tv CNN Newsroom Live CNN February 10, 2018 2:00am-3:00am PST
not the other way around. that does it for us. "cnn newsroom" starts now. history in the making. high-ranking north and south korean leaders meet for the first time in years, but an even bigger meeting it is now soon expected. also ahead, democrats lash out at the u.s. president. why they're saying the latest action should be counted as obstruction of justice. later, the first gold medal is awarded at the pyeongchang olympics. a lot to tell you about there. welcome our viewers in the united states and all around the world. i'm george howell and "cnn newsroom" starts right now.
this is cnn breaking news. at 5:00 a.m. here on the u.s. east coast we start with breaking news. an invitation for north korea for the president of south korea to visit pyeonongyang. kim jong-un visited moon to visit pyongyang. she and a high-level delegation met with the president on saturday. the first member of the north korea ruling to visit the south since 1953. here you can see her carrying that blue folder. that blue folder containing a personal ledder to president moon. he hopes for betterer relations between the two nations. president moon responded by that
invitation by suggesting that the talks should also involve the united states, talks needed there, as well. let's get the very latest on this story with our two correspondents following this story. paula hancock live in pyeongchang and paula newton in seoul. typically when we speak about north korea we're talking about north korean firing a missile and south korea and others responding. this story quite different on this day. talk to us about the significance of this meeting. >> well, that's right, george. just the very fact that a few months ago we were talking about the possibility of a military strike against north korea. we had the south korean president publicly speaking and giving the reasons why there could never be a second korean war. you could not get further away
prom that now. you have the official invitation from kim jong-un. the date is unxoknown at this point. it's certainly a remarkable change of events. now, it is interesting that it was hand delivered. it was hand signed by the north korean leader. it was delivered by his sister, who is here for the pyeongchang olympics. in the coming hours a dinner for the north korean delegation. the head of state with the south korean head of state and after that, tonight, there is going to be that women's ice hockey team. the north and south korean athletes join together for that joint korean team. they will be competing for the first time in the olympics tonight. they will be playing against switzerland and we expect the south korean president and the north korean ceremonial head of
state to be spectators at that event. really, the symbolism is extremely strong and, of course, the question is, what sort of substance could come from this now. but that invitation from the north korean leader to the south korean president, very significant. it's something cnn had sources alerting us to over the past few days. but, certainly, something significant and something that i don't think many people would expect the south korean president to say no to. he said he wants dialogue and engagement with north korea. >> to your point. what type of substance could come out of this? paula newton to you. this trieniangle between north south korea. with this invitation we are seeing that president moon is suggesting that there should also be talks with the united states at some point. >> i think he was very clear, at least in the statement after the meeting, very clear to say that he is encouraging north korea
tahave that dialogue with the united states. that is not something that has been possible in the last few months at all. in fact, the rhetoric is something we haven't seen in years and that kind of continued. we do have a statement now from vice president mike pence. remember, he was at the olympics. came back to seoul. was in seoul when this meeting was going on. back at the olympic sites taking in some events before he heads back to the united states. a statement, nonstatement from his secretary saying the vice president is grateful that president moon reaffirmed his strong commitment to the maximum pressure campaign for his support for continued sanctions. the vice president's office trying to say invitation or no invitation, as far as we're concerned, this is business as usual. they disagreed in terms of actually directly responding to this invitation. you know, george, the united states has been pretty
unequivocal. they are saying north korea needs to be deneurularized. we are a nuclear state and we intend to remain so. this is what is going to make a pyongyang meeting so difficult. they could not possibly go there knowing those are on the table before they go for this visit and it will be a very delicate balancing act for moon who has said over and over again that he believes dialogue with north e korea is the way to go. >> paula hancocks to you, this question given your extensive reporting. is there a sense here that the u.s. is being sidelined in this process and what is the perception among people with this new invitation? >> george, no doubt north korea is making an effort to sideline the united states ever since january 1st when the leader, kim
jong-un, gave his new year's day address. it was important for north and south korea to work together and to try to resolve the korean issue together on the korean peninsula. you do not need external interference clearly talking about thuunited states. i think in some respects there are fears that the u.s. is being sidelined. certainly in the public statements we're hearing that the alliance is just as strong as it's always been and it's certainly stronger than just the two leaders who happen to be in power at the moment, we're hearing, officially. but it is interesting. as paula is mentioning, that statement from the u.s. vice president mike pence didn't really address what is going on at this exact moment. just going back to the statement of more sanctions, more pressure. what we have been hearing from him consistently throughout this process. so, i mean, the headlines at the moment are about north korea and south korea. the two koreas working together to try to resolve the issue.
