and answer. >> -- preparing for a legal fight, and whatever he announces could be implemented right away, or do you expect it to be tied up in the the courts for the perhaps rest of his presidency? >> a lot of the work, or part of the work that has gone on behind the scenes to take a look at what the president can do using the executive authority has been grounded in the knowledge that the gun lobby and the republicans in congress who reg you larly do their bidding are going to be looking for ways to stop it, and we know that they are likely to try to pursue a creative legal theory to presvet the implementation of the rules, and that is why the president wants to make sure that the executive actions that he takes out are going to stand up in a court of law. a lot of the work that has been going on has been to ensure that
we would have confidence in the legal basis of these actions. and i feel confident in telling you now that what the president does announce going to be the kinds of actions in which we have a lot of confidence that they are within the legal ability of the president of the united states to theer carry out the actions. >> i want to switch to another topic. saudi arabia and the allies have cutoff or downgraded diplomatic relations with iran, and how problematic is this to the white house in regards to the situation in syria and yemen? >> well, julie, we do continue to be concerned about the need for both the iranians and the saudis. to de-escalate the situation in the middle east. we are urging all sides to show some restraint, and to not
further inflame tensions that are on quite vividly in the region on display. secretary kerry has been in touch with his counterpart, and the u.s. diplomatic officials are have been in touch with their counterparts in saudi arabia, and i would anticipate that secretary kerry is in touch with his saudi counter part at some point soon as well to deliver that same message. we have seen that a lot of the volatility in the middle east has been broken down along sectarian line, and a lot more can be done on all sides to bridge the divides in a way that the advances the interests of the countries across the region. for example, the syrian situation is probably the most vivid example of this, and the united states has succeeded in leading the international effort
to bring all sides together to bring a political resolution to what is happening in syria. >> are you afraid that this could influence that effort and cause it to breakdown? >> well, we are certainly hopeful that it won't. and one of the reasons that we are hopeful that it won't is that it is so clearly in the interests of both countries to advance a political solution to the situation inside of syria. the reason that the iran and saudi arabia have participated in the conversations with secretary kerry are not out of cha charity, but doing it because they have their own vested interest in what they are trying to -- bring about an end to some of the chaos inside of syria, and looking for a way that they can contribute constructively to the process. it is a lot of the pain-staking diplomatic work to bring them to the table the first time. there is always a reason for them to be suspicious, and reluctant to engage with
countries that they can consider to be their adversaries, but the pursuit of the ultimate goal is so clearly within their the own direct interest that we are hopeful that they will continue to engage, but ultimately, it is up to them. okay. roberta. >> and you talked the about the cause that secretary kerry has made or planning to make, and has the president made any phone calls to his counterparts on this position? >> well, at this point, the president has not made any phone calls to the leaders of those countries to discuss this issue, but certainly, the president is aware of the situation. and the message that secretary kerry and other u.s. diplomats have been deliver iing is certainly consistent with the president's perspective in the situation. all right. so there you can see the white house press secretary josh earnest expressing the deep u.s. concern right now over the deteriorating situation between iran and saudi arabia.
we want to welcome the viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer in washington. we are reporting all of the late breaking developments and much more on the escalating tension between iran and saudi arabia coming up. the u.s. is clearly very, very concerned right now. also, the president of the united states begins this new year with a key meeting coming up within an hour on the new push for tougher gun control here in the united states, and in a move that will likely spark outrage from the gun lobby and many republicans. the president is expected to bypass congress and use his executive power s s to tighten regulations on gun purchases here in the united states. in less than an hour, the president will be meeting with the attorney general of the united states, loretta lynch, and other top u.s. officials to discuss what steps to take to accomplish this goal. and the president is going to also be hosting a town hall meeting thursday night that is going to be airing here on cnn thursday night, and anderson
cooper will be moderating that conversation. and now, bringing in our correspondent joe johns who is here in washington with us. and preview for us what the president is going to plan to announce? >> well, we don't know how far obviously, the administration is going to go with it, and we did hear from josh earnest that they are talking about threading the needle legally. so we know that the administration has expressed some interest in trying to expand the background checks for people trying to buy guns. one of the things that is apparently under consideration for cnn's reporting is executive action clarifying language and federal regulations that controls who has to get a license to sell gun, and therefore is subject to the requirement to do background checks. right now, the reg ulations say that you don't need a license unless you are in the business of selling guns for profit, but it is not clear "in the business" what that means.
