Thursday on CNN”s “Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin,” in a discussion about a continuing battle at a Baiji, Iraq oil refinery, host Brooke Baldwin said CNN’s senior international correspondent Nick Paton Walsh described the fighting as “apocalyptic,” to which retired Brigadier General Anthony J. Tata, now the Secretary of Transportation for North Carolina, replied it would be “apocalyptic” if ISIS attacks Baghdad.
“Here’s an adjective for you—apocalyptic,” Baldwin said. “That’s the word our senior international correspondent uses to describe the front lines of a battle between ISIS terrorists and Iraqi special forces. A lot of the focus, as we’ve been discussing over the past couple days, has been on the fight for the city of Ramadi, where a tense standoff continues with Iraqi forces trying to choke off supply lines and push ISIS out. But look at the map. See the yellow area? Farther north in Baiji, this is a much different scene. Part of a huge oil refinery burns, now controlled by ISIS. Fears are growing terrorists could scorch and burn the site as they clear out, potentially triggering a catastrophe on a scale not yet seen in this war.”
General Anthony Tata replied, “Because we’re not there in full presence with advisers and communicating to air power. It’s a very disjointed fight right now. So we need to get Ramadi back.”
He continued, “I think if the threat comes at Baghdad, then you’re going to see the Iranian forces move in. Then we’re going to have that World War I trench line drawn right along Baghdad, right along the green zone. Then It is apocalyptic.”
“It is something that could—we need stability in the Middle East,” he added. “We need a strategy to get us to stability in the Middle East. This is not good for the world. It’s not good for the region. It’s certainly not good for our national security. The average American out there right now, of which I am one, is very concerned about the threat that ISIS poses because the recruiting here in the home state.”
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