there are concerns, of course, that north korea is not actually having to give anything up in order to get these kind of concessions. that they're not having to give anything up before they came to the olympics. they've made it abundantly clear they have no intention of giving up their nuclear missile program. the fact that they're a nuclear state is being written into their constitution. i don't think many people in this country believe that kim jong-un would voluntarily give up his missile nuclear program. but, certainly, an interesting dynamic at this point because, obviously, china and russia more dialogue with north korea and the u.s. and japan. the opinion of more sanctions and more pressure. interestingly, we did hear from a spokesperson that at the summit meeting between abe and president moon that abe said they should be carrying out the
u.s. military drills and not postponing them for the olympics and the statement really from the blue house that moon thought it was inappropriate for mr. abe to be making that kind of remark. you're really seeing a shift for south korea, almost closer to the idea of what china and russia want to do with north korea and away from what the u.s. and japan want to do. >> paula, before we leave you guys. if we could show that image of the u.s. vice president also behind kim yo-jong. interesting seating arrangement at the opening ceremony of the winter olympics. we'll continue to stay in touch with you both. moving on now to the other breaking story we're following this hour. we're following in the middle east, israel says that one of its f-16 warplanes have crashed amid anti-aircraft fire. so far, it's not clear what caused this jet to go down. israel says that its military
has been going after iranian targets inside syria. the jet crashed in israeli territory. both pilots survived, but one was severely injured. the strikes in syria came after an iranian unmanned aerial vehicle entered israeli air space from syria. we're covering the story from all angles. our seniorer international correspondent ben wedemen live in beirut, lebanon. but let's start with ian lee. what more can you tell us? the details of what you're learning. and exactly what happened here. and what are the responses to it? >> let me give you a timeline, george. we just got off the phone with an israeli military official and he kind of laid it out. in the early morning hours, in the 4:00 a.m. that they were tracking this iranian drone. they said that it was moving inside israeli territory. they say that this wasn't an accident. that this was a drone that was
on a mission. they said at a certain point, they decided to engage it with a helicopter. they were also able to take it down and capture the remains of this drone. in retaliation, they said they went after the command and control center of this drone. they say that iran has a command and control center near palmira inside syria. they said they had eight jets go after that command center. they came under heavy an it i-aircraft fire from the syrians. on the way back, one of those planes did go down. now, they haven't said what caused the plane to go down, but they said there was significant anti-aircraft fire. that likely was the cause of it. although they said they will release the cause later. also, in retaliation, they say for that they went after 12 targets inside syria. eight of them syrian, four of them iranian. one of those targets was the fourth division of the syrian
army, which is on the out skirts of damascus. damascus is just about 50 kilometers behind me. they say that right now the ball is in syria and iran's court. they say they do not want to escalate this any further. we're also hearing from syrian state media saying a multiple israeli aircraft were brought down. israeli military says that only one plane has crashed. syrians also calling this israeli aggression. george? >> ian lee live for us. so, israeli concerns about iran inside syria along the border there. now, let's bring in cnn international correspondent ben wedemen to give background here. a little context on this. the israeli military has been quite active for a long time on its border with syria. what more are you hearing? >> well, what we're hearing is that in fact a little while ago, there was a second wave of
israeli air strikes in the damascus area. we don't know at this point what the targets were, but certainly for the past few years, there have been regular israeli air strikes on targets in syria. oftentimes those targets, even though the israelis are very coy about it and don't confirm or deny reports of air strikes within syrian territory. by the focus has been on armed shipments from syrian into two hezbollah in lebanon. this time they have been quite honest and open. they're talking about iranian and syrian targets that they are striking. now, what's interesting, in march of last year the israeli defense minister did say that israel would strike and destroy a syria's air defense system if israeli planes came under fire
from syrian forces. now, that's what we've seen has happened today. these syrians, it does appear. i don't think there is any point around it, the israelis did bring down an f-16. this is a real game changer. this is the first time in decades that the syrians have been able to bring down an israeli warplane. and this is going to change the entire dynamic of how israeli planes operate over syria. clearly, the syrians now have much more sophisticated missile or air defense systems that they've put into play. the israelis are going to have to fly higher and find more carefully as they syria, as well as lebanon. frequently there are israeli violations of lebanon's air
space and they may have to change the way they operate. george? >> ben wedemen, playing to the significance, the military significance of what we're seeing here. thank you, ben. ian lee. gentlemen, thank you, both, for the reporting. still ahead here, democrats in the united states respond to the republican memo with their own memo. so, why is the white house saying that it can't be made public? we'll dig into that for you ahead. plus, speculation grows that the chief of staff john kelly might be falling out of favor with the u.s. president, donald trump. we've heard that story before. amid the fallout over the now former white house staffer accused of spousal abuse. we'll have details, as "newsroom" pushes on. low-cost futures trading. was it happy? what about a dedicated service team with futures licensed specialists? and what about being able to react to the 24-hour futures market with integrated trading across web and mobile? still happy?
