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."
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi caused a major stir Thursday, saying his country had uncovered an imminent ISIS plot against subways in New York City and Paris. The State Department tells CNN that Vice President Joe Biden met with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and there is "no specific credible threat whatsoever." Should the U.S. be concerned with the prime minister's credibility? Anderson spoke to Brett McGurk, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs.
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.
The Department of Homeland Security issued a bulletin to law enforcement across the U.S., warning them to be on the lookout for lone wolf terror attacks. It is difficult to identify who may launch an attack like this. Deborah Feyerick reports on how authorities are working to stop foreign fighters who traveled to places like Syria and Iraq from bringing the fight back home.What can be done to stop foreign fighters?
ISIS has issued orders for the killing of Westerners. Is this sort of instruction what lone wolf terrorists are waiting for? Anderson spoke with Maajid Nawaz, who was once a Muslim extremist and is now the director of the Quilliam Foundation.
The Pentagon says the al Qaeda offshoot group called Khorasan was planning an imminent attack on European or American soil. But did the airstrikes inside Syria derail their plot? Anderson spoke with CNN Security Analyst Peter Bergen who was in a background briefing today and said it was possible Khorasan's plans were interrupted, but officials were unable to give definitive proof.
It is believed to be the first tweet telling the world that airstrikes began in Syria. Abdulkader Hariri used his Twitter account to break the news going on in the city of Raqqa:
Breaking: Huge explosions shook the city in what might be the beginning of US airstrikes on ISIS HQs in Raqqa
— Abdulkader Hariri (@3bdUlkaed6r) September 23, 2014
After years of civil war, Hariri told Anderson how he knew these airstrikes did not come from the Assad regime.
For years on AC360, we have heard a voice from inside Syria who has described what has been going on there in painstaking detail. His name is Zaidoun, and he has been a passionate activist for the Syrian people who had even been detained by Syria's secret police. Back in 2012, Zaidoun told Anderson that the entire world should be ashamed for not doing anything about the fact that Syrians were being slaughtered by the Assad regime. Tonight he argued that after suffering under Assad and ISIS, Syrians are now suffering under U.S. Tomahawk strikes.
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.
During a news conference today in Estonia, President Obama said his goal is to "degrade and destroy" ISIS. He then took a step back and said his goal is to ensure ISIS is "manageable." President Obama has already sent U.S. troops to Iraq to help protect U.S. personnel and embassies. Is the administration concerned that ISIS is plotting attack targeting Americans here at home? Anderson spoke with Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken.
Tom Foreman looks at who is fighting for ISIS, along with the terror group's strengths and weaknesses.
Steven Sotloff was Jewish and he held dual-citizenship with Israel. His ISIS captors may not have known this about him. An Israeli news organization spoke with someone who had been held captive with Sotloff who said he managed to fast for Yom Kippur by pretending to be sick and secretly prayed in the direction of Jerusalem. Anderson spoke with Jane Eisner, who is the Editor in Chief of the Jewish Daily Forward, one of the outlets that reported new information on Sotloff today.
Janine di Giovanni is Newsweek's Middle East Editor and she was a colleague of Steven Sotloff. She shared her memories with Anderson.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
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