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One World with Zain Asher
U.S. And U.K. Defend Their Strikes Against Houthi Targets; Arctic Blast Threatens To Impact Voter Turnout in Iowa; Israel Wraps Up Defense Against Genocide Accusation In The Hague; Asa Hutchinson Says He Will Not Be In Trump's Ticket. Aired 12-1p ET
Aired January 12, 2024 - 12:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ZAIN ASHER, CNN HOST: This will not go unanswered. The Houthis are vowing to strike back.
BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN HOST: "One World" starts right now. Uproar in Yemen as the U.S. and U.K. defend their strikes against Houthi targets. And
President Joe Biden says if things don't change, the U.S. won't hesitate to take further measures.
ASHER: Also ahead, the disturbing trend which is growing in the U.S. SWAT teams maliciously sent to the homes of innocent public officials.
GOLODRYGA: Plus, the final push. We're three days away from the Iowa caucuses and right now, the candidates' biggest competitor is falling from
the sky. The very snowy race to the White House.
GOLODRYGA: Hello, a good Friday to you from New York. I'm Bianna Golodryga.
ASHER: And I'm Zain Asher. You are indeed watching "One World." Since Hamas attacked Israel on October 7th, there's been so many fears that other
nations could indeed be dragged into this conflict. Those fears that other nations could indeed be dragged into this conflict. Those fears have now
GOLODRYGA: That's right. U.S. and U.K. fighter jets struck targets in Yemen overnight, repeatedly hitting Houthi rebels who have spent months attacking
ships in the Red Sea. The Western allies say they hit more than 60 targets right over 16 different locations, primarily Houthi bases capable of
launching the drones and missiles that have disrupted international shipping routes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KIRBY, U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL SPOKESMAN: We don't want to see this escalate. We've done everything we can in the recent weeks to try to
prevent the Houthis from escalating. But make no mistake about it, and I'm sure everybody in the region understands this, because this international
commerce affects them too. It is the Houthis that have been escalating.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: U.S. President Joe Biden called the Houthi attacks on shipping vessels unprecedented and said Australia, Bahrain, Canada and the
Netherlands had assisted the U.S. and the U.K. in crippling the Houthi military.
But the Houthis seemed undaunted. There were massive pro-Palestinian and pro-Houthi protests in Yemen's capital on Friday, and several Arab nations
condemned the coalition strikes. A Houthi spokesperson vowed to take revenge.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
YAHYA SAREA, HOUTHI MILITARY SPOKESPERSON (through translator): The American and British enemy bears full responsibility for its criminal
aggression against our Yemeni people and it will not go unanswered.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: CNN is covering the story from many angles. Oren Liebermann is at the Pentagon for us. Matthew Chance is in London, covering the U.K. side
of this development. And our Jim Sciutto is in Washington to help us break down who the Houthis are and what they want.
Let's bring in Oren Liebermann to break down the U.S. military side of things. So, Oren, the U.S. is saying that this was essentially an act of
deterrence, but of course the Houthi rebels are vowing to respond. They're of course vowing retaliation and they are vowing to continue to support the
Palestinians in Gaza no matter what. What does that mean for wider escalation, Oren?
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, the U.S. now watching very closely to see how the Houthis respond. Certainly, some of their
statements have been bluster, but there is the concern and the worry that it's not purely rhetoric here, that they will respond in some way. And they
have a lot of options because of their capabilities.
Iran has passed them technology, has passed them training, so they have the ability to carry out strikes. They can try to do that on U.S. vessels
operating in the Red Sea. Specifically, they could go after the vessels that carried out these strikes on so many Houthi locations in Yemen. They
could also try to target U.S. forces elsewhere in the Middle East with the ballistic missiles they have. Or they could target U.S. allies.
One of the things the U.S. was very sensitive about was the ceasefire between the Houthis and the Saudis. The Houthis could essentially blow that
up and start attacking Saudis. So, all of these are possible scenarios from where this goes from here.
But make no mistake, after the U.S. gave repeated warnings to the Houthis to stop attacking international shipping, the U.S., the U.K., and others
here felt compelled to act. They call this an act of self-defense because they say a U.S. vessel came under attack. At this point, it's not exactly
clear which U.S. vessel that was or on what date, but we saw the effects of the U.S. action there.
You saw the video of those F-18 fighter jets taking off from the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Red Sea, attacks on 16 different Houthi sites, 60
targets, more than 100 precision guided munitions used, as well as attacks from fighter jets as well as surface vessels and submarines there.
So, this very much intended to send a message and the U.S. warning that if the attacks continue, the U.S. will leave open the possibility of striking
the Houthis in Yemen again.
