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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  May 14, 2012 10:00pm-11:00pm EDT

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children who have fled syria so far and found refuge here on the turkish side of the border. 50,000 other syrians have fled to other countries and camps as well. we came here because we want you tonight from here because we want to you hear the voices from the camp. voices the regime of bashar al assad has for 14 months tried to silence with batons and bullets and mortars and murder. these are men, women and children who 14 months ago began raising their voices, asking semifor change, reform. an end to corruption, discrimination. basic freedoms that most of us in the world take for granted. they spoke out peacefully and were with met with tear gas, tanks and torture. there's no more talk of peace were of reform. now they fight back. they'll not stop, they say, until bashar al assad and his regime of lies has fallen. just over 300 yards from where i'm standing is the syrian border. you can see lights in the distance. that's syria, that's how close we are. the syrian regime does not want us here, they refused our request for visas to enter
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syria, as they have for many months now. we wanted to come so that you could hear the voices that they have tried so long to distance. children who have lost their parents. mothers and fathers who have seen their kids shot to death in the streets in front of them. the refugee camps in turkey are well run. they're probably the cleanest refugee camps i have seen, but they're miserable places. nearly everyone here has lost a loved one. we've been visiting the camps, speaking to refugees. ivan watson snuck into the area yesterday. we'll show you his report and talk to him as well. a cease-fire went into effect on april 12th, one month ago. it's a cease-fire in name only. every day, including today, there's been more death, more violence. at least 9,000 dead in 14 months according to the u.n. the opposition says it's closer to 11,000 people. so many deaths, so many arrests,
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14 months into this fight and the death toll risks becoming meaningless. numbers on a leather. numbers on a news ticker with no names and no faces. numbers that most of you don't pay attention to any more. the fathers and mothers and children here tonight, though, they want you to know their names. they want you to know that they are not numbers. some of them are too scared to show their faces, many want you to see their faces, to know their loss, to understand their struggle. there's been new fighting today north of homs, an area held by the opposition, regime forces have attacked. new images from there, a young girl in a yellow dress crying out in pain. a wounded young boy says he wants assad to die. as you watch the following videos, keep in mind the regime of assad says they are observing a ceasefire. the free syrian army, as they call themselves, shoot a rocket
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propelled grenade. they're outgunned, outmanned. the opposition says at least 23 government soldiers were killed today in rastan and three armored personnel carriers destroyed. elsewhere in homs, a syrian tank rolls down the street. among bombed out buildings and open fire. and at hama today, tanks rolled in and heavy gunfire ensued. we can't independently confirm what these videos purport to show. they're scenes uploaded to youtube by activists. for months there's been concern the violence will spill into neighboring counies. this week we saw some of that beginning to happen. in tripoli fighting erupted pitting residents against each other. at least seven people were killed in lebanon. every day in syria, more syrian citizens die, more syrian citizens flee to refugee camps, more syrian citizens are wounded, arrested, disappear. even in the hospitals the injured are not safe. there's no haven anywhere. we're getting new evidence tonight from the group doctors without borders that wounded
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people are still being targeted in parts of syria as are the medical workers who are trying to give them desperately needed emergency care. doctors without borders spoke with an orthopedic surgeon who said and i quote, being caught with patients is like being caught with a weapon. doctors have 20 work in secret as quickly as they can. the wounded are cheated in makeshift clinics, not in government hospitals where the regime looks for wounded to arrest and torture. syrian refugees have been able to find a level of safety here. they're very grateful for that. 1600 men, women, and children live here at this tent camp where we're broadcasting from tonight. it's been open since last june. many of them have been here for a year. the largest refugee camp in turkey houses more than 9,000. i've been to a lot of refugee camps over the years. as i told you, these are some of the cleanest and best run i've seen. but they are places of misery. keep that in mind tonight. if the numbers continue to grow,
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so will the burden on turkey. more than 120 syrians arrived just today. unhcr sent some help, small amounts of supplies, blankets and tents. but the syrian refugees in these camps could use more support and certainly they could use more hope. here is a little bit of what we've seen the last two days. >> reporter: staring at the photo of his dead grandson, muhammad has no words. grief is all he has left. pictures of the dead are everywhere in these syrian refugee camps. fathers show you their dead sons on cell phones, ask you to watch grainy videos of their children's funerals. no family, it seems, has escaped syria unscathed. who is this? >> my brother. >> in a tent she now calls home, raja shows me pictures of her