as recently as last month, josh earnest and others expressed interest in changes that might or might not require legislative action, such as closing the so-called gun show loophole that we have heard from, and also banning those who are not allowed to fly from purchasing gun guns. but the consensus, wolf, it is the administration is going to be finding itself tied up in the courts if it does anything with too much teeth. >> and there was an executive action of allowing so tom immigrants to stay here, but that is going to the courts, and being adjudicated and it is a major setback legally for the president. is there krn that it could happen on this issue as well? >> absolutely. the fact that the president is meeting with the attorney general today to the talk about specifics and what they can do
that won't get completely tied up in the courts is an important consideration. because only so much time left in this presidential term. >> and he has a year left to go, and of course, if the president does sign this executive order and it is allowed to stand firmly by the courts, the new president, if it is a republican president can un-sign it on day one if he or she wants. joe, thank you very much. certainly not everybody is all that excited about the president's proposed plans, including my next guest, congressman john fleming from louisiana who is a member of the house armed services committee. congressman, thank you for join joining us. i know that you don't support the president's proposed executive action, and you are propo propose -- opposed to background checks, and what would you think is so wrong for having people for example on the no-fly list to go out to buy guns? >> well, wolf, many people have appeared on the no-fly list such as members of congress who simply have in common a name with someone else who may be a suspected terrorist.
we don't know how the list is put together the, and it is mysterious to members of congress, and it would be unk s unconstitutional to do something of that sort, and certainly unfair, because somebody's name appears on some list to prevent them from their second amendment rights. >> what if they fixed that no-fly list, and it came out that only people on the no-fly list were in fact potential threats to the u.s. national security, would you then support barring them from purchasing again guns? >> well, i would need to see the planks wolf. i don't see any indication that anything like that is occurring or even planned to occur. what we really have is a president who finds the american constitution and the president who finds it inconvenient to the theed a jen da. so say it what it is, the president is doing everything that he can despite the fact that in venues where you have more gun control, you have more
gun violence. >> in what the president said over the weekend about his proposal. listen to this. >> we know we can't stop every act of violence, but what if we tried to stop even one? what if congress did something, anything to proek the our kids from gun violence? because i get too many leters from parents, and teachers and kids to sit around and do nothing. i get letters from responsible gun owners who share with us the sadness of the tragedies when these things happen. and they want to share my right to protect so many while restricting a few. >> and so if people who need to go through a background check, why don't the people at a gup show need to go through the background check? >> el wol, wolf, the requiremes
of a gun show are not forcing, that and you have a president who is showing disregard and disrespect for the police officers around the country, and you will see an escalation of the gun violence even against the police officers. if he wants to do something about the gun violence, and particularly in the inner cities, we need to change the policies for the better, instead of going down the rabbit trails that won't make a difference. >> are you concerned, and the president clearly makes this implication that individuals who have mental problems, who may be involved in terrorism, and who are krcriminals, and who have felony backgrounds can go to the gun show, and buy as many guns as they want. does that not concern you? >> well, look, if they are criminals, then, and they need to be locked up if they are terrorists or committing crims.s they need to be in prison. this president is out there
pushing to get people out of prisons, and going exactly the wrong direction which is why in chicago, and new york and other cities, you will see the gun violence, and the gun death going up dramatically. so we need to go where the problem is, and that is with better law enforcement, and tougher law enforcement, and closer to the people. >> and now, just to be precise, because we are almost out of time, and felons, you don't have a problem with convicted felons going to gun shows and buying gun guns? >> well, look, we know that the crime committed by people with guns by criminals, they get the guns by flauting the law to begin with. they don't go to the gun show, and the washington post came out with a study showing that of the last three or four years of mass shoot inings, there was not anything that the gun laws would have done to prevent those. >> representative john fleming of louisiana, and congressman, thank you for joining us. >> yes, sir, wolf. and this is an important programming note for us, and
