tv CNN Newsroom Live CNN January 6, 2020 12:00am-1:00am PST
cambe >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. >> we are following the breaking news this hour. heightened tensions in the middle east and new threats from the u.s. president. i'm george howell. >> and i'm rosemary church. welcome to our viewers here in the united states. and, of course, all around the world. u.s. allies are calling for restraint and a de-escalation as the consequence of the u.s. killing of a top iranian commander mount. >> take a look here. massive crowds that came together in the capital of iran, teheran. people mourning the death of qassem soleimani and to call for revenge and calls for death to
america. >> supreme leader ayatollah khomeini prayed over soleimani's body in the wake of his death. iran said it will abandon the limitations on enriching uranium in the 2015 nuclear deal. teheran will continue to cooperate with the u.n. nuclear watch dog. >> and in iraq, parliament there calling on u.s. troops and foreign troops to get out, to leave the country, underscoring the growing concerns of a regional war. >> and u.s. president donald trump responded by threatening sanctions on iraq if u.s. troops are expelled. he also reiterated his threat to target iranian cultural sites if iran retaliates. >> cnn brings you depth and perspective with our correspondents around the world. senior correspondent ted pleitkin. jumanna karachi in baghdad. and nick payton walsh following the story in beruit.
>> all right. so, let's go to fred pleitkin in teheran, as we said. so, fred, you're covering soleimani's funeral. you're right in the midst of the mourners there. what is happening this hour? and what are they saying about the killing of their country's general? >> reporter: hi there, rosemary. yeah, as you can see, there are still many, many people out here in the streets. we've been out here for several hours. most of the folks that you see here, they came out in the very early morning hours to pay their respects obviously to the body of qassem soleimani who were killed in that united states air-strike. and then also to display their anger. one of the things we keep hearing from a lot of these protesters you see here behind me is they want what they call hard revenge. it's what we keep hearing. i don't know if you can hear the chants coming. a lot of them say "down with the usa" and "death to the usa"
extremely angry at the trump administration and president trump in particular for the killing of qassem soleimani who, of course, for these folks here is very much a revered figure. they keep pointing out he's one of the people who fought against isis. they believe that he's someone who made this country safer. of course, the international reputation that he has is often very different. but the folks here he is no less than a hero. to give you a flavor from the ground here in teheran, images of qassem soleimani -- i don't know if you can -- someone running through here. you can see here these people holding these placards up, qassem soleimani. it's something almost everybody currently has. what happened earlier today, as you noted, was that the funeral took place for the supreme leader of iran who was close to soleimani. the coffins are in their way to
the square which is one of the big landmarks here. and later today they're supposed to be going to the holy city for a funeral where qassem soleimani will be laid to rest in his hometown south of oman, rosemary. >> ted pleitkin with thousands of mourners in teheran. many thanks to you. >> let's cross over now to baghdad. our yjumanna karachi is there. what is the reaction so far to that? >> reporter: well, you know, george, we're going to have to wait and see what their reaction is to that statement from the u.s. president, but as anyone would expect, this is really going to anger the iraqi people. if you look at that statement, a really stunning one by the u.s.
president, you know, who was described to us yesterday by a number of moment berz embers of as someone who is reckless and foolish, does not understand the region, does not understand iraq, he's threatening one of the key allies of the united states in this region with sanctions if they decide to end the presence of forces that were invited here by the iraqi government to assist them in the fight against isis. this is not an occupation. this is not an occupying force. they are here at the invitation of the iraqi government. a lot of people will be pointing out this is disrespectful to the iraqi -- to the iraqis. it shows disregard for their sovereignty. and then you have the issue of threatening them with sanctions like they have never seen before. you know, people here would tell you that iraq suffered so much in the '90s under those u.n.-imposed sanctions.
