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tv   CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin  CNN  August 8, 2014 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT

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this is cnn breaking news. >> and we are at the top of the hour. you're watching cnn, i'm brooke baldwin watching two huge stories unfolding as i speak. first, the united states dropping bombs and air strikes against isis militants in iraq. and not too far from there in gaza as fragile cease-fire has now crumbled with missiles and rockets flying once again between israel and hamas.
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but first, to the strikes on islamic extremists in iraq. these two jet fighters dropping 500-pound bombs on these isis targets in iraq, u.s. secretary of state john kerry speaking just before that happened. >> isol's campaign of terror against the innocent, including the christian minorities and its grotesque acts of targeted violence show all the warning signs of genocide. for anyone that needed a wake-up call, this is it. >> let me explain that wake-up call for washington. you see at map. isis right now near irbil. it is located in this formally stable kurdish region.
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and this is home to that conflict. the president of the united states says, of course, he's trying to protect the americans there. as far as the genocide, you heard secretary kerry and it was also a word the president used last night, tens of thousands of religious minorities forced out of their homes, many of whom are now stranded. they are dying of dehydration, lacking food on this mountainside. it's tough to get pictures with this remote part of iraq. we're going with this google earth animation just to show you this mountain where u.s. cargo planes have dropped off now those 8,000 meals and more than 5,000 gallons of water. joining me now from the state department, our global affairs correspondent so, elise, first to you just as far as the news coming out now. just can you walk me through the air strikes themselves? and what exactly did they hit? >> well, hitting isol targets on their way to irbil, brooke. and that's one of the main reasons that the president did
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authorize these strikes. not only because americans were there, obviously that's the most important, but this kurdish population, the kurds are very good allies, considerate of the united states. and the president thought he wanted to make sure that this strategic area wasn't taken. but then the humanitarian situation, let's take a listen to deputy spokesman at the state department moments ago about the rationale for why now. >> in this case, we have a large u.s. consulate in irbil, which is a key component driving all of our policies protecting our people. that's a huge part of what's driving this decision. >> i'm asking about, that's a far piece away from irbil, even mosul is closer to irbil. >> not just about the humanitarian situation, let's be clear, you heard him use the phrase referring to this potentially being genocide. we have a situation where tens of thousands of people could
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starve to death. and we have the ability to do something, we're going to do it. >> now, brooke, you know the president's been very reluctant to take a kind of wider action in iraq until the iraqi government got their political situation together until you have this prime minister sitting where there can be an inclusive government that the u.s. really thinks is the solution to beating back isis. but the truth of the matter is, they just were running out of time. this humanitarian situation not really giving the president enough time and space to do a more -- the more considered military strategy he was hoping for. >> elise, though, the pushback is the why now? because as we mentioned a moment ago, talking about fallujah. fallujah fell to isis back in january. what is this state department saying about the intervention so many months later? >> well, that's what a lot of the president's critics are asking. particularly republicans on capitol hill but also privately within the administration and former u.s. officials asking,
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well, if the president would've taken some action when isis was running on fallujah, would we be here today? the truth of the matter is, we don't know, isis has been continuing to gain ground. i think the president did leave the door open for wider, this kind of wider military action if and when that iraqi government gets together. but the -- he's just basically running up against the clock. this group is not going to stop. and the question is, is this going to be enough, brooke? look, these small air strikes, this very small, limited, targeted operation is not going to stop isis in the country. they're continuing to gain ground. and the question a lot of people are asking is, are we going to have to go after these guys sooner or later? and a lot of people say the question is not if, but when. >> right. taking the fight to the islamic state. >> absolutely. >> thank you so much in washington. you know, isis has been killing, as i mentioned, its way across iraq for months and months.
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why now? why air strikes now? will that be enough? a lot of questions. let's bring in bob mcfadden, senior vice president of the strategic consulting firm and general mark kinnet. gentlemen, welcome. and general, let me begin with you here. when we first hear about the initial air strikes with the isis targets and the drops of, you know, food, water, medical supplies, is that enough? it's not. >> well, on the issue of the humanitarian assistance, i think the u.s. air force has a lot of experience on how to do this. we've been doing it for many many years. i'm not too worried about that. i do have some concerns about the operation dropping a couple of bombs on artillery units and that may find ourselves in a much more protected military situation. >> how do you mean?