good. then it's time for power e-trade. the platform, price and service that gives you the edge you need. e-trade. the original place to invest online. directv has been rated #1 in customer satisfaction over cable for 17 years running. but some people still like cable. just like some people like banging their head on a low ceiling. drinking spoiled milk. camping in poison ivy. getting a papercut. and having their arm trapped in a vending machine.
but for everyone else, there's directv. for #1 rated customer satisfaction over cable, switch to directv and get a $200 reward card. call 1.800.directv need a hair smoother.? get super fruit moroccan argan oil with fructis sleek & shine hair is super sleek, for up to 3 days. no parabens. garnier fructis sleek & shine super fruit. super hair. garnier.
welcome back to "cnn newsroom." i'm george howell. democratic leaders are lashing out after the u.s. president after he blocked the release of an intelligence memo written by adam schiff. nancy pelosi says it shows the release of the earlier nunes memo as a blatant political move and asked on twitter what the president had to hide. jim sciutto has more on this story. >> reporter: one week after the president celebrated the release of a republican memo, known as the nunes memo, given a republican view of fbi or alleged fbi abuse of
surveillance, one week later, the president blocking, in effect, the release of a democratic version of events and referring it back to the committee for redactions that the president, that the white house says were recommended by the department of justs aice an the fbi. the president in his letter, the letter from his lawyer saying the department, the department of justice, have identified portions of the january 5th memorandum which would create especially significant concerns for the national security and law enforcement interest. now, it is interesting for the president to cite that opposition from the fbi and the department of justice one week after he ignored similar guidance from the fbi saying that it opposed the release of the nunes memo at the time. the fbi says as expressed during our initial review, we have grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo's accuracy. that referring to the memo which
the president did allow the classification without any redactions. of course, democrats including adam schiff who drafted this memo very much upset with this. they predicted this calling this a double standard. the question now what happens. it is going back to the intelligence committee to decide what was redacted. a majority of republicans. they drafted that original memo. the question is what version of the democratic version of events comes out of this process in the end. jim sciutto, cnn, washington. >> all right, jim, thank you so much. another story we're following. a second white house official has resigned over allegations of domestic abuse. this time, it's speech writer david sorenson. sorenson denies the accusations but stepped down anyway. this resignation comes days after rob porter also quit. this after his ex-wife published a photo of herself with a black eye. yet, when asked about it on
friday, president trump seemed to give porter the benefit of the doubt. >> well, we wish him well. he worked very hard. found out about it recently and i was surprised by it. but we certainly wish him well. it's, obviously, a tough time for him. he did a very good job when he was in the white house. and we hope he has a wonderful career and hopefully he will have a great career ahead of him. >> sources familiar with the situation say the president blames chief of staff john kelly for letting the porter scandal get out of hand. but, the white house denies that kelly offered to resign. and another story, the u.s. justice department. it's losing another high-ranking seasoned official. rachel brand is the number three at the department serving under attorney deputy rod rosenstein. she has been at the
administration since george w. bush and pruprotoed to a current position in may and leaving to take a senior executive job at walmart. let's talk more about all of this with leslie, leslie teaches international relations at university of london. live for us at our london bureau this hour. pleasure to have you on the show. the optics of the u.s. president wla blocking it and the why behind it. what are your thoughts? >> it looks very much like it's politically motivated. there was a vote on the house committee that this should now be released. we have been wondering for a good week about whether it would be and what we heard about the memo is that it gives context as to whether or not, you know, there was one thing is whether or not there was a full evidence, full information given when that request was made to surveill carter page. but the president, initially, you know, indicated that he was supportive of the release and
