Brett McGurk is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Iraq and Iran. He speaks to Anderson about the Iraqi Prime Minister's remarks about an alleged threat to subways in the U.S. and France. They also discussed the Iraqi military and its ability to battle ISIS.
With new airstrikes on targets in Syria and Iraq, Friday's Middle Eastern sky was littered with glowing projectiles, as incoming fire exploded near the Syria-Turkey border.
Having spent the evening on the ground, CNN's Phil Black joined "Anderson Cooper 360" with firsthand insight and intel.
Watch the above video as the CNN reporter explains being so close to the action that his photojournalist witnessed ISIS fighters "take casualties, take hits."
In the Wall Street Journal article, "Deal With Saudis Paved Way for Syrian Airstrikes," written by Adam Entous, he describes how the U.S. talks with Saudi Arabia were actually the linchpin in building the coalition against ISIS in Syria. Anderson is joined by Entous and David Kirkpatrick of the New York Times, each wrote pieces about Saudi Arabia's complex relationship with the United States and with ISIS ideology.
U.S. jets began airstrikes in the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa, Syria, early Tuesday the first strikes against the terror group in that country.
US military & partner nation forces have begun striking ISIL targets in Syria using mix of fighters, bombers and Tomahawk missiles.
— Rear Adm. John Kirby (@PentagonPresSec) September 23, 2014
All foreign partners participating in the strikes with the United States are Arab countries, a senior U.S. military official told CNN's Jim Sciutto. Those nations are Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan. Anderson has the latest.
Ben Hubbard has been covering the battle with ISIS for the New York Times. Anderson spoke to him from Baghdad. Here are the five most surprising things we learned from Ben about the leadership of ISIS.
- ISIS' top leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has about two dozen deputies.
- These deputies are mostly middle-aged Iraqi men who spent time in U.S. custody.
- About 1/3 of al-Baghdadi's deputies were officers trained in Saddam Hussein's military
- The advantage they bring is to allow ISIS to operate as more of a military, rather than just an insurgency force.
- Ben says the creation of an inclusive Iraqi government is key to a longterm strategy for defeating ISIS.
This is not all Ben Hubbard had to say about ISIS. Watch his full interview with Anderson Cooper.
James Foley was kidnapped in November 2012 while reporting on the conflict in Syria. Today we are learning that the U.S. launched a failed attempt to rescue him and other hostages earlier this summer. Foley has now been beheaded by ISIS terrorists. We want to look back on the courageous way in which he lived his life and the work he was so passionate about.
A risky U.S. military mission in Iraq just wrapped up. A group of Special Forces spent 24 hours on Mount Sinjar and found that there are far fewer Yazidis trapped on the mountain than originally believed. They also report that the humanitarian air drops are helping those who are stuck there. Ivan Watson also got a firsthand look at the humanitarian crisis and reports that the situation in the region is still very desperate.
How does this new information from Mount Sinjar change U.S. plans for dealing with the humanitarian crisis and the threat from ISIS? Wolf Blitzer discussed possible strategies with retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Rick Francona, Quartz Managing Editor Bobby Ghosh and former Delta Force officer Jeff Beatty.
Carl Bernstein is a legendary journalist, author and CNN political commentator. He explains why President Obama's decision to authorize airstrikes in Iraq marks a turning point in his administration's foreign policy.
Warning: this video is violent and may be too difficult for some viewers to watch
It is hard to overstate ISIS' ambition or its thirst for blood. Recently a VICE News filmmaker spent time with ISIS fighters in Syria. He witnesses the grisly end and aftermath of a battle with a Syrian army unit.
What does it take to defeat a force like ISIS, when they are ready to use such brutal tactics? Anderson discussed possible strategies with retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Rick Francona and David Kilcullen, who advised Condoleezza Rice and Gen. Petraeus on counterinsurgency.
President Obama has authorized airstrikes in Iraq targeting ISIS. The announcement comes after the U.S. launched an airdrop operation delivering humanitarian relief to thousands of members of a nearly extinct sect known as the Yazidis. ISIS forced them from their homes and into the surrounding mountains to die without food or water. It isn't just the Yazidis on the run from ISIS. Christians, Kurds and other minorities are fleeing ISIS fighters who are armed with weapons stolen from the Iraqi military. Ivan Watson reports from Irbil, Iraq on the latest on events that led up to President Obama's decision to authorize these airstrikes and airdrops.
The Pentagon's airdrop operation in Iraq is both delicate and risky. Anderson discussed the logistics of all this with Retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Rick Francona, New York Times reporter Stephen Farrell, and former White House Homeland Security Advisor Fran Townsend.