they suffered more than many other nations. they have seen firsthand what sanctions do. thousands of lives lost attributed to the restrictions on the import of food and medicine here in the '90s. so, i mean, ns really not going to go down very well here, and it is only going to increase anti-american sentiments that we are seeing start to reemerge in this country, george. >> jumanna karachi following the story live for us in baghdad. y jumanna, thank you. >> lets he let's go to our nick walsh. what seems to be the response from iran? >> there is one from qassem soleimani's daughter yesterday as the mourning gathering here
in the southern suburbs of beruit. that is u.s. troops will be forced from the region. that, of course, is you might say is purely rhetoric, but also something, too, that appears through i'm sure iranian pressure and just simply through u.s. actions to be beginning to happen, maybe in iraq. now, of course, this could be something which dissipates slowly over time. but if you did see u.s. troops lessen their presence or entirely from iraq, then you would possibly compromise their presence in syria as well, and donald trump has already made it clear that he'd like to see u.s. troops coming home from afghanistan. so essentially there may be an iranian game here, which is to try and push donald trump into doing what he's always said he wants to do in the first place, which is bring american troops home from the middle east. now, of course, presences in saudi arabia or other gulf states who rely on the united states for their security will be much harder to compromise. but you are beginning to see now, too, the damage donald trump is able to do to the u.s.
reputation in the region simply through his tweets, threatening iranian cultural sites, sanctions against iraq, a strange request made on air force one, they might leave iraq if they paid them back for the air force they built, a real estate deal he dreamt up there. as you begin to see the increasing incoherence of what donald trump seems to consider, however coherent the strategy was taking out qassem soleimani in the first place, that may snowball into further damage to the u.s. presence in the region anyway. there are other possible ways, too, we may see iran respond. what's being notable so far is that the focus certainly here from lebanese hezbollah has not necessarily rhetorically been israel that much to this point. many were thinking that may be the first place in which iran's proxies in the region may choose to vent their rage due to the death of soleimani t. may not happen in a flash point in the days and weeks ahead.
the most troubling thing in the longer run is the wholesale departure from the nuclear deal of iran. now, that deal was to some degree dead, trying to be kept alive by the europeans. certainly the iranian move to fully withdraw from its terms it was abiding by from that sends two signals. one, possibly that some parts of the iranian government may be thinking now may be the time to look towards the break-out period. people thought that was about a year or so before the deal was signed and race towards getting a bomb. unclear how technically capable they'll be of doing that. secondly, too, it's a message to the europeans who were desperately trying to keep that deal alive, somewhat ill fatedly after the maximum pressure campaign of the united states. once again, donald trump has undone their diplomatic efforts, sort of replicating what was happening in northern syria, too, in the fight against isis. a lot still moving here certainly, and i think we have possibly got through this mourning period now slowly coming to an end in teheran after the funeral, after which
we may see proxies choosing to retaliate or we -- retaliate in a public demonstrative fashion rather than something meaning. . we may be looking at a longer game where teheran seeks to put pressure on military personnel in the region, targeting them how difficult or easy that may or may not be. and also obligations under the nuclear pact. the more strategic game here, and you have to assess whether that is because iran has been put on the back foot by the surprise death of its top military commander or is as usual being strategic, patient and inkrcremental in the steps takes. >> nick walsh, in beruit, we appreciate it, thank you. >> the calls are rising for de-escalation. what the leaders of france, germany and the u.k. are saying about the volatile situation. we're back with that in just a moment. for a roommate, he wanted someone super quiet. yeah, and he wanted someone to help out with chores.