now, of course, has blocked it. so, it looks like it's politically motivated. like he doesn't want the american public to have a balanced view. but, of course, it's very difficult to ascertain and that information will not see the light of day. or at least any time soon. which is very upsetting for many people. >> seems the democrats will keep pushing on that issue. the other story that is in play this day, the white house on the defensive in this resignation of the speech writer david sorenson. this after staff secretary rob porter also resigned. we're talking leslie about two departures in a week. is this coincidence or are we starting to see the dam break here? >> allegations of domestic abuse. the big question here is who was aware of this. a big question for how long john kelly was aware of this and what donald trump was aware of. one concern in the context a
very significant period in the united states and beyond when people are being asked to really take very seriously any allegations of sexual abuse, certainly of domestic abuse. that it doesn't, it doesn't look like there is, like the chief of staff or the president are coming out and saying we must look into this and take these allegations seriously and there is always a sense of trying to protect and cover up. i think that's tremendously damaging for the united states and certainly for the white house. and it certainly looks like things are, once again, being handled very poorly internally and it's creating a level of dysfuncti dysfunctionality that we've seen through the last 13 months. >> the question whether people in the white house knew about these allegations. the feeling among many people, people saying they probably did know and the question is, are they just starting to handle these issues because people did know about these allegations all
along. the other thing, the white house chief of staff, john kelly, a source telling cnn that he didn't offer to resign exactly, but he did say that he would do so, if the president wanted him to do so. how important is it now that we see john kelly under the microscope, a very important fixture there in the white house. >> yeah, i think this has been an ongoing question whether or not what to make of this and whether or not this will lead to john kelly's resignation. a lot of people don't think so. but there is a sort of sense that he said quietly and privately. it has not been confirmed that he will resign. if he does go, a question of how many other people will go. and question of how many people he has there supporting him as we're seeing a number of people leave. he's only been in that post for just over six months. if he does go, it will be, of course, lead to further break down in terms of the internal mana agement at a time when the was a lot of chaos.
i'm not, i just don't think we know right now what way it will go. but certainly considerable shadow now over a man who's at the forefront of american politics and doesn't seem to be taking these allegations as seriously as they need to be taken. >> leslie vinjamuri, thank you so much. we'll stay in touch with you. >> thank you. a lot of people looking at the olympic diplomacy between north and south korea and some are saying, wait, remember who you're dealing with. that is the message. the u.s. and these protesters are sending to the president of south korea. the very latest after the break. plus, on the ground with elite u.s. forces inside syria. cnn gains rare access ahead. are cream conditioners bringing your hair down?
from the world's number one conditioner brand... new pantene light-as-air foam conditioner, full of rich pro-v nutrients... ...and infused with air. for 100% conditioning, with 0% weight. strong is beautiful. new pantene. foam conditioner. the roasted core wrap.belly fat. 3, 2, 1... not cool. freezing away fat cells with coolsculpting? now that's cool! coolsculpting safely freezes and removes fat cells with little
or no downtime. and no surgery. results and patient experience may vary. some rare side effects include temporary numbness, discomfort and swelling. ask your doctor if coolsculpting is right for you and visit coolsculpting.com today... for your chance to win a free treatment. listerine® total care strengthens teeth, after brushing, helps prevent cavities and restores tooth enamel. it's an easy way to give listerine® total care to the total family. listerine® total care. one bottle, six benefits. power to your mouth™.