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brothers both shot during demonstrations nearly a year ago. how old is he? >> 34. >> reporter: after her brothers were killed, she fled with her parents and five other family members to this tent camp. her father abu mohammed says there's another missing. they have no idea if he's still alive. we had young man that cried out and shouted for freedom, he says. and they were killed just for that. we just want freedom. what's wrong with asking for freedom? >> reporter: in his arms, his son's missing child. a boy who has never seen his own father. he was born after when his father was in prison, he says. we named him after his martyred uncle. no one believes they can return to syria any time soon. no one will return until bashar al assad's regime has fallen. they will hope the world takes notice. kids have begun classes, have already learned a heart breaking
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lesson in the sadness of life. joining me live here on the syrian/turkey border ivan watson and professor fouad ajami at stanford university hoover institution. professor, you've been to these camps before. the people here have great dignity. they're trying to hold their head up, but they really do feel aban donned by much of the world. >> they feel -- exactly. they use the word forsaken. the camera is a different instrument and a different creature. these people want the people to bear witness to their suffering. and the camera in a way, they have this relationship to it. they are drawn to it. because in fact, they remain convinced that should the people know about them, should the people of the world see what they have suffered, they understand they're not terrorists. they're not al qaeda. many of them were telling you, trying to convince you we have nothing to do with al qaeda. we're not terrorist groups.
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one man told you we don't even have rifles in our town, let alone heavy weapons. so they want the world to understand them. and they want the world to bear witness. and i think they also see the camera as a way of holding on to the memory of this lost world, the world that is very achingly close. it's very close to here, but it is not yet retrievable to them. >> we've seen more fighting in the last couple days. you went across the border. we'll show you report later on in this hour. what is the status of the battle? it seems like neither side is able to get a victory. >> some kind of a stalemate. when the syrian army rolls in, they've got the tanks, the helicopters, the big guns. eventually they plow through and in some cases destroy everything in their path. and the rebels retreat. but when the syrian army retreats, then the people come back. it's insurgency counterinsurgency tactics. and the syrian government has
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clearly lost the support of people in broad swaths of territory. and that's the stalemate we've still got. >> there had been talk about qatar and saudi arabia giving support to the opposition. the u.s. has talked about giving communications equipment to opposition fighters. have you seen that? have they said they're receiving that? >> we're hearing about trickles of equipment coming through, perhaps of weapons coming through. but for the most part the fighters say we're not getting any help. we're having to sell our own cows and our wives' gold to try to buy bullets and guns. and the strange thing is the cost of those bullets and weapons has gone down considerably, by half over the course of the last month. i'm not quite sure why. many of them say they buy these weapons from the syrian militias. the government militias and from the soldiers themselves. which is very interesting and says something about the moral within bashar al assad's forces. >> they tell you morale is low.
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>> no one expected this to last so long. when the syrians looked at what happened in tunisia, it took two weeks. when the syrians look at what happened in egypt, tahrir square, 18 days later, the farrow was gone. when they looked at libya, it was a little more drawn out, but then the man was pulled out through a drainage pipe. here we are. here we are in syria 14 months later and these people have no hope. and a tie will have to be broken by the international community, by nato, by outside powers. what you have here is an irresistible force clashing with an immovable object. what these camps tell us, this trip has taught me is the bonds between the regime and the people are broken. these horror stories, the rapes, the abuse, the plunder, the burning of homes, the burning of corpses. there's nothing that remains. when the international community
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talks about, you know, the kofi annan plan, this is a fraud. it's all a fraud. and i think this is what this trip has made clear. >> we're going to talk to senator john mccain who is calling for greater international involvement. there are many people in the united states who tire of this and say you're throwing weapons into a powder keg into a dangerous situation. we don't know fully. there may be jihadist elements amongst the rebels. to them you say what? >> if there are jihadist elements, it's actually a great share of the blame is born by the international community which did not come to the rescue. when the cavalry did not come in, when the cavalry of the good guys of nato, cavalry of the united nations didn't come, well then people have to fend for themselves. that's it. >> we're going to have a lot more with ivan and professor ajami throughout this hour. as the violence continues in syria, some of you are asking, where is the international community? where is the united states? we'll talk to senator john mccain in a moment. he's saying where is president barack obama.