remember that president obama will be joining anderson cooper for an exclusive one-hour live town hall at at george mason university, in fairfax, virginia right outside of washington, d.c., beginning at 8:00 p.m. eastern only here on cnn. this is cnn breaking news. >> i want to get to the breaking news from wall street. the dow jones is plunging right now. it is down 346 points at this moment. in is following a meltdown on china's markets, and the shanghai is down a whopping 7% before trading was suspended. our business correspondent, an anchor richard quest is joining us from new york. bill sell-off in china, and i assume the huge impact of what is going on in new york, richard? >> yes, exactly, wolf. what you are seeing is just fear. sheer unadulterated fear into the new year, because frankly, nothing else has changed. the economics have not changed. there was some manufacturing
numbers out from china overnight showing that the e economy is contracting, and that is basically renewed the worries that china's government will not be able to create a soft landing, if you'd like, but it is going to be harder and nastier than people would like, and that transmitted on the to europe, and then into the united states. but the core, if there is any good in any of what we are seeing this morning, it is that it is not based on any new fundamentals, wolf. there is no real rational reason why on the 4th of january, the market suddenly woke up, and decided to fall out of bed. >> the dow, as you know, dropped 2% in 2015, and should the investors out there be worried right now that the country could be in the middle of an emerging bear market? what is your assessment? >> no, i don't -- i think that the bear market concept is not on the horizon, and nobody seems to be talking about a full throttle bear market. i think that the investors most
definitely having seen last year the worst since 2008, and so the first time they have seen the losses when previously they had been seeing the the double-digit gains, and the 2016, and from everything that i am reading suggests an air of caution. it is not a barn burner of a year for markets. economic growth, and the imf's managing director christine lagarde is describing it disappointing in 2016. you have problems in the emerging markets, and problems in russia, and problems in brazil and parts of africa and of course, you have china. so into the maelstrom the of market misery, you have the united states with reasonable growth at 2, 2.5%, but also it has an election. >> the dow jones is down 350 point, and we will continue the monitor what is going on with the dow jones industrials. richard, thank you very much. >> thank you. coming up, donald trump releasing his first tv ad, and
while bill clinton is going to hit the campaign trail today stumping for his wife. what about the sprint to the iowa qaa ku kuss. sfwhoo and serious tensions between saudi arabia and iran and spreading beyond the two important countries as other middle eastern nations are choosing sides. could it trigger a dangerous escalation, and affect the war against isis? we have details coming up. hey pal? you ready?
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expect the back and forth between the candidates to heat up more dramatically. jeff zeleny is joining us from s cedar rapids, iowa, and what is the latest story there? the kacandidates are coming big time to shake hands, and get the people to show up at the caucuses. >> wolf, they sure are. the there are candidates fanning out across the state, and trying to meet new voters, but they are also trying to steal other people's supporters. that is what is happening leading into the iowa caucuses that opened up the whole 2016 campaign. the voters are taking a second look at the candidates, and so you have a bunch of republicans out right now trying to ask for the second chance, if you will, and on the democratic side, some of the bernie sanders supporters are so committed. so wolf, it is important at this point to keep in mind that we don't know what is goling to be happening in this republican primary first and foremost, and
maybe some surprises on the democratic side as well. it was eight years ago this morning that hillary clinton has learn ed thed that she came in and of course, john edwards had won, and so that is to say that anything can happen. and ted cruz is somebody we are keeping an eye out here in kwai aye as he is out campaigning, and stopping in 26 cities in the next ten day, and he is asking each voter to bring ten more with him to the increase the support on february # 1st at the iowa caucuses here. wolf, anything can happen in the next 28 days. we will be here to have a look, and hillary clinton is going to be here in an hour or so to try to get the voters on her side and not bernie sanders'. >> yes, thank.
just 28 days away. thank you, jeff zeleny. and at the center of the storm, donald trump is not there, but he is releasing his first tv ad. watch this. >> he'll quickly cut the head off of isis, and take their oil. he is going to stop illegal immigration by building a wall on the southern border that mexico will will pay for. >> we will make america great again. >> and trump is self-financing the campaign, and he is a billionaire, and he expects to spend $2 million a week to air the commercials in the runup to the iowa vote. talk about all of this and more, and the political headlines of the day, and joining us is doug hye and also donna brazile, and joining us from harrisburg, pennsylvania is jeffrey lord, a former political strategist for ronald reagan and donald trump suppo supporter. and so, jeffrey, is the purpose of that ad to strike fear? what is the reason for that ad?