from coast to coast across the united states and live around the world this hour, you're watching cnn newsroom, thank you so much for being with us. i'm george howell with the headlines we're following for you. the north korean leader kim jong-un has invited the president of south korea to pyongyang. a historic meeting between kim's sister and moon jae-in. he hopes his country's olympic games will foster better relations between the two koreas. the u.s. president, donald trump, has blocked the release of an intelligence memo written by adam schiff. the white house says it's been sent back to the white house committee for changes. a rebuttal to a republican memo that alleged surveillance abuses by the fbi. president trump also praising a former aide who resigned this week, who resigned over allegations of domestic
violence. mr. trump said that rob porter did a good job and emphasized that porter claims he's innocent. on friday a white house speech writer also stepped down over similar accusations. sweden has won the first gold medal of the 2018 olympics. women 15 kilometer skiathon. took home the silver making her the most decorated and finland also winning the bronze medal. back now to the olympic diplomacy that has been playing out. the south korean president moon jae-in now has a very fine line to walk. as we've been reporting, he has been invited to visit pyongyang. however, south korea remains a strong ally of the united states, which is fiercely skeptical of north korea's
motives. vice president mike pence is in south korea, as was within very close view of kim jong-un's sister at the opening ceremony. he's carrying the message to seoul, don't trust north korea's overtures, the kim regime is still a brutal regime. let's bring in cnn's will ripply who has reported extensively from north korea. joining now from pyoneongchang, south korea. what do you make of this invitation from the north korean leader for the president of south korea to visit? >> i learned about this on friday morning local time, george. before the north korean military parade, which my sources tell me was scaled down at the last minute. during the parade kim jong-un never mentioned the word nuclear. he referred to the north koreans as a military power. that was one thing that sources told me that was noteworthy. the parade was made smaller and
ret ric whetoric was toned down kim jong-un's sister would deliver a note and we found sout several hours ago that is what happened. the lunch was an opportunity for more informal discussions. the high-ranking member of the delegation was also there. but kim jong-un's sister is far more influential and a rising star within the north korean government. she's a high-ranking member of the party of korea and sent with a mission, a dip olomatic mission to warm relations with the south and it appears at this stage, george, that things went as kim jong-un planned. he accepted the invitation and principal. a lot of details to work out.
my sources ahead of confirmation of this told me one possible date that could be thrown around is august 15th. a holiday that is celebrated in north and south korea. liberated from the japanese. so, as they look at possible times and dates for this trip, obviously, this really does sideline the united states because as this diplomacy was happening, you had vice president mike pence visiting with north korean defectors speaking strongly against north korea and calling it depraved. saying the north korean people were prisoners who yearned for freedom and, of course, he was blasted in north korean media today for doing that. they accused him of violating the olympic spirit. and then at the opening ceremonies that really awkward moment when vice president pence was initially supposed to be sitting directly in front of the north korean delegation. he actually switched seats so thater away. if it was followed, it would have been more ocwould and
bizarre than what we saw. if you're somebody in pence's camp right now you can't be happy how this is going down. vice president pence came here to tell the south koreans once the olympic is over, diplomacy should be over. they should join the united states, but, instead, what south korea president moon has done is open to further engagement with the north koreans. tonight, they're going to be having the interkorean women ice hockey game and attending that game with kim jong-un's sister, kim yo jong and they'll be sitting there cheering on the team together. not the optics the united states was hoping for, george. >> certainly interesting optics. that image, as well. weird if there were chips to be passed down the aisle with the north korean leader's sister there and the vice president of the united states. but, again, a very historic
moment as we're seeing these two koreas, possibly, meeting with the presidents in pyongyang. thank you for your reporting. we'll, of course, stay in touch with you. a lot to talk about here for the president of south korea, moon jae-in when it comes to the talks with north korea. i want to take a closer look at this. yon is a visiting research fellow at the future forum live from seoul, south korea. thank you for taking time to talk with us this day to talk about what is happening. a lot of nuance here. north korea did not have to offer much to be part of this game. some would say a matter of security to have them present there. but south korea, the president of south korea as he's invited to north korea, what will he have to bring home substantive to make this worth while? >> thanks for having me back. so, on the substantive side, the
south korean public which has grown used to seeing this movie several times for the past several decades, actually, would want to see him bring back some sort of promise and commitment to denuclearize. to give up the north's nuclear weapons. that is going to be a complicated and tricky thing to do. that is ultimately what it is going to come down to. that piece means no nuclear weapons. south korean president has his work cut out for him. he has to try to convince washington to seessentially com on board with this vision and game reconciliation leading to a north korea nuclear dialogue and eventual negotiations to solve the nuclear problem. but we've heard vice president pence say reportedly that he would like to see all doors shut
after the olympics to go back to maximum pressure campaign. and that's going to be difficult for president moon. the north really has attempted president moon with this invitation to the north and a summit, which president moon has wanted as early as possible. president moon will be tempted to want to try and delay u.s. south ckorea military exercises once again until after the summits and how will that fare in the eyes of washington. for washington, these exercises, sure, you know, during the olympics truce, we had a reduction of tensions and compared to last year's dangerous situation, but if you map it out and if you think about how this all plays out on the ground, what this means the u.s. and south korea will put down their guard. our military exercises. they'll have to put down their guard while the north has its sword, so to speak, pointed at
south korea and the u.s. it still had its nuclear weapons in hand. that's a practical immediate challenge that president moon will have to think about. >> why do you surmise this is happening right now? do you think it's because of the sanctions? is it due to the president -- the u.s. president's ratcheted up rhetoric? the freeze that has taken place on north korea. >> well, i think there are several factors combined. and drivers in place. fundamentally, it could be first that we've heard reports that sanctions are taking an effect and pyongyang has calculated for it and the current sanctions in place will bite eventually. the north realizes this progressive administration is the administration that would be inclined to accept north korea's demands and this current south korean.