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i spoke to him earlier today as our special 360 report continues. but, i'm about to change that. ♪ every little baby wants 50% more cash... ♪ phhht! fine, you try. [ strings breaking, wood splintering ] ha ha. [ male announcer ] the capital one cash rewards card. the card for people who want 50% more cash. ♪ what's in your wallet? ♪ what's in your...your... [ female announcer ] nature valley granola bars, rich dark chocolate, toasted oats. perfect combinations of nature's delicious ingredients, from nature valley. ♪ nature valley granola bars, nature at its most delicious.
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to provide a better benefits package... oahhh! [ male announcer ] it made a big splash with the employees. [ duck yelling ] [ male announcer ] find out more at... [ duck ] aflac! [ male announcer ] ♪ ha ha! welcome back. we're live from the turkish/syrian border refugee camp. this is what the so-called ceasefire looks like across syria. violence leaving towns too dangerous to live in. civilian neighborhoods have been decimated. artillery fire, mortar fire, sniper fire. so many syrians have fled to turkey. some 23,000, there's some
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70,000 -- 50,000 others who have fled to other countries, lebanon and iraq. right now on the border here for this special syria deadly lies. this alleged ceasefire brokered by the united nations kofi annan, it went into effect more than a month ago. since then opposition groups claim more than 1,000 syrians have been killed in just the past month. it's impossible for us to confirm those numbers because the syrian regime won't let us in, or most reporters in. and they claim it's been broken by armed terrorists. that's what they've called anybody who's spoken out against the regime for the last 14 months. armed terrorists. here's what u.s.'s ambassador susan wright said when i asked her about that. the syrian government maintains this ceasefire was broken by quote, armed terrorists. and they say the campaign of violence against them has quote, escalated since the ceasefire was to go in effect this past thursday. you deal with syrian representatives all the time.
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i've had them on this program. they've said things that are not true. they've lied time and time again. do they have any credibility to you? i don't know if you can say that. >> no, they don't. >> okay. >> let's be plain. you're right. they have lied to the international community, lied to their own people. and the biggest fabricator of the facts is assad himself. his representatives are merely doing his bidding and under probably some not insignificant personal duress. words as we have said repeatedly are meaningless. the actions are what matter and the actions thus far have continued to disappoint. >> one of the most outspoken critics of the syrian regime of the u.n. frankly and its ceasefire plan and of the obama administration's response, to the crisis has been senator john mccain. he's visited these camps with senator joe lieberman. i spoke to senator mccain today. >> obviously the kofi annan
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peace plan has not led to a ceasefire. the violence has continued this past month. last week, though, on thursday, u.s. ambassador to the region susan rice said it's too early to call it a failure. do you agree? >> i think it's shameful. i think it's shameful to use this as an excuse for us not acting. you're on the ground. you've seen the camps. you've heard the stories of the killing, the rapes, the torture, the murder. that's a instrument of policy that bashar al assad is using to kill his fellow citizens. and somehow place any hope or reason for delay for acting on the kofi annan plan is intellectually dishonest and shameful. >> what do you want to see the united states doing? i've been getting that question for the past days. what is the u.s. doing? where is the international community? why aren't more people paying attention? what do you think the u.s. should do or the international community should do? >> first of all, lead. where's the president of the
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united states? when's the last time the president of the united states talked to the american people about how terrible this situation is? and also, by the way, the fact that from a national security standpoint, a removal of bashar al assad is a huge blow to iran. but the important thing is our advocacy and belief in human rights. what they need is weapons to defend themselves. non-lethal equipment as the secretary of state and others have pledged doesn't do well against tanks and artillery. then we need to talk with our allies about a sanctuary, a place where the government can organize, where we can train and equip these forces so we can have a fair fight. remember again, we can't stop reminding people it is russian equipment and iranians that are killing syrians in an unfair fight. shouldn't we give them a chance to defend themselves and their freedom? and finally, i believe more moral leadership on the part of
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the united states is called for. >> ambassador rice in the wake of the suicide attacks or the two bombings in damascus last week says it's already a militarized environment and pouring more weapons in is not the solution. >> well, the weapons are pouring in from the russians and the iranians against these people who started out as you know, peacefully demonstrating nearly a year ago. and you have seen the signs of it. i have warned about it. the longer this fight drags out, the more likely it is that foreign elements including al qaeda could enter the fight. i still don't believe that they could hijack the revolution, because these people are direct contradiction to al qaeda at least in their beginnings and their actions. so for us -- by the way, aren't we running out of adjectives from ambassador rice and from the secretary of state and others?