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>> well, my sensing is that this is the beginning, but it's certainly not the end. oddly enough, isis has been a boon to prime minister maliki. he's demonstrated to the kurds they're not able to be militarily independent. and quite frankly, this notion that we were going to work the politics first and then the military assistance second has been turned on its head. so i think this is the beginning of a longer campaign where the u.s. is going to have to continue to provide assistance for some period of time. >> bob just talking to a couple of other guests saying it can't just be the united states, it has to be regional, build a coalition to get in and not just stop isis but destroy isis. the other question, the next question is with these air strikes probably the beginning of several makes me wonder about the thirst for retaliation from isis. and you're saying for now they're just hitting the deck. >> well, that would be the reaction because, though they have some sophisticated weaponry they've acquired, particularly in syria and then with the gains
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in iraq, some antiaircraft artillery. still, no match for u.s. high-performance aircraft. and iraqi air force, though with limited capabilities. so the initial intuitively if not the reporting bearing it out is that they're going to be seeking cover. >> aren't they using some u.s. weaponry? although i understand some of it's pretty sophisticated and they may not be trained. >> right. therest no indication there's anything remotely resembling the kind of sophisticated weapon for a completely different situation that the ukrainian rebels have. no indication they have anything like that. still, though, to give an example of the triple a, within the last 24 hours some of that triple-a caused the aircraft to divert its flight path and some missions and actually, one of them was reported to have crashed. again, there's no relative comparison to the u.s. air force and navy air capability. but still, it's something, you
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know, for a wider to be concerned about. >> general, what about the kurdish military force, the peshmer peshmerga? what about helping them fight the fight? resupplying them. >> well, actually, we ought to be thinking about this in a wider context of fighting isis as a whole. and frankly, there's no better way to do it than on two fronts. on the kurdish front from the north and the isf from the south. not only a threat to iraq, to the region, but it's a threat fundamentally to the united states of america. so the best thing we can do is support the iraqi security forces and the kurdish forces to push isis back to the point where it's no longer a threat to iraq. and then eventually no longer a threat to syria. >> should we as americans, bob, be concerned as u.s. is going in and targeting isis that isis turns around down the road be it the near future or down, down
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the road and targets the west? >> yeah. >> yeah. first, any extreme group like this, you can't rule anything out. it can be a potential lethal threat, okay? however, some perspective, isis and quick note for the readers. when the state department refers to isol isis, same thing, just different -- >> yeah. >> isis has been hyperfocused on gaining territory in syria and iraq. not that you can rule out that it may turn its lethal power somewhere else. but that's where it's been the focus. but there's always a however on this. a few weeks ago, you remember the warnings for travelers coming in from new york and other places to turn on laptops or cell phones. >> right. >> apparently there's good reporting with some of the bomb-making expertise that has come in from al qaeda in the arabian peninsula. although opposed right now to isis in the fight for the
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broader extremist movement. it's one of those things where you just never know. but for perspective in the recent history, isis has been focused in the region. >> okay. thank you very much. appreciate you. and general mark kimmitt, i appreciate it. coming up next, we have video i want to get to you talking about the air strikes, we have video of a u.s. air strike in iraq. we are also getting that turned around. we will have that for you after the break. also ahead, we talk about these men, women and children and these iraqis fleeing for their lives some 200,000 of them being told by isis when isis storms their village, city or town, convert to islam or die, and so for days and weeks, humanitarian workers at unicef have been trying to sound the alarm, get the international community to pay attention to this crisis on the ground. and unicef representative for iraq has been in the region. he will join me on what he has seen and experienced himself next. when folks think about what they get from alaska,
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we are just now getting video turned around from iraq of a u.s. air strike. this is the u.s. air strike we've been talking about for the last, what, 12 hours on the militant group isis. see the plume of smoke. i know -- there we go. closer shots, you can see the aftermath. here's what we don't know. we don't know exactly where this location is yet. what we do know based upon our