>> in seoul, south korea. thank you so much for the perspective today. still ahead, isis is on the run, but civilians are still caught in the middle of a very brutal civil war taking place in syria. we look at some of the many factions locked up in this conflict still ahead. plus, the unified korean women's ice hockey team is preparing for its olympic debut in just a few hours' time. the very latest from pyeongchang, south korea, as newsroom rolls on.
stay with me, mr. parker. when a critical patient is far from the hospital, the hospital must come to the patient. stay with me, mr. parker. the at&t network is helping first responders connect with medical teams in near real time... stay with me, mr. parker. ...saving time when it matters most. stay with me, mrs. parker. that's the power of and.
welcome back to "newsroom." the u.s. military roll inside syria growing more complicated and ever more dangerous. u.s. special operation forces have to watch for attacks from pro-government sources while watching for attacks for isis. nick payton walsh gained access after a regime assault. here's the report that he filed. >> the main reason america says it's still in syria is out there. in the cold dust that hides the remnants of isis. pinned isis down to smaller
territory. where possibly their leader could be hiding out. but in this last stage of the fight, the problems and, indeed, the enemies, the syrian kurds here and american allies continue to mount. last night another new enemy emerged near here. tanks and 500 militants loyal to the syrian regime advanced on and shelled american commandos and their kurdish allies not far west of here. as these u.s. drone pictures help show, u.s. warplanes and gunships killed 100 of them. this artillery crew were also hit. many others then fled. what on earth just happened the night before and why haunts the u.s. special operations commanderer. . >> i am a little bit surprised. whoever that was knew that sdf were in defensible positions and knows that they're a fierce opponent. >> does your head begin to spin
occasionally where does it end and begin? >> if you try to take into all those factors. the good thing about being in the military is that we usually have a military mission and the military mission out here is to defeat isis. >> when that attack began, rang a military monitor meant to keep the peace here to ask what was happening. told me there were no movements, he said. and then they were happening without their permission. an hour later he rang for a cease-fire and russia is a great power and knows not any move from the regime. they bear responsibility for yesterday. kicking isis out of syria and rocca below has left a vacuum and also devastation. no nobody knows how many are buried under the rubble below. yet the u.s. is trying to help rebuild, to clear the endless
mines isis hit and toys and refrigerators. the new local police lining the streets. >> that's one of the contradictions you're dealing with. you want people to come back but you realize it may not be safe for them. you want to help, but you can't stay here forever. people blame the u.s. if this place isn't rebuilt in a heart beat. >> we learned lessons. we are doing a very good job of making sure everything we do here is through the civil council. the governing body that is dictating and providing the guidance for whatever we are doing to try to help. >> isis never expected to have u.s. commandos touring their ampitheater. or 20 kabobs on the streets here. it is safe enough to come and rebuild. >> translator:
i was the first person to reopen here. we need basic services, water, electricity. i had three mines in my own home, but the local council removed them. life is rushing back here because no one can wait for the rubble to be cleared, the mines to be gone. so, ignored and desperate, these people once let isis' horror in. and now urgently need something better so it never returns. nick paton walsh, cnn, northern syria. let's talk more about this with ann bernard. the beirut bureau chief for "new york times" and has provided extensive coverage on the war on syria. ann, thank you so much for being with us to talk about this. first of all, look, many people feel the war against isis is over. but, you write that many militants have gone underground. what we're seeing, the stepped up attacks now from the syrian government on rebels that it had initially been targeting, along with what you describe as a
separate, but intersecting set of conflicts with a rotating cast of combatants. explain. >> well, that's right. first of all, the sense that the war against islamic state is over may be premature in the sense that you can't just defeat an insurgent group that goes under ground and continues to fight with guerilla tactic. we've seen groups emerge over the years and i think it's premature to have a mission accomplished moment about isis. at the same time, long before isis was, you know, the most attention getting, facet of the conflict in syria internationally, the conflict was going on for years between the president of syria, bashar al assad and rebels fighting to unseat him. that conflict has not been resolved and continues to flare. in fact, it's reaching a biggerbigger