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appalling, angry, unacceptable. aren't we running out of adjectives and adverbs? isn't it time we acted and stood up on behalf of these people? so it's -- you know, i used to get angry. now i just get sad. >> for 14 months now since this uprising began, as you well know, the regime of bashar al assad has said these are armed terrorist groups. this is the muslim brotherhood. this is any number of jihadist elements. that has been their line repeatedly. but now in recent weeks, some intelligence officials are saying it does seem like there's evidence of foreign fighters or militant groups, the twin bombings last week in damascus. how concerned are you there might already be al qaeda elements in this operation? >> i think there are elements there. and i think there are elements of the muslim brotherhood. and by the way, we have found
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that there are different shades of the muslim brotherhood. some of them, obviously antithetical to everything we stand for and believe in. others we can do business with. but you've got to expect these extremist elements to come in if there is not a success. but i still am convinced -- i am firmly convinced that this revolution is firmly based in what all human yearnings are all about. they are the exact opposite of al qaeda. they started out peacefully demonstrating until they were slaughtered in the streets. al qaeda believes in acts of terror to bring about changes of regime. i am confident that if these people are given a chance, that you will see them go with a lot of difficulties, but you will see them go in the right direction. and i don't fear al qaeda takeover or extremist takeover nearly as much as i fear what is occurring now. and that is bashar al assad's success in subduing these people
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through systematic rape, torture, and murder. >> you were in these camps with senator lieberman. i'm curious what your answer was to people. i've had so many say to me where is the world? the world has been watching this happen, and people cannot say they didn't know about it. because we've all seen the videos even though reporters haven't been allowed in much over the last 14 months at great risk themselves, activists have uploaded videos of the slaughter, of the killings. people say, look, the world knows what's happening. where is the international community? i assume people said that to you as well. what do you say to them? frankly, i'm not sure what to say. >> well, you're a journalist and you have to maintain a certain level of objectivity. although it's clear journalists have given their lives in order to bring the message out of what's going on in syria. and we honor their memories.
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and we thank god there are brave people like them. all i can say is that i assure these people in the camps that i will go back and i will tell my colleagues -- i will give speeches, i will do anything that i can to motivate the world. and especially with the leadership of the united states which is sadly lacking right now to bring about some assistance to them so at least they can be in a fair fight. i promise them my commitment. frankly, i sleep a lot better having made that commitment. >> senator mccain, i appreciate you being with us tonight. thank you. >> thank you. and anderson, be safe and thank you for all you're doing. >> we're calling this special report deadly lies. and lies is a word journalists don't often use, but i think it's a word that accurately describes what this syrian regime has been telling and speaking to the world for the last 14 months. we've had numerous diplomats on
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our program a number of times. and they said things that were not true. which were lies. and we try to confront them about that. marie colvin, one of the jour l journalists from the sunday times was killed in homs a few months ago. hours before she died, she also used those words lies. that's a word i know we get criticized for using from time to time. we're going to continue to use it. what the regime is telling you is happening, what they say is happening is not the truth. if the assad regime doesn't kill syrians inside the country, it's trying to murder them by mining the border with turkey before they can escape to safety. that part of the story next. i mean he could teach. he was there for us, even if we needed him in college. you could call him, you had his phone number. he was just focused on making sure
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we were gonna be successful. he would never give up on any of us.
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defiant opposition fighters have been able to hold on to some syrian towns to stop the government from moving in. they're determined and we'll meet them from one village ahead. as we reported time and
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as we reported time and again over the last 14 months, the syrian regime has been restrictive of international reporters only allowing a few in the country, restricting their movements.