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intelligence, northern iraq. but as soon as we get more information, we will pass it along to you. one of those air strikes we've been reporting on that president obama spoke about last night from the white house. and thousands of families have fled isis' deadly rampage. they fled sunday taking refuge on this mountain, in northern iraq. they have been facing a terrible choice. the choice being this. come down from the mountain and face certain death at the hands of isis, or stay and face dying of thirst or starvation. the u.s. has begun dropping food and water and medical supplies on this mountain in this race against time and terror. i want you to listen to what u.s. secretary of state john kerry said about isis' threat to ethnic and religious minorities in iraq. he spoke, actually, from kabul, afghanistan moments before those
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u.s. jet fighters started bombing isis artillery. >> isol's campaign of terror against the innocent, including the christian minorities and its grotesque targeted acts of violence show all the warning signs of genocide. for anyone who needed a wake-up call, this is it. >> one of the few aid workers who has made it to the sinjar district and has for days been sounding this alarm really for the world to pay attention. so the iraq representative for unicef, the united nations children's fund and joins me from irbil. thank you so much for being with me. >> thank you. >> this is pretty stunning we're able to talk to you. i mean, you are one of really the first people who we've been able to talk to who has been to this district, seen the people
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who now have fled isis. can you tell me what you have seen? >> at the very beginning of this crisis -- there was a wave of displacement from mosul westbound. sinjar is the last city for the mountain region of sinjar mountains and then -- fled -- [ inaudible ] kurdish forces to reach sinjar eight times. out of which, i've been there for twice. opportunity to reach -- we brought food and drinking water. [ inaudible ] for child protection, in particularly to support the hospital over there. >> marzio. let me cut you off because i want to hear more from you if
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there's any way to get a more secure line. i'm having a tough time hearing you on skype. the world needs to hear about these men, women and children who are in the midst of this humanitarian catastrophe. guys, can we work on that? meantime, we'll stay on iraq, talk about this huge, hydroelectric dam. he just mentioned mosul a moment ago. this is the dam right there on the river. the latest at cnn, under the control of isis. what that means for the fight, especially now that the u.s. has begun air strikes. that's ahead. also, the gaza blockade, a key sticking point in these peace negotiations in egypt. we'll explain the significance for both sides. you're watching cnn. hey pal? you ready? can you pick me up at 6:30? ah... (boy) i'm here! i'm here! (cop) too late. i was gone for five minutes!
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all right. and he is back. marzio, we were just talking before technology was not so hot. so we've got him on the phone now. he's with unicef and one of very few people, one of these aid workers that has been in the sinjar area where we now some 40,000 men, women and children are stuck and really dying on the top of this mountain. so marzio, since i have you on the phone. do you know how many people are on top of this mountain right now? >> we estimate together with the government of kurdistan, no less than 30,000, which is still an estimate. we have evidence of some good news because few families have gotten the opportunity to reach safe havens. and, actually, there's an increasing number of people from
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the mountain reaching the province in northwestern kurdistan, where they are attended to and have found medical care, water and food provided by unicef. -- concern in the rising number of child deaths on the mountain. by dehydration, unfortunately, temperatures are extremely high, and the lack of water is extraordinary problematic. we still consider that the only option for which there is no time to waste is the humanitarian corridor. we need the humanitarian corridor over land to reach not only the top of the mountain or the caves where these families are hiding. but also the villages and the hamlets at the bottom of the
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mountain reach where there are the dispersed population. >> marzio. >> both humanitarian -- >> you brought up two points, i want you to get you to focus a little bit to the point that some people are being rescued. which is news to me, and i want to ask you about that. but first, the children, i was reading today, apparently the landscape, the topography, it's rocky. parents have been forced to bury them in very shallow graves on this mountain. but so, that's horrendous in and of itself. number two, how have they been rescued? is it peshmerga? >> the information we still have and the verification is that there has been two different options. one option has been simple that people got themselves through alone by their own means, walking down at the appropriate time, probably networking with others through mobile phones and getting the opportunity where there was no problem or no
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particular security issue. this family's got them down alone, and they were rescued by probably military groups present in different areas. the second issue is that obviously we have an account of these tremendously horrifying visual of children buried within the mountains. not to forget the mountain is surrounded by stone desert that is obviously inhospitable. we still think as a community that in addition to the air drops that have become more precise, more targeted and actually have enriched people in need, the perimeter where we can provide medical care, food and shelter to them before it's too late. time is running out.