>> that commercial is much like a ronald reagan commercial who depicted the chaos in the gulf, and went through the brief h history of the american military involvement, and pinned it on jimmy carter. it is a commercial called peace and strength, and it is going to be very reaganesque, and touched all of the nerves that ronald reagan did. the country is not safe, and we have a problem here, and leadership not taking care of the problem. >> and doug, he was on cnn's "new day" today with us, and he said that he is going to be raising attitudes of women with hillary clinton and her husband, and this is an exchange that trump had with chris cuomo. >> i know many people in this campaign, and the last person they want to run against is donald trump. believe me. >> what does that have to do
with bringing up bill clinton's sex life? >> well, in the course of to debate, and using the word sexist, and i'm sexist, and he was using very sort of the derogatory terms. >> how is that going to be playing in the republican caucus or primary? >> well, si going to get some headlines or laughs, but there is so much ammunition to use on hillary clinton, and the tax increase increases, and the health care and benghazi, and looking at the information with the stock market, and there is so much anxiety in america, and talking about gennifer flowers or monica lewinsky is not going to work, if we want to move forward and defeat hillary clinton. >> and not to mention all of the scandals in the administration. and donna, he is still very popular out there on the stum thep, and in the first event, i want to play a little clip of what he has to say. >> sometime i follow this debate in the presidential elections, and especially when i am
watching the other guys debating, and i am thinking, you know, i don't fit anymore. first of all, i'm a happy grandfather, and i'm not mad at anybody. and secondly, i thought that the elections were supposed to be a job interview. i do not believe in my lifetime anybody has run for this job at a moment of great importance who was better qualified by knowledge, experience and temperament to do what needs to be done to restore prosperity, to deal with the human issues, a and to make us as safe as possible. thank you very much and god bless you. >> and he is bill clinton and popular with a lot of democrats, and the democratic base. he left office with high job approval numbers, and you were obviously one of the key people running al gore's campaign in
2000 and you didn't use him then, and it is smart for hillary clinton to be using him now? >> look, bill clinton is an important asset and not just to hillary clinton, but to democrats across the country. in 2012, it was bill clinton who went to the democratic convention, and made a great case for president obama's second term, and it is bill clinton who the democrats reach out to not just the 2012 presidential, but 2014, and he is invaluable in terms of explaining what is at stake, and why it is is important. >> and are you going to say it is not important for 2000? >> i am not going to relitigate it, because we used him strategically, and what is important right now is that the hillary clinton uses him strategically to make closing arguments, and in a very, very interesting contest on the democratic side. >> and jeffrey lord, a downside as a trump supporter to reviving all of the issues from the 1990s
about bill clinton's scandals? >> no, and i will tell you why. there is one allegation out there from juanita broad ric, and i hate to talk about it, but it is about rape. and we are at this moment involved in a huge coverage of bill cosby and all of the women from long ago, and it is very much the same kind of situation here with women making accusation accusations from years ago and people saying that well, the person being attacked is so popular and icon, and this is not going to be working, and we are watching bill cosby's life unravel here. i am not thrilled with that either, but i do think that when you make a point as hillary clinton does of women tell the truth, and all of this sort of thing, and yet, you have a woman out there who is saying that hillary, herself, was an enabler, and threatened this woman to keep silent about her husband's conduct -- >> this is like getting toilet paper out of the trashcan.