ASHER: All right, Oren Liebermann, live for us there from Pentagon, thank you so much.
GOLODRYGA: As we mentioned this, of course, was not just a U.S. operation. Let's go to London for the U.K. perspective on all of this. That's where
Our Chief Global Affairs Correspondent Matthew Chance is. And Matthew, Prime Minister Sunak defended these strikes today from Ukraine where he was
visiting with President Zelenskyy.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CHIEF GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, that's right. I mean, look. I mean, there is some political controversy in Britain that
parliament wasn't recalled in order to discuss British military action again in the Middle East. Some of the opposition parties here are outraged
that this went ahead unilaterally without Parliament being fully consulted.
But nevertheless, you know, that's what happened. And Rishi Sunak, the British Prime Minister, has been attempting to defend that action by saying
that, look, these strikes were limited, they were carefully targeted, and he's also said that they were -- I think the U.S. has said this as well,
that this was an act of self-defense in response to the dozens, a couple of dozen, of Houthi attacks against military commercial shipping in the Red
Sea. Take a listen to what Rishi Sunak has to say, speaking from Ukraine, where he's visiting and looking at the military situation there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RISHI SUNAK, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Our aim is very clear, it's to de- escalate tensions and to restore stability to the region. That's why allies over the past few weeks have issued several statements of condemnation of
what's happening, calling on the Houthis to desist.
Indeed, just this week we've seen a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning what's happening and saying that states have a right to self-
defense. We have acted in self-defense.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHANCE: Right, Rishi Sunak there, speaking from Ukraine. I was speaking to some British officials at Downing Street where the Prime Minister's office
is earlier today, and they said there's a hope that this won't escalate further from here. This was hoped to send a very powerful message to the
Houthis to stop their attacks on commercial shipping.
No plans are underway yet for more strikes, but the British government, just like their counterparts in the United States, are reserving the right
to take more military action if the Houthi attacks continue in the Red Sea area.
GOLODRYGA: All right, Matthew Chance reporting for us from London. Thank you so much.
ASHER: And I want to bring in CNN's Jim Sciutto joining us live now on all of this. So, just explain the thought process just in terms of the Pentagon
here, because the U.S. has been so hesitant, Jim, to launch these sorts of strikes because they don't want to be directly involved in this war. It is
the last thing they want.
But they were sort of caught between a rock and a hard place here because on the one hand, if they get involved directly, that could lead to a wider
escalation. But if they don't, it sends a message of weakness. Explain the thought process.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Listen, the fact is the U.S. is already involved, right, as a target. U.S. ships in the Red Sea,
along with ships from a number of other nations, but U.S. forces in Iraq and Syria, they've been attacked, and the U.S. has responded to those
attacks with limited strikes, but they've already been shot at.
And to date, they have not fired back, at least against the attacks on shipping in large form. U.S. forces in the Red Sea have taken down a lot of
drones, a lot of ballistic missiles, fired toward ships. Some of them fired towards Israel.
But now they're going at the launch sites, ballistic missiles, drones, and radar installations to both degrade those capabilities and, as Oren was
saying, to send a message to the Houthis and to Iran, for that matter, that this is enough.
And what really propelled this particular strike was strikes on Tuesday when Houthi rebels fired some 20 drones directly at U.S. ships in the Red
Sea including a ship carrying jet fuel senior administration officials told me and there was concern that had one of those drones gotten through. It
would have sunk those ships.
So, the fact is the US is already involved in one direction and now it's getting more involved in terms of firing back with the hope that it stays
as a low-grade conflict and doesn't grow bigger, because, of course, the concern is it becomes a conflict not between the U.S. and Houthi rebels in
this case, but the U.S. and Iran, who backs the Houthi rebels.
And I should note that the U.S. does not view that Iranian support as encouragement, et cetera. They view it as direct operational support,
providing intelligence, information and weapons to the Houthi rebels to help them carry out these attacks.
ASHER: All right, of course, the U.S. hasn't ruled out further attacks, right? So this could actually --
SCIUTTO: No, in fact, they've said in so many words, the senior administration official told me last night, that this may not be the U.S.'
last word on this.
They -- a Western official said the same to me just a short time ago. This could several attacks if the Houthi attacks on shipping do not stop.
ASHER: That's interesting. Just walk us through Saudi Arabia's perspective in all of this because of course they led the coalition attacking Houthi
rebels back in 2015. They since developed sort of truce with the Houthis, but they have been really reticent and hesitant to relaunch this. Well,
they want de-escalation. They look at what's unfolding here Jim and they think what?