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>> it is. and the fact that they need more than medical supplies and food and water, i think, is crucial and perhaps what we're seeing from the united states is just the beginning of what you're asking for. finally, just to help bring it home, i mean, to think of these people who are forced from their homes, who have no choice to either convert to islam or to be killed, those were able to leave, flee the mountain where their children are dying, what are they telling you? about those choices? >> i think that the only choice for these people is to move north to where there are many other families, approximately 180,000 people who were lucky because they moved earlier and they have been rescued earlier. we are mounting a massive support and humanitarian operation with local ngos, government who are exhausting very rapidly opportunity to
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deploy teams, resources and food. but the good news is anyway that people have an opportunity, as well, to reach people and families by ethnicity. one point i would certainly stress to you is that we progressively are seeing segmentation by ethnicity. there is a breakdown of social cohesion, not only in sinjar, on in security bases, and theref e therefore, an extraordinary push for their own resilience. because they are a people and we need to support them to exist. >> they sound like a resilient people hoping to survive at the moment at the top of a mountain. marzio with unicef, thank you so much for your work. this cannot be happening. thank you so much. >> thank you. coming up next in iraq,
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there is a dam, and this dam is holding back millions of gallons of water, it is now reportedly under the control of isis. what could that mean for surrounding cities? what could that mean for baghdad? and the progress of this terror group. we'll discuss that. stay with me. you're watching cnn.
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past the bottom of the hour, you're watching cnn, i'm brooke baldwin. the strategic moves isis has made, perhaps the capture of iraq's largest hydroelectric dam. it is potentially one of the most troubling. when you look at the map here, and that helps us visualize this, right. so you have the mosul dam. it supplies electricity to northern iraq. and it is just a couple miles north of the city of mosul. the second largest city in iraq. the head of the middle east forum tells cnn, quoting, if you control the mosul dam, you can threaten just about everybody. its loss of this dam to the insurgents is triggering fears as to what isis will do with it. so, our military analyst has been here for many, many weeks in a row here. but i think this is incredibly special because you've been to this part of iraq, been to sinjar upsi sinjar, been to that mountain, you know the region. that's my point. so when it comes to this dam, we
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have had some people say this is bad. because given the air strikes, they could use that strategically to flood cities. you say, no, no, no. >> no, i think that's counterproductive to what isis is trying to do. isis is trying to set up a state. they named it an islamic state. they don't want to destroy it, they want to run it. they want to set up a government, which they've done. they need power, they need electricity. this is one dam, there are three in the area, and they've tried to go for all three of them. they know these are strategic assets, strategic infrastructure. they would be silly to be self-defeating to open up this dam. and if they did it, where would the water go first? >> the majority of the water would go right through the area they've taken. so they'd be wiping out all of their gains. >> what about -- as we try to dissect and understand who isis is, you were in baghdad in the late '80s during the regime, during the time of saddam
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hussein. and it's many of those underlings, under saddam hussein at the time who are leading isis today. >> back then, the elite of the army, the elite of the military, the guys running things were all sunnis, cronies of saddam hussein. >> okay. >> and after the fall of saddam hussein, all these people were purged from the army and they joined the initial insurgency after the reconstitution of the iraqi government, they thought they would have a chance at recovering their jobs. and the government of al maliki has marginalized it again and drich them back into anac insurgence. this is an antishia operation. so they've joined it. so isis has taken advantage of all of this military capability. if you look at what isis has done. somebody in isis has had military training. because if you look at the map and how they've moved, this is exactly how a military planner would do this.