>> let me let donna? >> this is like getting toilet p paper out of the trashcan and i understand that donald trump doesn't like to talk about issues of substance. and if you want to talk about the isis or the things that you want to talk, but you cannot go into the trashcan, and it is a stupid mistake, and it is going to backfire, because bill clinton did a lot to help women in this country with family medical leave act, and helped a lot of women in this country. >> well, it is not coming from me, donna. >> it is trash talk, jeffrey. trash talk. >> and we have somebody who has the temerment to be here. and i don't want donna to be popping open the champagne corks, but if we nominate donald trump, we are going to to be
losing the white house and the senate, and those are the ultimate stakes. >> that is a thought. >> and now, we have four weeks to go for the iowa caucuses, and for all of the latest go to cnnpolitics.com. now, protesters are calling for the cut of ties with iran and saudi arabia, and why this could have a riff for the diplomatic efforts in the region. i drive a golf ball. i drive to the hoop. i drive a racecar. i have a driver. his name is carl. but that's not what we all have in common. we talked to our doctors about treatment with xarelto®. xarelto® is proven to treat and help reduce the risk of dvt and pe blood clots. xarelto® is also proven to reduce the risk of stroke in people with afib, not caused by
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bahrain and saudi arabia are completely cutting off ties with iran, and over to the weekend, saudi arabia gave iranian diplomats 48 hours the leave the country. this is following angry demonstrations in iran over the weekend. protesters threw firebombs at the saudi embassy in teheran, and cheered as it burned, and then later storming and ransacking the building, and they were furious over the execution of 47 people accused of terrorism, including a prominent shiite cleric nimr al nimr, and joining us is christiane amanpour, and bobby ghosh who is the managing editor of quartz. christiane, iran reacted strongly, and you saw the
protesters burning the saudi embassy in teheran, and explain the anger in iran right now. >> well, wolf, you know there are two irans. the kinds who will go to do this kind of the hooliganism around the embassies, and that is a total violation of international law, and total violation of the kind of immunity that a diplomatic embassies and other buildings are afforded under international law. to that point, the president of iran, husan rouhani called it extremists, and unacceptable, and sicked the police on them, and made several arrest, and about 40 so far according to the iranian media. there are two irans, the hardliners coming from the office of the supreme leader ayatollah hamani, and then the others coming in. and then you have others like
this tweet, why did saudi arabia execute the cleric? is that a clue to the saudi policy, provoke raun and then maintain this level of crisis relationship with iran, because you know that saudi arabia is so angry with the notion that iran might be closer to the international sort of the community, because of the nuclear deal. that really flies in the face of america's gulf allies, so they are really fed up with iran, and they say, enough is enough. so you have all of that. and then you have the idea of the cleric who was executed and almost nobody who is observing and studying the region believes that this cleric was involved in terr terrorism. and yes, some of those convicted of the violent crimes and terrorism were executed along with him, but nobody believes that the cleric, himself, was involved in the terrorism, and they are wanting the know why saudi arabia decided to do it. >> and bobby, you were in iran, and you spent several day there, and is it possible that protesters could randomly storm the saudi embassy, and burn it, and ransack it if you will
unless they were getting some support from the local law enforcement. >> i think that they must have had a certain amount of the wink and the nod from the local law enforcement. law enforcement agencies are the security agencies, and the justin ministry are controlled by the hardliners that christiane just mention ed, so t is one of the many facets of the two irans. but i have to say that across the board on my trip, and across the board, on my trip whether they were liberals or the moderates or the hardliners, there was a lot of anger about saudi arabia. when i was there, the beginning of december, a lot of the anger was directed at the death of 500 iranian pilgrims. there was a huge stampede in the hajj mecca where around 500 iranians died, and there is a perception that they were treated poorly, and treated the bodies badly, and lot of the anger was directed at that, and so this is simmering and
festering for a while. the execution of shaikh nimr for many iranians was the last straw. >> and how is this going to affect, christiane, the u.s. effort to destroy isis? >> well, you can imagine, wolf, basically what you have and as bobby said, these things have been festering between these the two countries for years, and it goes back decades, and so much bad blood are from saudi arabia supporting saddam hussein in 1980, and is so the point is that it has gone on for a long time, and saudi arabia is the fulcrum of saudi islam, and iran is the fulcrum of iranian muslim. and so there is so many factions of the branches of islam, and the extent of the syrian war, and the the iraq war, and yemen being the proxies between the
two countries, and both sides on the opposing sides of the wars, and right now, the effort to deflect and defeat isis could be compromised if there is no me meting of the minding between saudi arabia and iran. and so it is a big problem for the united states right now. >> and quickly, bobby. do you see it escalating into direct confrontation between iran or iranian surrogates and saudi arabia and saudi surrogates? >> i think that the surrogates will be playing a bigger and bigger role. we will see the conflict between the proxies in places like syria, and already see eing it in yemen, and highly unlikely that they will go into direct confrontation, and it is not li likely, because they will be coming back are from the brink of it. the national, and international communities will be working hard to come back from that, and the places that suffer the most are places like syria and yemen in
particular where they are fighting by proxy. >> good point. all right. bobby ghosh and christiane amanpour, thank you. and for our international viewers, christiane amanpour will have more on this on her show "amanpour" which begins at the top of the hour. and now, we will hear from the leader of the occupation in yemen about what he is going to plan to do if the police plan to move in.