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why would they want the world to witness the wholesale murder it's committing against its own people? it should come as no surprise that the syrians are trying to stop people from crossing the border into turkey. it should come as no surprise the regime will stop at nothing including placing land mines on the border to inflict more harm. ivan watson has that part of the story. >> reporter: mazen hajisa has a secret. here in the olive groves of turkey, just a stone's throw away from the syrian border, he's hidden away styrofoam boxes. their contents are deadly. unexploded land mines. if you put pressure on the black trigger, he sell me, it will explode. experts say this is a pmn-2 antipersonnel mine. probably manufactured decades ago in the soviet union. but syrian troops began
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planting these in new minefields along the border earlier this winter. soon after hajisa and several of his friends started digging the mines up. removing more than 300, he claims, in the last three months. >> nobody taught you how to pull this mine out of the ground, right? >> no. >> reporter: and this is why hajisa is risking his life to remove land mines. several weeks ago, a mine blew off rami lakur's right foot as he was trying to flee from syria to turkey. i protested against the syrian regime. then the forces came to try to arrest me, he says. so i tried to smuggle my family out of the country. that's what led me to this fate. many of the more than 17,000 refugees currently living in turkey have relied on smuggler's paths to flee their country.
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the new mine fields have added yet another threat to an already perilous journey. at least ten syrian land mine victims are currently being treated in turkish hospitals. he and his friends have been trying to clear paths for the refugees. he is demonstrating how he's trying to dig up mines on his own. he does not have any protective equipment, armor, whatsoever, electronics. and his tool of choice is a kebab skewer. this is my duty, hajisa says, the refugees must have a safe place to escape to. the young activist doesn't know what to do with the land mines he's unearthed. he hides them once again under the trees. he may be one of the bravest men you'll ever meet. >> ivan watson joins me now.
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i think it tells a larger story of syria. there's so many people, they don't have training. this man is not a trained deminer. the people who have been taking youtube videos are not trained journalists. the people who have been protesting have no experience protesting. they've grown up with oppression their entire lives, yet they have been able to put this regime on its heels. despite all the experts early on saying there's no way the assad regime is going to fall. it could fall because of people like him. >> that's right. i mean, this is true grass roots activism. that's how this movement began. and that's why it's so har to crush. these people are taking incredible risks. >> how's he doing? >> i saw him today. on saturday morning, mazen was going with five other men through the border fence to pick up some refugees to pitake them
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through before dawn. as he was holding the fence open, his cousin stepped through and suddenly an explosion came through. >> stepped on a mine. >> stepped on a mine. and a second later another mine exploded. two guys very seriously injured. the rest of the guys including mazen was injured. he's got burns and wounds on his legs. his cousin lost -- had feet amputated. and he's limping around. and he said he's determined as soon as the gets better to go back and start clearing up those mines which he thinks the syrian army planted in the last ten days. that was a route he cleared before. and that he knew to be open in the past. >> professor ajami is joining us as well. it is remarkable when you see this man with a kebab skewer poking in the ground. he feels it's his duty. hides not being paid to do this. >> the syrian people have crossed. this is the fundamental truth of this conflict. they cannot overthrow this regime. you made that point. it's very true. not yet. but what's remarkable is that
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an emerging society like syria finally had it with this bunch of killers and rapists and they decided this regime is finished for them. we met a man, he talked to him. a man of 75 grieving for his two grandsons who were killed. we met people of property. they did not rebel because in a way they were somehow or another prone to rebellion. they made the decision that they cannot have this life of servitude, and that's what the story is all about. >> and yet -- i mean -- you know, we talked in the past in egypt about fear being defeated. they are no longer afraid. that's the extraordinary thing to me. we all wonder what would we do if the government was repressive and a dictator tried to rule over us. would we stand up? and these people have been tested and they answered that question. >> both the syrian people and the syrian rulers, bashar assad was sure that given what his
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dreaded late father did to 9 syrian people 30 years ago, they would never rise again. they surprised him and found reservoirs of courage within themselves. >> we've seen that day in and day out for months. ivan managed to get into syria over the weekend. he had to sneak into a town being held by opposition forces. we'll have that story next. [ male announcer ] citi turns 200 this year.