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>> so how does one, and i say one, be it whether it's the united states or coalition of friends in the region plus united states, how do you not only stop isis but destroy isis? >> well, ideally the iraqi army would've done that. >> that did not happen. >> that did not happen because the leadership of the iraqi army is no longer capable of doing this -- planning this and executing these kinds of operations. we could do it, and you would initially bring air power into to stop these guys and you'd have to go up there on the ground and root them out. >> on the ground? >> on the ground. >> the iraqi army should be doing that. and they're not. so now we have this dilemma. who's going to do it? i know there's a lot of things, well, we need to have a more inclusive iraqi government. we need to have an inclusive iraqi government, that's not going to solve the problem immediately. we first have to stop these people, maybe we can give some time and space to the iraqi government to reconstitute themselves. but isis isn't going to stop and wait. you can't call a time-out.
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>> i'll be here tomorrow, i bet you will be, as well. and we will continue these conversations. >> okay. >> to see what the next steps are here in iraq. thank you very much. coming up next, some people are definitely criticizing the president for his decision to approve these air strikes in iraq. my next guest says we have a moral obligation to be there. why is that? he'll tell me next.
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welcome back. breaking news on iraq here because there are some who believe america should not be there. my next guest says, quote, the reasons americans want to turn away from iraq are precisely the reasons we should not. cnn political commentator joins me now. peter, nice to see you. read your piece. i want you to outline for the viewers what those reasons are. >> i think that america's ability to solve iraq's political problems, very, very limited. but what i think america can do is save the lives of the people who are on this mountain. this is a really unusual and really important case. most of the people of this particular religion live in iraq. >> 600,000 of them across the country. >> right. they are being targeted with death simply for their religious belief. and the kurds could get to them if we were to bomb the isis lines so the kurds could get to them to save them. this is not about us rebuilding iraq, saving iraq in general.
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but we can save these people at a relatively low cost. and i think there's a moral imperative to do it. >> talking to someone from unicef a moment ago in the sinjar area describing to me how these children are dying on the mountain. and because it's so rocky, they're being buried in shallow graves by their own parents as they are hoping to survive just to paint the gruesome picture that exists. the question a lot of critics are asking of the obama administration, the why now, right? because isis has been taking control for eight months now beginning with fallujah. and we all know what happened what's been going on in syria. >> right. arguably, it's true that the obama administration might have wanted to be something more decisive earlier on. i've been critical with them for sticking with nuri al maliki in giving him a blank check while he was alienating the population for years which is part of what allowed isis to grow. look, just because america can't do everything doesn't mean we shouldn't do anything. syria is an extremely difficult case where i think our capacity to act militarily to do anything positive would be very, very
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limited. there are great tragedies all over the world. all over the world. when you have a situation where at relatively low cost you can save people who are going to die and who are really at risk for genocide since it's an attack on the entire religious group. i think it says something good about us as americans that we have an impulse to want to do something. >> i think it is great. but also, at the same time the president has said, it's up to the iraqis to fix the iraqi problem, not the americans. we heard -- and we don't know the next prime minister leading this country will be. yes, we keep hearing live from the white house needs to be inclusive and a lot of people agree with that. but really, that's not the solution imminently to stopping isis. >> right, stopping isis is a bigger problem than saving the people on this mountain. stopping isis is going to require a more inclusive iraqi government. and it's also going to require strange defactor partnership between the u.s., the kurds and the iranians. the iranians are very powerful
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opponent of isis given, of course, they're a shia power. and viciously anti-shia. there's much more of a defactor alliance going on here between the u.s. and iran that i think is recognized. and truthfully, the iranians are a lot more -- a lot easier to do business with than the ultra fanatics of isis. and i think that's a defactor decision we're already seeing the u.s. make. >> how about that? peter, thank you. we'll see you next time. and coming up here on cnn, live to irbil to northern iraq. we have a correspondent there. he is ivan watson. he has been talking to these families, seeing these children. their heartbreaking stories next on cnn.