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general steven townsend issued a statement on behalf of the u.s. africa command saying this. as we all know their sacrifice, let's also harden our resolve alongside our african and international partners, we will pursue those responsible for this attack and al-shabaab who seeks to harm americans and u.s. interests. we remain committed to preventing al-shabaab from maintaining a safe haven to plan deadly attacks against the u.s. homeland, east african and international partners. >> reporter: in an audacious predawna tack, the terror group al-shabaab attacked the air field very near where united states troops of the u.s. africa command train their african partners, near camp simba. what we know now is that one
united states serviceman and two contractors for the department of defense were killed in that attack. u.s. africa command also tells us two further contractors were injured, and at the moment they're stable and are being evacuated. now, lamu county sits on the edge of the indian ocean. it used to be a very popular tourist place. it's also unesco world heritage site. but unfortunately, its proximity to the somali border means it is prone to al-shabaab attacks. the defense forces tell us they repelled together with the american partners and they discovered five bodies of terrorists. they also found various weapons, rpgs, ak-47s and things of that nature. furthermore, several aircraft at this base were damaged according to the u.s. africa command to some degree, including six contractor operated civilian aircraft. we also know that they were also
fix-wing and rotary types of aircraft. now, why has this happened? al-shabaab has been ramping up their attacks. remember last week they attacked a suicide truck bomb which killed over 85 somalis in the capital mogadishu. the response of the united states africa command and the somali partners then was to strike at several bases for al-shabaab. now, indeed, al-shabaab's -- despite all these attacks, drone attacks, are still a menace in this place. remember, it's regional, not just in kenya. in kenya as well. just last year, january the 15th, 2019, they hit a hotel here in kenya's capital, nairobi, killing 21 people. everyone is baffled at the moment about how this attack could have happened. and, of course, we do not yet know if there were any kenyan defense force casualties. but the menace of al-shabaab
remains. farai sevenzo, nairobi. >> we do want to turn to the top story, mourning in iran amid a funeral procession for a top military leader qassem soleimani. >> we want to show you the images out of teheran, live images. we're hearing calls for revenge, calls on the streets for death to america. many capitals around the world are calling for de-escalation. they're hoping cooler heads will prevail here. in a joint statement, emmanuel macron, german chancellor angela merkel and british prime minister boris johnson warned another crisis in iraq could destabilize the country. >> the statement reads in part, we call on all parties to exercise utmost restraint and responsibility. the current cycle of violence in iraq must be stopped. >> let's again bring in our correspondents around the world following these developments. our international diplomatic
editor nic robertson in riyadh, and sam kiley in abu dhabi. nick, first to you. the calls we're hearing from european leaders urging restraint, the question here, do they really have the leverage to make a difference here? sk and are there any off-ramps for de-escalation from your vantage point in the coming future? >> reporter: if we take at face value president trump's tweets, then the british, the french and the germans who issued the joint statement calling for -- not to ratchet up tensions further are whistling in the wind because president trump is tweeting that he is willing to strike cultural sites, said that he is willing to demand money from iraq if u.s. troops are forced to pull out. all those speeches ratcheting up tensions and destabilization in the region. the reality is cooler heads and calmer thoughts may prevail behind closed doors, but there is no indication at the moment that there is a diplomatic
off-ramp. what we understand from the iraqi prime minister yesterday is that qassem soleimani in the hours before he had been killed was due to deliver a message to the iraqi prime minister from teheran responding to a message that the iraqis had passed from the saudis to teheran, in essence, trying to de-escalate tensions in the region. we know that the saudis, had rather than gone face to face, head to head and escalated the situation with iran after iran attacked oil facilities three months ago. they were working behind the scenes to try to de-escalate and bring down the temperature. but, you know, the message that president trump hears today from the, essentially the number three in saudi arabia, bin salman, the brother of crown prince mohammed bin salman where he meets with secretary of state mike pompeo, is going to be one of -- is going to be one of support for the killing of soleimani, a call for de-escalation. but, you know, from a saudi perspective, they need a strong
ally in the region, united states. they're going to want to understand what the united states's next moves are. but there is no indication that pompeo and mohammed bin salman are working on a diplomatic track with teheran at the moment. the message pompeo will get will be one of de-escalation, but, you know, the saudis find themselves potentially on the "frontline" of de-escalation. that may be something they support the united states killing soleimani, they essential don't want to see this get out of hand any further. >> nick, stand by. let's show this image again live in teheran just so our viewers can see what's happening, those who are waking up here in the united states. this live image from the capital of iran. 11:51 in the morning and look at that, the streets filled with people. the people angry, the chants death to america. let's bring in our sam kiley. sam following the story in abu dhabi. this targeted attack has whipped