SCIUTTO: Yeah, listen, they don't want, as you say, to restart that war that was a bloody and largely unsuccessful war, right, in terms of its
initial objectives going back a number of years. So, this may be a case, and this is something that happens often with military action like this,
that you have the partners who take place -- take part, rather, in those strikes.
You have the partners who express support for those strikes and then you have others who may not express support publicly but privately give the go-
ahead. Because listen, Saudi Arabia suffers from these strikes on the Red Sea as much as any other nation. And, you know, they want to keep these
trade routes open through the Red Sea and into the Suez Canal.
But at the same time, and I imagine the U.S. respects this Saudi interest, it does not want to become involved directly again with the Houthis or with
Iran, for that matter. So, they did not sign on in public for these strikes. Bahrain was the lone regional partner who did so, but that doesn't
mean that they -- don't want to see these Houthi strikes on shipping to stop, as well.
ASHER: It's remarkable because despite the war that the Saudis launched against the Houthi rebels nine years ago or so, they've only gotten
SCIUTTO: It's true.
ASHER: They've only gotten stronger.
SCIUTTO: And at the time, remember, with formidable Saudi military action and investment in that war and it did, you know, the Houthi survived for
ASHER: Right. All right, Jim Sciutto, live for us there. Thank you so much.
GOLODRYGA: Well, it is arguably one of the most important hurdles on the path to U.S. presidency. The Iowa caucuses are now just three days away.
But a dangerous Arctic blast is threatening to impact voter turnout. Temperatures are now expected to plummet to life-threatening levels on
Monday, with windchills in some areas making it feel like negative 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
ASHER: Basically, it is really cold there. Still at least three of the Republican candidates are getting their last-minute messages out, though
they have had to cancel some events. It is, of course, not easy campaigning in the middle of a blizzard.
Former President Donald Trump doesn't have any public campaign appearances in Iowa until Saturday, and Nikki Haley is hosting all of today's town
halls by phone, so she's not appearing in person. But the candidates are acknowledging that voters are certainly facing a lot of difficulty when it
comes to the weather.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NIKKI HALEY (R), 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I know it's going to be negative 15 on Monday. I don't even know what that is. I've been
campaigning here for 11 months now. And back in October and November and December, I'm like, it is so cold. And everybody kept saying it's mild. I
totally get it now.
RON DESANTIS (R), 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I know it's going to be cold, but here's the thing. You're never going to have an opportunity to
have your vote pack more of a punch than you will on Monday.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: CNN's Eva McKend joins us now live from Des Moines, Iowa. Despite that frigid weather behind you, Donald Trump finally made his way
to the state, as well. Talk to us about what we can anticipate from these candidates in the final few days before Monday.
EVA MCKEND, CNN U.S. NATIONAL POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, they are having to shift gears here in real time due to the weather conditions. Because,
you know, even if they were to hold these events, how would Iowans get there? The roads are treacherous. It is very, very windy.
But listen, in this final stretch, they're going to try to appeal to Iowans the best way that they can. Nikki Haley holding tele-town halls. Governor
DeSantis visiting volunteers at a location that he has in Urbandale, Iowa. And then former President Donald Trump, he's got surrogates on the campaign
trail today. Tomorrow, he's hosting four large rallies.
What we have seen in recent days on the trail is Governor DeSantis, Nikki Haley, really intensified their battle for second place. They have been
going after each other. Governor DeSantis likening Ambassador Haley to Hillary Clinton, Ambassador Haley routinely calling Governor DeSantis a
liar. But the plain facts are that the former president just remains way out ahead in these polls.
Nonetheless, Governor DeSantis is leaning on Iowans to get out and caucus on Monday, despite these frigid temperatures, telling them that, listen,
your vote, your caucus on Monday showing up could really have a major impact for this contest, that don't believe these polls that have Trump way
out ahead, that you all can essentially make the difference here. Bianna.
GOLODRYGA: All right. Eva McKend, stay warm. Thank you.
ASHER: All right. Time now for our conversation with one of those Republican candidates braving sub-zero temperatures. Asa Hutchinson, the
former Governor of Arkansas, joins us live now from Des Moines. Thank you so much for being with us. I have no idea what minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit
is like to campaign. I am from West Africa, so we don't understand.
GOLODRYGA: That's a misleading background he's in right now. It's a misleading background. It doesn't look like Eva's.
ASHER: We don't understand those temperatures. But I do have to obviously ask you about the elephant in the room when it comes to Donald Trump, of
course, predicting an unequivocal blowout in this race on Monday. He has been in and out of court this week, and that seems to be really the picture
for him going forward in this race.