peak this week than it has in months. and at the same time, we have international actors that are also ready to escalate additional conflicts that exist between them and are being played out in syria. >> i want to delve a bit deeper in that. let's show our viewers, again, the map of syria. and, again, you know, we kind of indicate some of these major flash points just to get a sense of what's happening there. these different areas. so, from what's happening and freeing turkish troops there. help our viewers to understand exactly what is playing out in that nation. >> okay. so, first of all, in 2011, there were protests against assad asking for more political freedom than syria. that morphed into an armed conflict after the government crackdown on protests and some syrians began taking up arms. foreign players started to fund those groups and an array ofrebel groups fighting assad. now, that conflict has been sort
of in the background in terms of international attention while everyone was worried about isis and how it might affect them back home. it never stops. now, the syrian government is turning its attention to defeat the last rebel-held pocket of the country. the government has been on the march, especially since russia entered the conflict on the side of the government and been bombarding isis and including the other groups, al qaeda-linked group that has come to nominate some of the rebel-held areas. at the same time, many civilians in those areas and bearing the brunt of the attacks. numerous strikes on medical facilities and reports of video evidence of many children being affected. women, families being hit by missiles and barrel bombs and other munitions that just seem
to be targeting civilian areas, as well as other areas. >> thank you for your time and your reporting. we certainly invite viewers to check out your article in "new york times." bureau chief for beirut for "new york times." thank you. >> thank you. the first medals of the winter games have been awarded. we'll tell you who has taken home the gold. still ahead. i know i can be challenging... but i'm deeper than what you see. i'm craving something we're missing. the ceramides in cerave. cerave contains three essential ceramides, to restore the ones we've lost and help repair my natural barrier. so i can lock in moisture, and keep us protected. we're in this together, so we've got to have each other's backs... and fronts... and arms... and legs. cerave. what your skin craves. show of hands. let's get started. who wants customizable options chains?
ones that make it fast and easy to analyze and take action? how about some of the lowest options fees? are you raising your hand? good then it's time for power e*trade the platform, price and service that gives you the edge you need. alright one quick game of rock, paper, scissors. 1, 2, 3, go. e*trade. the original place to invest online.
back to the winter games while diplomacy has been front and center in pyongchang. sporting events are certainly under way after friday's dazzling opening ceremony. the 300 meter speed skating is set to start in a few minutes time. also, a few hours ago, the first medals were awarded for the games. for sweden, charlotte kalla took home the gold in the ski athlon. and in north way marit bjorgen took home silver making her the most decorated woman in the winter olympics. thanks so much for being with us
for "cnn newsroom." for our viewers in the united states, "new day" is next and f for amanpour is next. thanks for watching. not cool. freezing away fat cells with coolsculpting? now that's cool! coolsculpting safely freezes and removes fat cells with little or no downtime. and no surgery. results and patient experience may vary. some rare side effects include temporary numbness, discomfort and swelling. ask your doctor if coolsculpting is right for you and visit coolsculpting.com today... for your chance to win a free treatment. from the world's number one conditioner brand... new pantene light-as-air foam conditioner, full of rich pro-v nutrients... ...and infused with air. for 100% conditioning, with 0% weight.
strong is beautiful. new pantene. foam conditioner. directv has been rated #1 in customer satisfaction over cable for 17 years running. but some people still like cable. just like some people like banging their head on a low ceiling. drinking spoiled milk. camping in poison ivy. getting a papercut. and having their arm trapped in a vending machine. but for everyone else, there's directv. for #1 rated customer satisfaction over cable, switch to directv and get a $200 reward card. call 1.800.directv