up sentiment in the region. there is a push to force u.s. troops out of the region. what would that mean for iraq and the region if u.s. troops are forced out? >> well, george, just in the last few hours, the iraqi government has announced that it lost two more iraqi soldiers to isis terrorists on the outskirts of kirkuk. there is an ongoing terrorist insurgency inside iraq the iraqis are very much leading. they have relied up until now, not only on heavy american training, but also american-led coalition and support in that campaign. that campaign, whatever donald trump may say, both inside syria and iraq, has not been won. there are still arguably growing levels of isis insurgency. this would present an absolute
win. the only organization on the planet really that would be delighted with u.s. withdrawal from iraq would be the principal enemies, ironically both of the united states and the iranians in iraq, which is the so-called islamic state. they actually fought on the same side during the campaign to try to rid the region of them. on the more wider issues, as nick was suggesting there in saudi arabia, here in the emirates there is extreme anxiety that the killing of qassem soleimani may set off a sickly cyclical process that is literally a stone's throw across the arabian gulf into neighboring iran. qatar is move very quickly to try to engage the foreign minister a day after the soleimani was killed and there have been calls again from the
emirates to de-escalate. enormously, it is not the sort of tactical situation that worries them, but the long-term strategic implications of a collapse back into the highly belligerent atmosphere that prevailed in this region during the american-led occupation of iraq and the iran/iraq war before that. the memories of that long ago when the perfection or arabian gulf was actually blocked during a lot of that period, george. >> sam kiley following the story live in abu dhabi, and nic robertson as well following the story for us. thank you for the reporting. we'll keep in touch with you. >> well, u.s. president donald trump is back in washington after spending more than two weeks at his florida resort. he faces both chaos in the middle east and uncertainty over his upcoming impeachment trial. on sunday, he doubled down on
his threat to target iranian cultural sites, telling reporters, quote, they are allowed to kill our people. they're allowed to torture and maim our people. they're allowed to use road side bombs and blow up our people, and we're not allowed to touch their cultural sites? it doesn't work that way. >> earlier, the u.s. secretary of state mike pompeo defended the president's threat against iran to our colleague jake tapper. here's their exchange. >> so cultural centers are theoretically fair targets in your view? >> jake, we're going to do the things that are right and the things that are consistent with american life. i've been part of the discussion planning process. everything i've seen about how we will respond with great force and great vigor if the iranian leadership makes a bad decision. we hope they won't, but when they do, america will respond. >> but there is growing skepticism among democrats over the president's administration
for reasons for targeting soleimani. here's house committee chair adam chiffon that. >> the question is did the plotting here rise to the level that required his elimination from the battle field. and would that elimination stop the plotting, or would it accelerate it or would it make the potential attacks on the united states greater, not worse. and there i don't think the intelligence supports the conclusion that removing soleimani increases our security. >> meantime, house speaker nancy pelosi is planning to introduce a resolution to limit the president's war powers. here's what she said in a letter to democratic members of congress. the resolution, she said, reasserts congress's long established oversight responsibilities by mandating that if no further congressional action is taken, the administration's military hostilities with regard to iran cease in 30 days. >> on top of this, there are
uncertainties over when and how his impeachment trial in the senate will proceed. at this hour, the crowds in teheran continue to grow. there is so much happening. tens of thousands of supporters coming together paying their respects to qassem soleimani. just ahead we'll talk to former british ambassador to iran about efforts to ease tensions over the killing of teheran's top general. >> plus, australia's prime minister has been criticized over his response to the deadly bush fires scorching the country. hear what he's saying now as thousands flee. >> and as tensions rise in the middle east, we find out what it means for u.s. military families, many who are caught in the middle of this. caught off guard by a sudden new deployment. newsroom is right back after the break. when you move homes, you move more than just yourself.
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welcome back, everyone. we are continuing to follow breaking news this hour. iran mourning the loss of its top military leader as the u.s. president doubles down on his threats toward teheran. i'm rosemary church. >> and i'm george howell. welcome back, the united states and around the world. the president warning of sanctions on iran if american troops are kicked out of the country. >> he is threatening iraq's parliament on sunday calling for u.s. and other foreign troops to leave the country in response to friday's killing of iran's top general qassem soleimani by u.s. drone strike. richard dalton is a former british ambassador to iran and libya and currently an associate
fellow at chatham house's middle east and north africa program. and he joins us now live from london. thank you so much for being with us. >> thank you for having me, but i'm not currently a fellow at chatham house. >> oh, you're not, all right. as the former u.k. ambassador to iran and libya, what is your reaction to president trump's decision to order the killing of qassem soleimani and what do you fear the consequence might be? >> it was reckless. as far as i can tell, it was not necessary to eliminate threats to american service people. no proper evidence has been put forward to justify that assertion. it was also a grave affront to iraqi sovereignty. and i think that those who are saying that a war might break out across the region are right.
