In an interview with CNN’s Hala Gorani, Syrian official Bouthaina Shaaban says Syria is ready to work with the U.S., but warns against any "act of aggression” by the U.S.
“We are ready to be part of any coalition against terrorism, and any strike on Syria without coordination with the Syrian government is considered an aggression against Syria.”
Shaaban, who is the political and media adviser to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, also says Obama’s strategy against ISIS has “many loopholes” and “leaves a lot to be desired.”
“The strategy that I read by Obama has many loopholes and leaves a lot to be desired. He would benefit a lot from cooperating with the Syrian government against terrorism because we have been truly fighting terrorism for the last four years. The four points he outlined as his strategy will not work simply because they are not based on reality.”
CNN's Hala Gorani (@halagorani) interviews the brother of Al Jazeera producer Mohamed Fahmy, who was taken into custody Sunday in Egypt by authorities who accused him of belonging to a terrorist group.
Speaking from Kuwait City, Adel Fahmy says accusations that his brother is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood are not true.
"These are extremely false accusations, could not be further from the truth. He's a very objective journalist, producer, reporter, and he's always taken pride in his job."
CNN continues to cover the deadly attacks in Israel and Gaza with reporters positioned all around the Middle East.
Reza Sayah reports from the Rafah border crossing in Egypt, where Egyptian demonstrators are beginning to enter Gaza.
Christiane Amanpour discusses the international community's response to Israel-Gaza conflict.
Fred Pleitgen reports live when a rocket hits Ashkelon, Israel.
Behind the scenes at CNN's International Desk during the Israel-Gaza conflict.
Ben Wedeman reports on the Israeli Defense Force calling up 16,000 reservists for active duty.
Fred Pleitgen reports on a rocket hitting the outskirts of Tel Aviv.
CNN's Fareed Zakaria tells Piers Morgan Israel is justified in responding to rocket attacks.
Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair speaks to CNN about the "incredibly difficult and tense" situation between Israel and Hamas.
CNNI anchor/correspondent Hala Gorani's Q&A on the Gaza strikes.
On Wednesday former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice sat down with CNN’s Hala Gorani to discuss whether the U.S. should arm rebels in Syria and why she believes America’s voice is “muted” under U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration. Speaking to CNN at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, Rice is expected to speak Wednesday evening at the 2012 Republican National Convention.
RICE ON ARMING SYRIAN REBELS:
“I think the United States should be participating in...the arming of those rebels, because we have to remember, and you know this region as well as anyone, there are regional agendas by the outside powers that are essentially confessional agendas. Sunnis arming Sunnis, Shia arming Shia. The United States and Europe bring a more balanced approach to the region. And so, yes, we should be participating in it.”
RICE ON AMERICA’S ‘MUTED’ VOICE:
“I do think that this is a time when people are questioning American leadership. You hear where is America? Where does America stand? In part, we've been pretty muted with our voice. I think there was a hope that if we were quieter, people would join us. Well, actually, that doesn't seem to be the case. We have the president of Egypt going to China as his first stop. When has that been the case? And so I think it's a combination of too muted a voice and also our troubles here at home.
**Any use of this material must credit CNN.**
VIDEO LINK: http://on.cnn.com/NXf4vi
FULL TRANSCRIPT AFTER THE JUMP:
On Wednesday's Newsroom International, CNN's Beirut-based correspondent Arwa Damon reports on the explosion that killed four top Syrian officials in Damascus. Joining Suzanne Malveaux on set was CNN's Hala Gorani, who calls the attack a "game changer."
"I think this is an absolute game changer. Whether it's a rebel attack, whether it's an inside job...this means that those closest to Bashar al-Assad...were assassinated in the center of Damascus," Gorani says.
In addition, CNN's Istanbul-based correspondent Ivan Watson discusses the increased violence in Syria's capital. Watch his report here.
CNN continues to cover Syria despite the Syrian government restricting access to international journalists, including CNN. Here's a look at some of CNN's recent reports on Syria:
CNN’s Hala Gorani talks to photojournalist and war photographer, Robert King, about the shocking images he captured in Syria, in what he describes as a “small slice of horror." June 12
CNN’s Ivan Watson investigates the impact sanctions are having on once bustling commercial hubs in Syria. June 11
CNN’s Candy Crowley speaks with Sen. John McCain, who says the U.S. is standing by watching people “being tortured, raped…it is shameful we’re not helping.” June 11
CNN’s Arwa Damon reports on the fierce and widespread clashes that have broken out in Damascus, causing speculation that Assad’s grip may be slipping. June 9
CNN’s Arwa Damon discusses the violence in Syria and a gruesome video of one massacre’s aftermath. June 7
CNN’s Arwa Damon reports on exclusive video obtained by CNN that shows rebel fighters taking on Syrian government forces in Homs, Syria. June 6
Egypt's presidential election started Wednesday, and CNN's Hala Gorani (@HalaGorani) and senior international correspondent Ben Wedeman (@bencnn) are in Cairo covering this historic event.
Day Two Content:
Ben Wedeman speaks to Egyptians about the presidential elections, and what route they want the country to go.
Watch Hala Gorani's interview with activist and author Wael Ghonim, who says he's optimistic the election process will be fair and transparent.
Ben Wedeman visits a polling station in a Cairo suburb on the second day of the Egyptian elections.
Day One Content:
Watch Hala Gorani discuss the significance of the Egyptian elections with Ambassador Nabil Fahmy.
Read Ben Wedeman's piece 'Old politics joins new in Egypt'.
In a special live edition of CNN's 'Your Money' on Sunday at 3pmET, Ali Velshi (@AliVelshi) and Christine Romans (@ChristineRomans) cover the French election and Greece. They will be joined by CNN's Paris-based correspondent Jim Bitterman and Hala Gorani (@HalaGorani) from Paris, Matthew Chance (@mchanceCNN) from Athens, Al Goodman (@algoodmanCNN) from Madrid and John Defterious (@JDefteriosCNN) from Abu Dhabi.
In an interview with CNN's Hala Gorani Wednesday, Syrian foreign ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi said Syria is committed to the peace plan brokered by special envoy Kofi Annan.
"We are fully committed to have a successful mission for Mr. Annan, but at the same time people should know that I can say optimistically that 40% of the keys to solve the crisis is in our hands as government but the other 60% is in the hands of those who are harboring, channeling weapons, instigating in the media, against Syria," said Makdissi.
Makdissi also said it will take more than Syrian forces to stop the violence, adding the presence of United Nation observers on the ground will be essential to verify the cessation of violence.
"We are not afraid of the reality of the Syrian story," he said. "We want them to be on the ground and see for themselves who is violating this.
Full transcript after the jump.
In an interview with CNN International's Hala Gorani (@halagorani), CNN's chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour (@camanpour) discusses the death of veteran war correspondent Marie Colvin.
"We shared some of the same trenches over the last couple of decades," says Amanpour. "Marie...had this incredible passion to do the right thing – to do what this extreme profession demands and that is to report the truth and to humanize these terrible conflicts and these terrible wars."