What does it say about the Republican Party, Asa, if Iowa voters reward someone on Monday who could be a convicted felon by the end of the year?
ASA HUTCHINSON, FORMER GOVERNOR OF ARKANSAS: Well, it puts a great deal at risk for the Republican Party. And there's going to be a lot of surprises
in the Iowa caucus next week. And the weather adds another element of surprise. But in terms of our nominee, we want to put the strongest person
forward to win against Joe Biden.
Now, first of all, you have Donald Trump, who clearly could be a convicted felon at that time, has a lot of challenges ahead of him, and is a weak
candidate for bringing independence. And then you look at Nikki Haley and you look at Ron DeSantis who has promised him a pardon. Are they the
strongest nominee for the party attracting independent voters when independent voters by and large want to hold people accountable for
And so, it puts us at a very difficult position. I'm the only candidate campaigning that has not promised a pardon during the campaign to Donald
Trump. And so, a lot's at stake for party and the strength of our nominee to win in November of 2024 and attract independence.
GOLODRYGA: It's good to see you, Governor. We should note that we have not seen you in the past few debates because you have not qualified for them.
And I thought it was interesting to see you described by "The New York Times" as the Don Quixote of the 2024 Republican primaries.
To echo what you've just said here, you said you're the only one campaigning for President in Iowa that is not going to promise to pardon
Donald Trump. And you said if your voice is not there, no one hears the alternative view.
And I want to pick up on that, because it has really been you and Chris Christie that have most vociferously spoken out against the former
president and the threat that his candidacy would pose to the U.S. Chris Christie, as you know, has left the race, and he was polling a bit higher
than you and was raising more money than you were. So, what do you think you are able to do to turn voters around that he wasn't?
HUTCHINSON: Well, I was in the race before Chris Christie got into the race. He has a very loud New Jersey influence, and he was able to attract
donors, and he was able to attract support, but he didn't have a path to win. He acknowledged that and he dropped out.
And so, I'm still in the race as an important voice in this, and I see this not just as the importance of Iowa and New Hampshire but going on into
Michigan and going on into Texas Super Tuesday states that we've got to be in a position, whatever happens to Donald Trump, to have alternative voices
that are out there and options. And I am an option.
Whenever you look at the challenge that we face overseas, the threats to the United States, I've had that responsibility in the Bush administration.
So, the experience I bring, how I want to address border security, governor balancing the budget, that's a voice that is critically important during
ASHER: Nikki Haley has refused to rule out serving as Donald Trump's Vice President. Is that something that you yourself would completely rule out?
And what does it say about any candidate who at this point leaves the door open to that possibility, especially given everything that we've just
talked about when it comes to Trump?
HUTCHINSON: Well, it's the same thing on the first debate stage that I was on. I -- everybody else raised their hand and said they would support
Donald Trump even if he's a convicted felon. That's not how you win votes in a general election.
I stood firm and said that that's not the case for me. And so, there is a lot at stake. I think you're going to see some surprises.
ASHER: Would you consider Vice President, though? What about being his VP?
HUTCHINSON: No, I would not.
HUTCHINSON: I would not. I would not consider that for Donald Trump. I don't think he would consider me, but I certainly would not consider
joining his ticket.
GOLODRYGA: If Donald Trump does become the nominee, which judging by all the polling suggests that he is expected to be, would you support him in a
general election versus President Biden?
HUTCHINSON: All I've said is I would not support somebody who's a convicted felon. I don't expect when you get to the convention that he's going to be
the nominee. And I've always supported the nominee of the party and I hope to do it again.
And we're fighting hard to make sure that nominee is somebody that can win in November against the important challenge that we face, which is Joe
Biden and the Democrat Party.
GOLODRYGA: So, can I just pick up that you said you wouldn't support someone who is a convicted felon because as you know, this is part of the
strategy that Trump is trying to promote, to further delay these trials as much as possible and perhaps eclipsing going past November's election. So,
would you support him if he wasn't convicted at that point, if either the trial hadn't started, or a decision hadn't been made?
HUTCHINSON: Well, everybody knows where I stand with Donald Trump. I'm going to work hard to make sure he's not the nominee. I hope to support the
nominee of the party, and that's all I'm going to say now. I think the clarity of my statement that I'm not going to support someone who's a
convicted felon is sufficient.
Now, let's look at the timing of this, though. And you're right. His strategy is to delay, delay. But all he's going to be able to do is delay
it close to the convention next year, this year, or a little bit beyond that which again jeopardizes the Republican Party tremendously.