it's not inevitable, but unless serious action is taken in the next few days, it's going to get more likely. >> this is the fear, of course, because iran has vowed to retaliate, but has said that those retaliatory strikes will be contained to u.s. military interests. president trump, though, has said that if they do that, then he will respond by hitting a potential list of 52 iranian targets, including cultural sites. what's your reaction to those counter threats coming from mr. trump, and all of this as other nations such as britain, germany and france are saying, just settle down, just stop, we need to think where this is all going? >> yes, iraqi spokes men are saying that president trump is pouring petrol into the fires of the middle east, and i think that's accurate. and the european effort to deal
with the fundamental problems that lie at the bottom of this increase in tension, starting with the totally unnecessary dispute over the iranian nuclear deal, those efforts now need to be redoubled. and a first step would be to try to renew the diplomacy around the offering which both the united states and iran were prepared to consider back in september. and then to move beyond that with bold new steps on regional diplomacy. of course, the atmosphere for this is now a great deal worse and threatening cultural sites, which, of course, if carried out would be a war crime, is something that i hope president trump's advisors will prevent him, president trump, undertaking. we don't want this kind of loose
talk. and it's only fueling the feeling in britain that in many ways united states is a bad and unreliable ally on major aspects of middle east policy, which are vital for u.k. and wider european interests. >> and as i mentioned, world leaders calling for a de-escalation of tensions and for cooler heads to prevail, what has that signalled to you that britain, france and germany would do next should this get out of hand? what do you think their plans would be? >> well, if it gets out of hand and a war starts, it should not be for britain and america's other european allies to get involved in a quarrel which begins with the illicit actions of the united states in pulling out of the iranian nuclear agreement and, thus, damaging
security interests. there needs to be -- >> could the united states find itself very much isolated in this? >> i don't know. it's too soon to say, but that would be the wise policy decision in london and elsewhere now. don't count on us if you mess up on this big-time should be part of the message. but we should also provide a opening for both the united states and iran to climb down by making a commitment now to tackling the massive deficit in regional security cooperation. the international community lost three opportunities to use the wreckage of war to create institutions for peace after the iran/iraq war in the '80s, after the liberation of kuwait in the '90s, and after the fall of saddam hussein in 2003. we must use this crisis as an
opportunity to revive efforts to persuade all the countries of the region that they cannot go on like this. there are no good foreign intervenors across borders, whether it's the united states, turkey, saudi arabia, u.a.e., iran, israel, they're all up to it and they are not making their world any safer by taking the kind of aggressive preemptive action which everybody feels entitled to at present. so let's start an international effort that could be led by europe to get proper rules of the road for international relations in this volatile part of the world. >> richard dalton, many thanks to you for joining us on this very delicate matter. we appreciate it. >> thank you. >> and we are also keeping an eye on the markets as tensions between the united states and iran escalate. >> oil prices continue to surge monday. futures for brent crude, the global benchmark, topped $70 a
barrel for the first time in more than six months. >> let's now bring in cnn business emerging markets editor john depterius for us. what is the impact so far on oil prices? >> reporter: well, george, investors don't like unknowns right now. we have a flood of them, first and foremost, of course, is the retaliation from iran. it is a huge unknown for investors, not surprisingly. take a look at oil prices. we went here above $70 a barrel to a high of 70.46. a gain in percentage terms for wti and nymex . not surprisingly a rush to safe havens, george. gold prices up 1.3%, silver up 1.4%. we have the opposite when it comes to to stock markets because of the risk to stock markets. asian markets are down, not substantially. tokyo down 2%.