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well, if it were up to us tonight, we'd be reporting from inside syria. syria is just right there where the lights are. trying to bear witness to ourselves on the ground we applied for visas. they received our applications but that's all we heard from them. silence as they continue to kill. we can't say it too many times. it's now been a full month since
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the so-called ceasefire went into effect. in truth it's never been anything more than just words. opposition activists say more than 1,000 syrians have been killed in this last month. the number of u.n. observers on the ground inside syria tonight is approaching 200, which works out to one observer for every 110 now, syrians. earlier i spoke to zaidoun who has repeatedly risked life to talk to us. the last time we talked there were a few dozen observers on the ground. now there's more than 150, closer to 200. has the situation changed any? >> slightly, yes. it has changed at least the shelling on some areas, especially homs, is a bit less. however, the regime is just playing games. and wherever there are observers, there's no shell. whenever with the observers leave the place, they start shelling, since the beginning the so-called cease-fire,
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hundreds were killed. despite the fact that onners are here. we need maybe ten times the number the united nations council agreed. we need ten times that. >> i've heard reports from some people inside syria while the regime is relying less on heavy artillery bombardments of civilian areas and neighborhoods, they're actually going apartment to apartment arresting people, torture, and the number of arrests has increased. can you confirm that? >> every day, every hour we hear about hundreds of people are arrested. especially they are focusing right now on any activists. for peaceful resolution. they are just arresting them. they are very crazy now about arresting people. >> i talked to u.s. senator john mccain who supports greater military involvement and support
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of the free syrian army and opposition forces. he expressed the concern that the longer this goes on, in the current stalemate it's in right now, the greater the chance of foreign fighters becoming involved, militant groups, ji d jihadist groups even al qaeda. there were two bombings in damascus last week. are you seeing a greater role in the opposition movement? and are you concerned about it if in fact you're seeing it? >> not at all. this is just, unfortunately, the regime's story. and some people abroad would like to believe it. right now there are no jihadists. i haven't seen any. regarding the bombings that happened last thursday, no one in syria doubts the regime who is behind it. >> do you feel -- do people you talk to feel abandoned by the world? abandoned by the international community?
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because in past years during the war in bosnia, or during other wars, people have said we didn't know what was happening at the time. but we have all been watching for the past year what has been happening in syria. every single day we've seen the videos. we've had reporters there when they've been able to get in. do you feel forsaken? >> we are. it's not about feeling. i know we are abandoned by the world. annan's plan is wonderful. six points, really great. we are talking about trying to implement one of them. what about the rest of the five points? everybody is happy watching us being killed on daily basis. nobody cares for us. everybody knows the story. it's okay. we know now. the world is happy watching us being killed and we will do it on our own. even if it takes us ten years. we are in the streets and will not change. we will not retreat. we will not give up. >> there's no going back? >> no way.
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if we go back, this is just like committing suicide. with this regime if we say stop, they will crush us. we will just stay the rest of our lives in jails. they are criminal. they have been killing us for the past 14 months. if we stop, they will crush us. this is our chance of life to get our freedom. we've been dreaming of this moment for the past years. no one can take this from us. no one. we have been dreaming of a moment where we can say what we would like to say without harming anybody. and when this moment comes, believe me, not a single one in syria would lose such a chance. >> zaidoun, thank you. stay safe. >> thank you very much, anderson. >> i think that's such a powerful phrase. this is our chance at life. you hear that from so many people here inside syria and those here in refugee camps on the turkish side of the border.
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there is no going back for so many here. literally and figuratively. so many western journalists have tried to cross into syria. some have lost their lives reporting from inside syria. some have lost their lives reporting inside syria. so many brave syrians have held up cell phone cameras to document what they've seen. over the weekend ivan watson crossed over from turkey into syria. here's what we found in one town where not only is the opposition not backing down, they actually control the town. >> reporter: the journey to syria starts with a brisk walk through olive groves. you get into syria through a hole in the fence. this is a country of rich rolling farmland that's in open revolt. in many towns the rebels are now in complete control. in one village, a rebel occupies
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the desk where the police chief used to sit. the rebels claim they forced out the security officers from this police station nearly two months ago. and since then, they've been using it as a mini barracks for sleeping quarters. they are also storing aid. bags of clothing that sbrn donated from across the border in turkey. some of which are being stored here in the prison cell. it's here that we meet fatma, a homeless mother in mourning. three of her sons were killed in recent months while defending their village from the syrian army. a surviving son was shot through the leg. the family's now homeless. soldiers torched our house, fatma says and shot our livestock. but the syrian government's vicious crackdown has done little to crush the locals' spirit of defiance. at school, children burst into songs denouncing their
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president. even though his government still pays for their school books. classes are still in session here at schools in opposition-controlled syria. and in a bizarre twist, the teachers here who are afraid to appear on cameras, they said despite all the fighting they get their salaries every month from the syrian government. on a country road, we find a band of syrian rebels making a show of force. many of these fighters from the so-called free syrian army are defectors from the syrian security forces. >> we want freedom. our blood is less for these mountains, for freedom. our blood is cheap. >> reporter: the fighters have a prisoner. a 19-year-old boy they intercepted as he was on his way to perform his mandatory military service.