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in iraq, an estimated 200,000 people have run for their lives in the last 48 hours. they are fearful that isis militants might behead them for religious beliefs. remember? they have the choice. convert or die. families are worried that their young children might be captured or worse, tortured. they have left their homes on a moment's notice. isis seized iraq's largest christian town yesterday, setting off just a total panic. all these crowds fled to the iraqi city of irbil trying to seek refuge. and it's not just christians being targeted here, but any religious minority who does not
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follow isis' strict version of islam. here's much more from irbil as senior international correspondent ivan watson. >> reporter: hundreds of thousands of iraqis are on the run right now. and hundreds of them have taken shelter here in a place of worship. this is st. joseph's church, it's in the christian town in the northern iraqi region of kurdistan, where people have been sleeping the past two nights after running for their lives. christian leaders in iraq are warning of the threat of genocide against this ancient christian community. and it's not just the christians who are under threat, basically any religious or ethnic minority that includes shiite muslims, they are all on the run right now. terrified of this strict and
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very violent interpretation of islam implemented by the islamic state of iraq and syria or isis. and this is the situation right now. women like this, her family, have slept for the second night in this church with their 40 day old baby right here. and sadly, this is probably just the very beginning of this humanitarian crisis. now we're in an unfinished building, basically a construction site where some of the displaced iraqi christians have taken shelter. i met a young man. this is 22-year-old andros who you fled your house two days ago. can you tell me, what was the scene like when you ran away? >> i don't know. i'm just too scared. there was thousand cars. sorry.
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thousand car. and we -- my father drove the car for six hours, three hours in the dust and three hours in the road. when we were in the dust, we couldn't see anything. just cars running away. we didn't know where we were going. so i don't know. >> and you were running from isis? from the islamic state. >> yeah, islamic state. they are monsters. monsters are better. >> do you think you can never go home? >> i don't think so. >> ivan watson joins us live from erbil and the notion of never going home and too in that church seeing that 40-day-old baby. it's wrong. every way around. >> reporter: yeah, this is a humanitarian crisis. there's no other word for it because we're just seeing a little piece of it right now. the kurdish leadership telling
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me perhaps there's more than half a million people across this region all forced out of their homes and all of them left really on a moment's notice. so there's no real network set up to take care of these people especially at a time when the kurds are fighting the isis militants at the same time. i do have to say that it sounds like the kurds are breathing a sigh of relief since the u.s. began some air strikes against suspected isis targets. particularly here inner bill where the militants had advanced to within 30 miles of the city that i'm standing in right now. there was real fear here. there were peshmerga units that according to some people i've talked to were simply melting away, fleeing from the frontlines. and since president obama issued his warning not to attacker bill, the fighting had calmed
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down for about 24 hours giving the peshmerga militia of the kurds time to regroup and reset their defenses and try to protect this what has become basically a kurdish safe haven from the islamist militants. >> maybe more sighs of relief on the way. we're just now learning, breaking news, thank you, we are learning about a second round of u.s. air strikes on iraq. barbara starr is joining me now. barbara starr sta, what do you know? >> brook, this information just coming into cnn right now. there have been two additional rounds of u.s. military air strikes against isis in northern iraq. everybody bear with me. i'm going to detail it for everyone the information just coming into us. shortly after 10:00 this morning eastern time, a u.s. military drone, a remote piloted vehicle, struck at an isis mortar position. they hit that position and then they tell us when the isis fighters shortly thereafter
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returned to the site, they were attacked again at that site by the u.s. military and that site we are told was destroyed. this is all, of course, just outside offer bill. so the first strike 10:00 this morning. a u.s. military remote piloted vehicle, generally they carry hell fire missiles. they are very precise going against very particular targets hit an isis mar tore position. that was at 10:00 this morning. an hour and 20 minutes later, 11:20 this morning east coast time, four f/a-18 aircraft we believe all off the deck of the carrier george h.w. bush in the persian gulf fell over iraq and struck at a stationary convoy of seven isis vehicles. so there were seven isis vehicles at a stationary or still position and a mortar position, with them nearer bill. these four aircraft made two