in the region about half a percent for asia. so, again, not panic selling, but we don't know the level of retaliation for iran right now. do they limit it to u.s. assets like embassies or other installations, military installations in the region or do they go after u.s. allies, like saudi arabia and here in the u.a.e.? we saw in 2019 the attacks against tankers within the strait of hormuz. pipelines in saudi arabia. then we had that big strike against the aramco facilities in september. they don't want to go down that path again today, the allies of the united states. they're calling for cooler heads. but right now investors have to hedge their betts, and that's exactly what we're seeing right now. >> certainly the concern just across the persian gulf in the gcc concern about a strike there. john defterios, we'll stay with you as we follow this story. thank you. >> we'll take a short break here. fires in australia eased some days, but could get much worse
this is our war. this fire is australia's war. it's been right down the great dividing range and now it's going right to the coast. >> people are angry. they have every right to be angry dealing with what's happening there. these major evacuations continue in australia. this is where the deadly bush fires have claimed 24 lives since september. authorities are urging families there to leave as conditions ease in some regions, but officials warn it will likely get worse in the coming days. >> smoke from the fires are still making things very difficult for people, and you can see how pour the visibility is for the military helicopter flying through these red orange skies during midday, because take that into consideration. this is during the day, these visions here. >> wow. >> and this is in the midst of
this mass evacuation mission. so let's turn to andrew stephens who joins us now from the australian capital camber a. prime minister scott morrison has come under pressure for his slow response to the devastating bush fires in the country. and now he appears to be changing his view on climate change, although he says he hasn't. what's he saying now? and is there any understanding on his part regarding the role carbon emissions are playing in all of this? >> reporter: well, what he's saying now and what he has said that he's been saying all along, rosemary, is that he is fully aware that there is climate change underway. the planet is warming up. what he is not linking is the fact that manmade carbon-based emissions are part of the problem, creating the greenhouse gases which are warming the planet up. he still is not buying into that argument, certainly not publicly. whereas australians now, if you look at the polls, most recent polls, 75% of australians think
that climate change is the number one topic that this country does need to address. so he is out of step apparently with his own people. he's certainly out of step internationally. at the recent madrid talks on climate change, australia was seen as something of a pariah by digging their heels in in addressing more aggressive targets for cutting carbon emissions. so scott morrison is out of step with a lot of australians, not just on that, but certainly on the fact that he's been seen as having a very hand-fisted response and a slow response to the bush fires, rosemary. he has been roundly criticized across all sections of australia for the response. he's responded by announcing just today a $2 billion bush fire recovery package, hoping in some way to sort of ease the criticism of him. >> yeah, a lot suggesting too little too late. so the prime minister, what's he saying about his strategy going
forward as they try to contain these raging bush fires? of course, as additional firefighters arrive from california to try to lend a hand there. >> reporter: there's been firefighters from california, something like 100 u.s. firefighters in australia. canadians are here. new zealanders are here. there's offers coming in from all over the place. the french president rang to offer any support the french could give. so this is certainly an international effort. if needed, it's on stand by and ready to go. as far as strategy is going, it's difficult. i mean, this bush fire recovery fund will create infrastructure, will create more resilience, at least that's the plan for dealing with future bush fires. but right now the immediate future is we are in a respite. oddly enough, rosemary, i've been standing here, i'm quite wet. we've been in the middle of a fairly heavy rain shower, which is great. but what's going to happen on thursday or friday is the temperatures are going to pickup, the hot dry winds are
going to pickup and we're going back to the conditions we saw at the weekend, which would truly terrify massive bush fires creating their own weather system, creating their own dry lightning strikes which led to more fires breaking out. so today with the rain, the fires are still not out, but they are not considered extreme. people are now going back, those who evacuated are going back to their houses to see what's left standing. and in many cases, there's nothing left, rosemary. >> it is so heart breaking for australians watching this all around the world. andrew stephens joining us there from in front of parliament house in camber a, appreciate it. >> pedram javaheri at the national weather center with a look at what is happening there. pedram. >> george, we always say mother nature has the upper hand when it comes to wildfire activity. certainly when you hear extreme temperatures, gusty winds, no matter how much manpower you put down on these flames, conditions certainly going to be hard to
gain control of. you notice scattered showers to the north and scattered through portions of the south and east where we have andrew in place. but temperatures, a dramatic drop from sunday into monday. it was 43 degrees celsius, 109 fahrenheit, dropped to 24 for monday afternoon, which is about 75 degrees fahrenheit. this, in fact, is the cool est stretch of air we've seen in sydney going back to december 23rd. the forecast that keeps the marine influence in place, enough cool air and moisture in place in the last couple of hours we've seen combined fire activity between new south wales and also victoria, which was around 200, dropping to around 150 now in the last several hours. so certainly seeing a brief period hereof improving weather conditions. the front pushes through. we get a shot of showers potentially inside the next seven days, maybe five or six of the next seven days we have a possibility of some wet weather across this region. really displayed well here on the sydney seven day forecast, you see the shower icons in the next seven days, with friday
being the lone exception. temperatures warm up, that's all it takes for a dangerous go of fire fighting efforts. the next couple days, we hope some upper hand is gained by the firefighters in this region. guys? >> we need more moisture and less wind. >> many thanks. >> take a short break here. still to come, tensions rising and troop numbers rising in the middle east. how u.s. military families are coping with the sudden deployment. when we started our business we were paying an arm and a leg for postage.