Whether it's a 14th Amendment challenge that could come up in the November election or whether it's a conviction, it puts our nominee if it's Donald
Trump at extreme jeopardy and our party. We want a strong candidate and we don't want turmoil at the convention and that's what we're going to have if
he has a conviction leading up to it.
ASHER: You know, obviously, so you are -- we have to be realistic here. You obviously are polling at one percent. You haven't qualified for a debate in
quite a while. Just being realistic, of course, at some point you likely will drop out of this race. Who, if not Trump, then who?
HUTCHINSON: Well, and you're right, the expectation on my candidacy is low. Whenever you look at the uphill battle that we face, the fact that a lot of
people have counted us out, I expect to surprise some many in the caucuses coming up. And so we're going to beat expectations. And the storyline
should be not just who wins the caucus, but also whether you beat expectations.
Now, certainly after the Iowa caucus and every day, I want to be evaluating my candidacy. I'll make rational judgments on that realistic based on the
support and the opportunity.
So, I'm not going to say what happens down the road is speculative, but we're going to make rational judgments as after we come out of Iowa. Hope
we'll have a boost and we'll be able to fight the battle in New Hampshire. Looking forward to being back there. I've already booked my flight to New
Hampshire after the Iowa caucus.
GOLODRYGA: The Don Quixote of the 2024 Republican primaries, Governor Asa Hutchinson.
ASHER: And Governor, we'd love to have you back on.
GOLODRYGA: Yes, please come back.
ASHER: We'd love to have you back on next week if you can make it. We'd appreciate that.
HUTCHINSON: I've been called worse names than Don Quixote. Principle's important. So, we'll keep fighting and I'd love to be on the show.
GOLODRYGA: Yes, come back.
ASHER: Thank you.
GOLODRYGA: Thank you. Well, coming up for us, genocide or self-defense. Israel responds to South Africa's accusations about its war in Gaza. That's
up next, after the break.
GOLODRYGA: Well, Israel wrapped up its defense against an accusation of genocide earlier today in The Hague. South Africa brought the case to the
International Court of Justice, accusing Israel of trying to wipe out the Palestinian people in Gaza.
ASHER: Lawyers representing Israel says its actions are purely self- defense, and they say it's Hamas that is guilty of seeking genocide against Israel. Now that the two-day hearing is over, the court is now going to
decide whether to order Israel to end its military operation in Gaza or not. Outside the court, those on both sides made their voices heard.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PROTESTORS: Viva, Viva, Palestina.
GOLODRYGA: Pro-Palestinian demonstrators protested outside the court chanting and waving the Palestinian flag while pro-Israel's protesters set
up a Shabbat dinner table with a seat representing each hostage that is still being held in Gaza.
Melissa Bell joins us now from The Hague. A lot of emotion wrapped into this hearing. We heard from a number of defense attorneys representing
Israel today. What was the most notable, Melissa?
BELL: I think what we had expected was to hear them plead self-defense, and that was a substantial part of what the lawyers had to say. But a number of
their counsel went much further than that.
There was a fair amount, Bianna, of indignation, in fact, in their tone, that this case should have been brought at all on the basis of the 1948
Genocide Act, with some of the lawyers representing Israel talking about a distortion of the truth, of the facts on the ground, of the idea that South
Africa had in its testimony omitted to explain the specifics of life inside Gaza, the embedding of Hamas inside civil society and the fact of their
using their own people as human shields.
If there had been civilian deaths, said the Israeli lawyers, this was on Hamas, not on the conscience of Israeli leaders or, indeed, the IDF. And
when it came to the IDF, there were robust judicial systems inside. Israel to ensure that any individual soldiers could be brought to account.
There was a sense of indignation as well at the idea that this genocide act could be used. It was explained by the Israeli lawyers in a way that might
turn it into a charter for the attackers, essentially protecting Hamas. Also, of course, the key question of intent in order for genocide to be
proven, the question of intent has to be shown.
That was something that South African lawyers had tried to show through a series of documents, both written and oral, showing, they said, Israeli
leaders systematically and repeatedly showing their genocidal intent. Not so, said the Israeli lawyers led by the British barrister that has been
chosen by Israel to lead their case.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MALCOLM SHAW, ISRAEL ADVOCATE: The core of genocide is intent. Without intent, there can be no genocide in law. Any prima facie consideration
indeed of intent, even at this preliminary stage, will only demonstrate its absence from Israel's activities.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BELL: Well, Malcolm Shaw did say Israel had in terms of intention was to root out Hamas. And I think this was another important part, Bianna, of
their defense that should the International Court of Justice rule in favor of the preliminary motion that have been demanded by South Africa, that is,
that the war should be suspended in order that the court can consider the more substantive case, essentially, Israel would be deprived of its ability
to defend itself, that it is taking on an enemy intent on its own destruction and that this should be a war therefore that it is allowed,
obliged to wage.