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passes over the target on both runs, each of the aircraft dropped one laser-guided bomb, essentially there were a total of eight bombs dropped by the u.s. f/a-18s on this mortar position and the convoy of seven vehicles. so we've had three strikes in less than the last 24 hours against isis targets in thor bill area in northern iraq. the president's justification for these reasoning behind these strikes continues to be the protection inner bill of u.s. military and diplomatic personnel as isis continues its advance on that northern iraqi city. brooke? >> barbara starr with the news, stay with me. let me just bring in colonel rick francona on the phone with me. to emphasize barbara ra's point, three strikes in less than 24 hours, stationary convoy of vehicles. before that, it was the
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artillery targets. tell me what the u.s. specifically is going after? >> anything that composes a threat toer bill, anything that composes a threat to the consulate or u.s. forces working in that joint command center in northern iraq. so it looks like they are looking for targets of opportunity if they see anything that's in that general area that has an offensive capability, they're going to go ahead and strike it rather than wait for isis to make a move, they'll try to set up a safe cordon there. anything in that area, they're going to strike. >> what about the damage that would be done? we're obviously not there on the ground but hoping to damage all of this completely. >> you know, each one of these aircraft, the way she described is if they made two passes and dropped one bomb on each, they're guiding each one with a laser. they can take their time. if they're high enough they're not worried about air defense. they can make sure that they hit the targets and coordinate with each other what they're going to strike they probably hit all
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eight targets very effectively. >> okay. barbara starr, you want to jump back in? >> i do want to just to remind i think what most americans already know. these kinds of operations are extremely dangerous. the u.s. military takes all the precautions to keep its air crew safe. they try and fly out of the range of surface-to-air missiles that might attack them. look, we are now putting it manned aircraft, u.s. military pilots, usair crews over what is enemy territory. isis territory. there can be aircraft failures. there can be mechanical failures. this is very dangerous business. there are u.s. pilots at risk, well worth remembering each and every day as they are out there now on these missions, brooke. >> again as we talked about the areas outside offer bill, just to remind our viewers, we're talking about an area of the u.s. consulate. there we go. you see the town offer bill in northern iraq. and we have what, barbara, about
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40 americans, delegates there stationed. go ahead. >> there's about 40 u.s. military advisors trying to help the iraqi forces. they went up there several weeks ago thinkinger bill would be one of the safest places for them to be. u.s. diplomats who left the embassy in baghdad to the south went there thinking it would be much more secure. this is a kurdish area that you know, the kurds had had pretty good control over for quite some time. what is perhaps in front of everybody's face somewhat surprising still i think is how fast this is unfolding and that the isis fighters have been able to make such rapid moves on places liker bill really putting the kurdish fighters, you know, on high alert and really struggling to push back. the kurdish fighters vin been able to push isis back. the iraqi air force that the u.s. funded to a large extent has been doing some air strikes
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to push them back. but we're talking about the possibility of pushing it isis back just a little bit. we're not even talking about retaking territory. these are militants that act as an army, fight like an army, have strategic objectives and right now, they appear to be on the march and meeting those objectives. brooking >> to your point, the kurdish forces peshmerga no match for isis. let me go back to ivan watson inner bill, iraq. what is the reaction among the kurds to this second round of air strikes? >> reporter: i lost you for a second there. but beak, there's been a lot of relief here among the kurds who were -- their top officials were openly basically begging for the u.s. to intervene. saying that this city,er bill was very close to a catastrophe that the isis militants were only about 30 miles away from the city of more than a million
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people, a city that's been inundated by hundreds of thousands of refugees in just the last 48 hours. a lot of kurds now are starting to talk about how the u.s. basically protected this region for more than ten years with a no-fly zone up till the u.s. invasion of iraq in 2003 and perhaps we're starting to see a fresh version of that, version 2.0 today with the threat of the isis militants in 2014. >> relief among the kurds. we'll be talking to you in a mat of minutes. jake tapper takes over live from jerusalem, "the lead" starts now. the u.s. military has launched a second round of air strikes in iraq. i'm take tapper. this is "the lead." the word lead, fewer than three years after the last u.s. combat troops left iraq, american fighter jets are once again bombing targets in that country. will it be enough t