and the rancher is the son of clive van bundy who was involved in another standoff, but right now, ammon bundy is saying this he is there to support those ranchers whose land was stolen by the federal government for profit allegedly. >> they are being very aggressive and taking that wealth and benefiting for themselves. >> reporter: theed if ral government is going to be saying that we are doing for it the people of america, and you are breaking the law. are you going to stay here and for how long? >> we will stay here until we have secured the land and the resources back to the people of the county, to where they can get back to ranching, and get back to logging, and get back the using the lands without feeling fear and intimidation. >> reporter: what about armed resistance? are you willing to have a gun battle with the federal government?
>> i hope it does not come to that. i hope that it does not come to that. >> reporter: but you are willing? >> well, if they are -- the only reason why that would happen is that they again are the aggressors. we are threatening nobody. >> all right. joining us is the tom fuentes, our former law our law enforcement analyst, and they could go in, the government, and remove the people inside by tear gas and number of things. >> well, they are not going do that and try to negotiate a e peaceful sedimettlesettlement, has gone in there with guns, and so they want to have a peaceful negotiation, but the demands that bundy is going to be making is never going to be upheld to the government, and they won't give the land back to the local counties and the local ranchers, and this is how it is going to be, and how long they want to
occupy that place is another question. >> and ted cruz who is another republican presidential candidate said that the individuals who took over this refuge is breaking the laws. >> every one of us has the constitutional right to speak our minds, and protest, but we can't threaten force and violence on others, and so it is our hope that the protesters there will stand down peaceably, and there is not a violent confrontation, and our prayers are with those in law enforcement that are are risking their lives right now that they be safe. but there is no right to engage in violence against other americans. >> so strong words from ted cruz, but the fbi could go in there and get the job done if they want to. and they will give it some time to talk to try to talk reason to the individuals, but they could go in there and remove them if they wanted to. >> and yes, absolutely. no local militia or the coalition of the militias can
outgun the american government, and you can do that all of the way up to the military assets the national guard and the fbi, and they won't be able to do that, and ted cruz is exactly right, it is illegal, and they should not be doing it, and they could do a violent response to this, but i think that they will try to reason and give the guys a chance to give up, but the idea that bundy is claiming that the government has no right is not true. under imminent domain, the government can take private property and reimburse the owners and say it is private property for the greater good, and the interstate highway system was built that way. >> and we will see what going to be filed in the way of charges against them. thank you, tom fuentes for that analysis. >> coming up, we have exclusive pictures from inside of the war torn city of ramadi in iraq, and the sobering images that you will see only here on cnn. plus, a possible successor to the militant terrorist known as jihadi john, and this chilling new video that is containing a new warn ting to t
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. a suicide attack by isis terrorists has killed nine iraqi police officers in ramadi. the bombers tried attacking an iraqi military base sunday and while they didn't get past the front gate, three were able to detonate their explosives. iraqi forces have retaken the city center but they are still sweeping neighborhoods where many remaining isis fight ares are suspected of hiding. our senior international cor spobdent enen enen enent corres inside the city. >> reporter: ramadi, after months of isis rule this is what repairs. isis' occupation of the city leaving its mark above and below
ground. these are the houses that the militants were hiding inside of. you can see what they were doing is they were digging up digging up tunnels able to move from house to house without being seen by the coalition planes and so this wasn't spotted from the air, they were hiding the dirt they were digging up and keeping it inside the houses them services. if you come through here, we can show you one of the tunnels leading through. some of these tunnels we're told went as far as a kilometer. we're going to go have a look inside. it's not actually that wide, but it does give you a sense of the moving in the dark under the ground out of sight. ramadi fell to isis in may of last year. since then iraqi forces have been battling to reclaim their integrity and ravaged morale. the head of iraq's counter jr.