That was very much at the heart of what the defense lawyers had to say. Of course, the judges here, Bianna, now will dig into the substance of the
case. That could take many years. But that immediate question of whether to demand that Israel cease its hostilities is likely to come, we expect, far
GOLODRYGA: Yeah, over the next couple of days or weeks, notable that we just heard from Germany just a short time ago saying that they view these
claims by South Africa as meritless, as well, and rejected them given their history with genocide and the Genocide Convention. Melissa Bell, thank you
ASHER: All right, still to come, the dangerous trend of swatting on the rise. Fake 911 calls generating a large police presence. The callers seem
to be going after some really high-profile targets here and we'll have much more on this, the stepped up efforts to get them to stop, just ahead.
GOLODRYGA: Also ahead, the U.S. and U.K. carry out strikes against Houthis in Yemen. But who are they and what do they want? We'll have more on our
top story when we return.
ASHER: All right, welcome back to "One World," I'm Zain Asher. And I'm Bianna Golodryga. More now on our top story. The multiple strikes by the
U.S. and U.K. against Houthi targets in Yemen.
Right, this follows a surge in drone and missile attacks by the group on commercial ships in the Red Sea, which effectively shut down one of the
world's most critical waterways, accounting for about 12 percent of global trade. But the big question now is, who exactly are the Houthis and what do
GOLODRYGA: So, the Houthis are a Yemeni Shia rebel group backed by Iran, who rose to power after the Arab Spring protest in 2011. They've been
battling Yemen's government off and on for nearly two decades now, wanting greater power and political influence in the tiny nation.
ASHER: And the Houthis have essentially built their ideology around opposition to Israel, opposition to the United States, as well. In fact,
their main slogans say, death to America, death to Israel. The Houthis say their Red Sea attacks are essentially revenge for Israel's war against
Hamas in Gaza.
GOLODRYGA: The internationally recognized government of Yemen says that it holds the Houthi group responsible for dragging the country into a military
confrontation. It's a complicated and volatile situation, so let's bring in retired British Major General Rupert Jones to talk about all of this. He
joins us now from Somerset.
Thank you so much for joining us. So, we know now that more than 60 targets were hit overnight, spread over 16 locations, targeting munition depots
launching sites and radar that's helped to guide these missiles, thus far. The United State has said that an attack like this was coming if these
strikes continued, so no doubt they were anticipated by the Houthis.
I'm curious from what you know now in terms of the assessment after these strikes, how damaging was it for the Houthis and how much did it limit its
further capabilities of pursuing these types of strikes?
RUPERT JONES, MAJOR GENERAL, RETIRED SENIOR BRITISH ARMY OFFICER: Yeah, I mean, I think there was plenty of warning that these attacks were coming,
so it wasn't a great surprise. But Houthis have demonstrated themselves to be extremely resilient over the years.
And so, I don't think anybody, at least all the Americans or the British, will believe that a single sortie of airstrikes overnight will
significantly degrade the Houthi military capability. What they have done, I'm sure, is strike very deliberately against some of the targets they feel
will contribute into the attacks into the Red Sea.
But can the Houthis generate more military capability? Of course, they can. But then the strikes weren't about that. The strikes were about drawing a
line to make really clear that freedom and navigation must be maintained. And it was really to send a message to the Houthis, time will tell how
effective that was.
ASHER: You point out that, you know, the Houthis have proven themselves to be incredibly resilient over the years. I just want to figure out and
trying to figure out where that resilience comes from, because you think about their origin, they sort of rose to power as the Arab Spring swept the
region back in 2011, even despite the Saudi-led coalition that we saw in 2015, they've only grown in stature, they've only grown in power. Just
explain to us where exactly that resilience comes from. Why are they continuing to grow in power? Is it Iran backing them or is there more to it
JONES: I mean, I think there's two elements to it. I mean, they come from a position of extreme religious fervor, shall we say. So, that undoubtedly
gives them resilience. Of course, Yemen is a very poor nation, and that provides them with rich pickings in terms of recruiting fighters.
But you're absolutely right to point to Iran. They haven't been able to conduct their civil war and indeed their attacks into the Red Sea on their
own. They are essentially an Iranian proxy. They're equipped, trained and supported by Iran. And it's quite clear that these attacks that have been
happening in the Red Sea come with a blessing, indeed the active encouragement from Iran.