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threats being lobbed on twitter back and forth. right now thousands of young men and women in the u.s. military, they're headed to the middle east. and the sudden deployment is taking a toll on their loved ones. >> cnn spoke to friends and family of service members on their way to the region about their concerns. >> it's stressful for sure, especially with everything that has escalated recently. he was only supposed to be doing training. now it's obviously transpired into something else. >> i work with the guys on post. one of the gentleman that is deploying, he's trying to push back his deployment date as much as possible. but his wife is a high-risk
pregnancy. i believe he's leaving somewhere around tuesday and his wife is due wednesday. >> for these families, so many of them, this is real. this is serious business. our natasha chen has more. >> reporter: there's a definite sense of unease here in the fort bragg community. it's a tight-knit group of people. some of them we're hearing are experiencing their loved ones being deployed for the very first time. granted, the first brigade of the 82nd airborne division is designed to respond rapidly to situations like this. it's what they're trained to do. they signed up for this and they've been prepared. however, that notice that came toward the end of the holidays is still very jarring and unexpected for many of the families, and so it is a difficult time for them trying to seek answers of when it will be bunch they c be before they can see their loved ones again. we have heard the family are told not to speak about the
deployment publicly or on social media. they have talked about the process of deploying these soldiers and we've also spoken with the volunteer organization here called deployed love. they help families during this time. sabrina, the executive director, said she's been fielding a lot of messages over the last few days. >> they're obviously reaching out saying, i'm really scared. i don't know what to expect coming up. they had some training along the way. you don't know what to expect, a quick turn around. they're not going to hear from their spouse a few days while they're in transition. a lot of us were scared and need someone to talk to. >> reporter: she said for the first time she's observed messages coming from parents of soldiers who perhaps are not as closely connected to the information loop here at fort bragg. so people across the country related to these soldiers deploying right now have a lot of questions, and there's just a sense of concern and wondering how all of this is going to turnout. so she is trying very hard to
coordinate social events for these families to get together, and especially help those who are experiencing deployment for the first time. natasha chen, cnn, fort bragg, north carolina. >> rosemary, i've seen this image on social media of so many men and women soldiers in a plane, sitting there, just sitting, waiting, going. >> and wondering what's ahead because they don't know. >> with threats and, you know, lobbed on twitter. that's what's happening. >> it is. it's that sudden deployment. thank you so much for joining us. i'm rosemary church. >> i'm george howell. the news continues with "early start" here on cnn. sometimes your small screen is your big screen.
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huge protests in tehran over the u.s. strike that took out an iranian commander. the nuclear deal now in dire jeopardy and president trump doubles down on his latest threat which could amount to a war crime. flying in fire. a desperate evacuation effort from wildfires in australia. smoke so bad the emergency management agency has shutdown. cnn live this morning in tehran, baghdad, riyadh, abu dhabi and australia. >> good morning, it's monday january 6th. it's 4:00 a.m.