflict is stabilized. To see the development agencies the agencies like the fund coming and helping the

country like Sudan recover.


ANDERSON (voice over): With no end to the fighting inside, the country risks falling into the shadows of the international isolation. It

experienced under 29 years of Omar al-Bashir's rule. And if the violence does end, it will be a long and difficult path before Sudan can steer its

fortunes back on track.


ANDERSON: Still to come, the rattled American banking system, one major deal falls through while another regional bank signals that it needs help

that is after this.


ANDERSON: Well, another regional American bank could be teetering on the brink. Shares of California based PacWest Bank have fallen more than 40

percent. Now the regional lender says it is exploring all strategic options, their words not mine for its future.

That comes as a separate $13 billion bank deal for another struggling bank fell through and sent stocks tumbling. Regional lenders have struggled as

the Federal Reserve keeps raising interest rates in an effort to tame inflation. And it has happened again, the Fed voting Wednesday for a

quarter point hikes.

CNN's Matt Egan is joining us from New York. Look, Matt, clearly investors aren't convinced that this banking crisis is over. We know that these

region there are a number of regional banks who quite frankly, were exposed to the rate rising cycle perhaps they should have known better, but they

didn't. But we certainly haven't seen the end of this, have we?

MATT EGAN, CNN REPORTER: Becky, unfortunately, we haven't, you know, the banking fears on Wall Street and really global markets, they're just not

going away. And in some ways they're getting worst. The latest attention is about another California bank. That's PacWest, this regional lender

plunging by 50 percent. Last night early this morning pared some of its losses.

This is after the bank, -- 52 percent actually, so it's near session lows. This is after the bank says that they're exploring all strategic options.

That's basically code for help. Let me read you what the bank said in a statement. They said, "The bank has not experienced out of the ordinary

deposit flows following the sale of first Republic Bank and other news".

But this is not just about PacWest because as you alluded to, we had TD and first horizon calling off their $13 billion dollar deal. This would have

created America's sixth largest lender, but that is now not happening. We're also seeing other regional banks fall really sharply. Western

Alliance, Zion's, Fifth Third Bank down dramatically today, Western Alliance in particular is in focus. This is an Arizona based bank.

And it came under pressure after the Financial Times reported that it's also exploring strategic options. But Western Alliance came out with a very

strong statement there, they call this categorically false. They said the company's not exploring a sale. They said they're actually considering

legal options against the Financial Times accusing the paper of being an instrument of short sellers.

I would note though, that this is not just about concerns about deposits. There are also just broader concerns about how these companies are going to

make money in this environment. We have their deposit costs going up and they're lending less that is never a good recipe.


And you also have central bankers continuing to raise rates, the Fed yesterday, the ECB today that does not help.

ANDERSON: Yes, it's interesting the IMF firm I was with yesterday, and it's and the risk to the downside of their outlook for the, for the global

economy in 2023 and 2024, which is a sort of rocky recovery at this point are two things, rate rising continuing, because people can't get inflation

under control.

And the other one is instability in the financial banking sector, two real issues that is still out there. So those are things that our viewers should

keep an eye on, instability in the banking sector and this issue of when this rate rising cycle will end. Got it, all right, Matt, thank you very

much indeed,

You have been watching "Connect the World" with me, Becky Anderson. You've got more CNN of course, after this short break. You'll see me again with

this show, same time, same place tomorrow.