GOLODRYGA: It is interesting, over the past several years, the amount of intelligence and the amount of weaponry that Iran has supplied to the
Houthis, a militia of, what, 100,000 fighters, are so relatively small, but very nimble. And if you look at the precision strikes that it launched
against the Saudis over its war, that had surprised a lot of experts that had been watching this ensue. Why does Iran view them as such a valuable
proxy in this fight at this point?
JONES: Well, I mean, Iran likes to fight at arm's length, and so they look for multiple proxies. And of course, they have that in Hamas, they have
that in Lebanese Hezbollah, they have that in a number of militia groups, significant number of militia groups in Iraq and Syria. But they also have
it in the Houthis in Yemen.
And of course, the Houthis, the geographical position of Yemen allows them to strike into a different bit of the region to those other proxy forces.
So, it allows them to threaten the Red Sea, threaten that critical global trade route that the other Iranian proxies are not able to do.
GOLODRYGA: I'm curious how Saudi Arabia views this and how they play this. I mean, obviously they're a U.S. ally, but they reached a truce with the
Houthi rebels just about a year or so ago. The last thing they want is to be sort of dragged into yet another war with the Houthis.
They saw the war back in 2015 as completely ineffective and very, very expensive as well. Mohammed bin Salman has really tried to look for a
complete out in terms of de-escalation with tensions between the Saudis and the Houthi rebels. How do they play this?
JONES: Yeah, I mean, my sense is they're going to play it very carefully. Of course, they've been pretty cautious in many ways since the Hamas
atrocities, but I think they will just be pretty cautious here. My sense is that the princes will be supportive of what the Americans and British have
done. But I think your average Saudi might take a rather different stance to it. So, I think they're going to draw a -- take a cautious line at the
GOLODRYGA: In terms of what else the U.S. can do, we know that container traffic in the region has gone down by about 91 percent since this war
began, since we saw action taken by the Houthis. The United States in 2021 took them off of the terror list, perhaps in anticipation or hopes of
renewing negotiations or some sort of talks with Iran. Would it be helpful at this point to put them back on the terror list?
JONES: I mean, that would be my judgment that yes, that they should be on the terrorist. I mean, clearly that's for others to decide, but they are
undoubtedly acting like a terrorist organization and should be treated as such. You know, they are terrorizing global trade.
They claim that their attacks are targeted against Israeli shipping and nations who support Israel. I mean, as you said at the top of your piece,
they are having an impact on global trade, and that will have an impact on every one of our pockets. It will have an impact on our economies. And that
ASHER: All right, Major General Rupert Jones. Good to have you. Thank you so much for your insight and perspective. Greatly appreciated.
GOLODRYGA: Well, the airstrikes on Houthi targets in Yemen are rattling the energy markets. Oil prices rose sharply higher. U.S. crude climbed 4.2
percent to $75 a barrel earlier today.
ASHER: And Brent Crude, the world benchmark, jumped four percent and crossed over the $80 a barrel level, as well. Besides fear of a wider
conflict, there's also concern that oil facilities in Saudi Arabia could get hit by a retaliatory strike from the Houthis.
GOLODRYGA: I'll be back at the top of the hour on Amanpour, where the World Food Programme says they are, quote, "taking food from the hungry to feed
the starving." We'll be featuring a conversation with the organization's Executive Director, Cindy McCain. "One World' continues next.
ASHER: All right, imagine SWAT teams breaking down your door, completely catching you off guard, only to find out that they've been sent to your
house under false pretenses and basically out of spite.
That's what happens in the dangerous practice of "swatting" when fake emergency calls are made and police are dispatched to an address where
actually no crime whatsoever has occurred. And as our Rene Marsh reports, a growing number of public officials are being targeted.
DAVE YOST, OHIO ATTORNEY GENERAL: They claimed that I had shot my wife.
RENE MARSH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ohio's Attorney General Dave Yost --
BURT JONES, GEORGIA LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR: They had shot their spouse and that they had somebody else tied up.
MARSH (voice-over): And Georgia Lieutenant Governor Bert Jones. Both police say targets of a dangerous trend on the rise called "swatting." It's a hoax
where the caller makes a panicked false report to 911 about a violent crime in progress at their target's home, triggering a large police response with
armed officers, like the one Georgia State Senator, Clint Dixon, experienced when he says he was "swatted" on Christmas Day.
CLINT DIXON, GEORGIA STATE SENATOR: I went to the front door and opened the door and answered the door and was met by six officers that were carrying
MARSH (voice-over): Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene says she was targeted the same day. The police report says the caller told an emergency
dispatcher he shot his girlfriend and Greene's home was the scene of the crime.
CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: The intent is to harass the individual who's the subject of the swatting call, but there are serious
consequences potentially. Officers responding very quickly to the scene, thinking that there's some major crime in progress, which puts the person
who is the subject of the swatting at risk.
MARSH (voice-over): In a divisive and toxic political environment, both Republican and Democratic political figures seem to be increasingly the
targets, many of them viewed by Trump supporters as political opponents.
This Sunday, D.C. police responded to a 911 call for a shooting at the home of the federal judge in Donald Trump's election interference case. The
police report says once units arrived, they realized the judge was not injured and there was no one in her home.
Last month, Jack Smith, the Justice Department Special Counsel overseeing two federal cases against Donald Trump was "swatted," a law enforcement
source tells CNN. So, was Maine's Secretary of State after she ruled Trump ineligible to appear on the state's ballot. And just hours before
Thursday's closing arguments, a bomb threat at the home of the judge presiding over Trump's civil trial.
MERRICK GARLAND, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: These threats of violence are unacceptable. They threaten the fabric of our democracy.
MARSH (voice-over): In May, the FBI set up a database to track swatting cases for the first time. Since then the agency says it has received more
than five hundred reports. But finding the perpetrators who often mask their caller I.D. data can be difficult and that's why political figures
who have fallen victim to the crime are urging Congress to act.
DIXON: If there was, you know, a federal law on the books, given that this person is calling from another state, that you'd have that jurisdiction and
hopefully be able to apprehend those folks more effectively.
MARSH (voice-over): As elections draw near, states are doing what Congress has not. Last year, Ohio passed a law making swatting a felony, and Georgia
has drafted similar legislation.
MARSH: Well, it's not just high-profile political figures falling victim to "swatting." It runs the gamut from Jewish and other religious institutions,
government buildings, schools to election workers and members of the military.
Now, law enforcement stresses that this is a dangerous hoax. They point to 28-year-old Kansas man who was actually killed after someone called in a
fake 911 emergency about a hostage situation at his home. Rene Marsh, CNN, Washington.
ASHER: All right, still to come, caught on camera, an animal shelter turns canine crime scene after a clever escape artist breaks out of his pen and
has a party for one.
ASHER: Welcome back. This is Jerod Mayo, the New England Patriots brand new head coach. Mayo was the team's linebackers coach and played eight seasons
for the Patriots. At 37, he is the youngest head coach in the league and the Patriots first black head coach. He is replacing Bill Belichick, who
parted ways with the team on Thursday after 24 years. During that time, he became one of the NFL's best coaches ever.
All right, a jailbreak in Arizona caught on surveillance camera, but this was no convict, just a friendly Husky at a local shelter, apparently in
need of a late-night snack. As Jeanne Moos reports, this canine escape artist even tried to get some other pups to join him and that wasn't the
only surprise. Take a look.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The escapee could best be described as very husky, and he didn't just try to free himself.
MOOS: It was sort of like a jailbreak where he was going to help the other inmates. He was trying to open up their kennels, too.
MOOS (voice-over): Look at him scrabbling at the latches, trying in vain to bust out his friends at Lost Our Home Pet Rescue in Tempe, Arizona.
MOOS: And how did he get out of his kennel?
JODI POLANSKI, LOST OUR HOME PET RESCUE: I don't know. I just don't know. I still, to this day, I don't know. He didn't break it.
MOOS (voice-over): But once he got out in the wee hours of the morning, King the Husky was caught on surveillance cameras opening doors with his
paws. The Pet Rescue's director turned it into an episode of "Paw and Order."
VOICE-OVER: These are their stories.
MOOS (voice-over): Spilling food and water that Director Jodi Polanski saw on the surveillance camera from her home after the motion detection system
alerted her to the breakout.
POLANSKI: And then all of a sudden I saw the mess and I was like, oh no.
MOOS (voice-over): Police were also alerted and greeted by the friendly tail wagging escapee who was eventually escorted back to his kennel. And
then another shocker.
POLANSKI: And I was like, oh my, who taught this man to clean?
MOOS (voice-over): The policeman picked items off the floor, swept the office, used a rag to mop up water, even moved the filing cabinet to clean
MOOS: You had a nickname for the officer?
POLANSKI: Mr. Clean.
MOOS: Officer Clean.
Mr. Clean gets rid of dirt and grime and grease in just a minute.
MOOS (voice-over): King has since been adopted, and thanks to police, the Husky's escape was sort of a clean getaway. Jeanne Moos, CNN --
Mr. Clean, Mr. Clean, Mr. Clean.
MOOS (voice-over): New York.
ASHER: All right, that does it for this hour of "One World." I am Zain Asher. Thank you so much for watching. Amanpour is up next. Enjoy your