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and the commander shows the documents to prove it. the prisoner gets an ultimatum. if you want your freedom, defect. the boy renounces the government and agrees to join the rebels. the newest, not so voluntary rebel recruit in a conflict that has no end in sight. >> and ivan watson joins me now. you know, during the revolution in egypt, in tahrir square, we saw different people. the muslim brotherhood played a small role. in the wake of that they've come more into power. a lot of people say now, look, who are these fighters? are the jihadists behind them that will come into power if they succeed? >> the guys i've seen on my trips in tended to be community groups that have risen up. a lot of defected soldiers and police. i'm hearing from activists and
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the people who started the protests from the beginning. concerns that they're starting to see armed guys, criminals they're described. some of them saying we're some are saying we're starting to see guys with beards questioning the atrocity. that's not what we signed up for 14 months ago. that's a growing concern from some activists. from her sister. [ banker ] but someone else bought it before they could get their offer together. we really missed a great opportunity -- dodged a bullet there. [ banker ] so we talked to them about the wells fargo priority buyer preapproval. it lets people know that you are a serious buyer because you've been credit-approved. we got everything in order so that we can move on the next place we found. which was clear on the other side of town. [ male announcer ] wells fargo. with you when you're ready to move. [ male announcer ] wells fargo. are you still sleeping? just wanted to check and make sure that we were on schedule.
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each is about ten feet by 15 feet. in between the two tents is the cooking area that the family uses to prepare all their meals. that's a family of eight. they lost two of their sons. i say lost. two of their sons were killed in protest. a third son has disappeared. they believe he's been arrested, but they have not gotten any word of him since last june. so many lives in limbo here. thousands of syrians living in this camp beyond the border. our special is going to continue in a moment. let's get a quick update of some other stories, susan hendricks has more. >> thanks. the defense team for john edwards called its first witness today. the chief financial officer for edwards' 2008 presidential campaign. she testified that john edwards had nothing to do with reports the campaign filed with the federal election commission. prosecutors say edwards violated campaign finance laws by using nearly $1 million in donations to help cover up his affair with
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rielle hunter. florida a & m band will be suspended through the 2012 academic year. the school is working to clean up a hazing culture exposed by the death of robert champion last year. fallout at jpmorgan chase. the firm said its chief investment officer has decided to retire. the move widely expected after the company disclosed they lost $2 billion in recent weeks. let's send it back to anderson. >> thanks very much. we'll have more with iron an watson and fouad ajami next.
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we're coming to you from the turkish/syrian border. i'm here once again with ivan watson and professor fouad ajami. your final thought? >> my final thought i want president obama to read the memoirs of bill clinton. bill clinton looked back on his presidency, and rwanda and felt ashamed and guilty of having left the people of rwanda to suffer the way they did. i think president obama will reflect on the abdication of the american power in the case syria. >> you've been covering this for 14 months. >> i think what's striking is 14 months and every friday people come out and demonstrate and call for freedom and call for change. and the kids come out and the men and the women. and the fact that that momentum is kept up after all this time is truly incredible. one of the sad things, we don't
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know what the people in the middle think. we know what the regime thinks, ma the demonstrators think. we don't know about the scared people in the middle who are afraid to talk to us who we can't reach who are watching their country torn apart. >> most of the people in these camps are sunni muslims who have bore the brunt of the assad regime. you can hear the call to prayer right now. thank you for watching this "360." i hope you heard the voices of the people here. voices that the regime of barber al assad has tried to science for 14 months. erin burnett starts now. out front next, the losses at jpmorgan, the number getting bigger today. the dow took a hit, and a high level executive lost her job. ms possible new evidence of iran's suspected nuclear weapons og


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