terror force says the liberation of ramadi should be celebrated all around the world. >> translator: defeating isis in this victory has impacted upon isis' plans and its existence causing weakness and desperation. the road to mosul is now open and clear. >> reporter: blindfolded and bound, captured isis fighters face the wall. they were, we're told, attempting to blend in to what remains of the local population, a reminder isis fighters could be hiding in plain sight. even as the road to mosul is in the iraqi formed forces' sights, a week on from the announcement of liberation here in ramadi and counterterror forces battled to purge the city of the remaining militants' presence. we're hearing some pops of gunfire, a little father cross the other side of the river. the fighting is ongoing. the cleanup operation is still going on, and that's why the
helicopte helicopter helicopter's circling overhead. in spite of the threat of ied and roadside bombs the troops continue their painstaking push, under every inch of rec recon territory a possible death. everyone knows so much is at stake in this claimed liberation and not just for iraq. >> translator: this victory is a victory for human humanity, because isis is against iraq and against all of humanity. >> reporter: it is also finally some palpable momentum in the battle. cnn, ramadi. >> thank you very much, nima risking her life to bring that report. up next the fight against isis and a new video from a militant group that directly threatens an attack on the united states. hey pal? you ready?
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that's why i switched from u-verse to xfinity. now i can download my dvr recordings and take them anywhere. ready or not, here i come! (whispers) now hide-and-seek time can also be catch-up-on-my-shows time. here i come! can't find you anywhere! don't settle for u-verse. x1 from xfinity will change the way you experience tv. let's talk a little bit more now about the fight against isis. i bring in retired lieutenant colonel rick francona and intelligence security analyst bob baer.
iraq declared ramadi liberated. is this mope-up or resistance going to continue for quite a while? >> wolf, the islamic state is pretty much a grill laforce. it can give up territory, move to other locations, attack at will and i think that's what we're seeing now and the iraqi army simply hasn't secured the city. it was premature for this call. >> is it much of a challenge for the iraqis to move beyond ramadi, rick, for example try to re-take the second largest city in iraq, mosul? >> i think mosul is way down the road. first they have to take frn fallujah, secure all of anbar province and move north. they don't have that in place yet. as they move further north it will be difficult. it will be a long time before they set their sights on mosul. >> isis apparently released a disturbing hid joe, men they
accused of being spies for britain. one of the terrorists directly threatens uk citizens. ment the prime minister and the british press calling the new jihadi john. is the terror group pushing their propaganda right now the new threats? are they credible? >> i don't think the threats are credible. they've been threatening to attack the west and london for a long time and haven't been able to, citing the paris attack, aside from the paris attack they can't do it. the best is trying to eat itself, this is pure paranoia and they'll collapse under their own violence. i can't tell you when. >> rick, quickly on the escalating tensions between iran and saudi arabia what is the worst case scenario from your perspective. >> the worst case scenario confrontation in the persian gulf i don't see that happening. you can see the signs lining up, it's sunni shia.
we've seen sudan break relations, bahrain has and the saudis have. the uae scaled down so we're looking for a big diplomatic fight and hopefully it stays at the diplomatic level. >> how do you see it, bob? >> i see this as a new 30 years war we'll be living through this for decades. there's no easy way to solve it, and it's not going to be done by sheer diplomacy. >> i want to leave both of you, we just got a new video of the new jihadi john. let me play this clip. >> how strange it is that the leader of a small island threatens us with a handful of planes. one would have thought you'd have learned the lessons of your pathetic master in washington. >> we're going to have a lot more on this late-breaking development, this new so-called jihadi john coming up later today in "the situation room." guys, thanks very much. rick francona and bob baer
joining us this hour. i'll be back 5:00 p.m. eastern in "the situation room." for our international viewers, "amman power" is coming up next. for our viewers in north amer a america, "newsroom" cwith brook baldwin starts now. >> wolf blitzer thank you so much. great to be with all of you. happy new year. here's what we're watching and waiting for. any moment we should be hearing from leaders of the armed group who have officially taken over the federal wildlife building in southeastern oregon, happening at the national wildlife refuge, the group of anti-government protesters broke in and hunkered down and occupied this building after a rally in support of two ranchers saturday. the ranchers here, dwight and steven hammond, father/son, they are set to surrender federal authorities at any moment now to serve time in prison for