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tv   News  Al Jazeera  October 13, 2014 11:00am-11:31am EDT

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>> answers to the questions no one else will ask. >> real perspective, consider this on al jazeera america >> hello, welcome to another news hour from al jazeera. our headquarters in doha. coming up in the next 60 minutes isil fighters continue to make gains in several iraqi cities in anbar province, which is close to the border of syria. and we speak to the mother of one french fighter who joined isil in syria. yemen has a new prime minister. we'll take a look at the new man in the job and his challenge of uniting the country, and
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protests spread across university campuses in egypt against new laws restricting political disisn't. >> we begin this news hour in iraq. islamic state in iraq and the levant closer to gaining control of anbar: the u.s. said up to 160,000 people have been displaced in fighting in and around the town of heat. they have been withdrawn in the last base. overnight isil overran an army camp there as they named what it called a tactical withdrawal. top-level generals also retreated from the base. anbar province where isil has gained significant gains, strategically important cities of ha haditha, ramadi and
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fallujah, is the iraqi army going to completely lose control of anbar? >> it is close to losing control of anbar. undoubtedly this is another set back in the spring of military set backs suffered over recent weeks. heet si city is an strategic cally important city of anbar and that raises the capability of iraqi forces. they have not been able to recapture territories but they can't even hold their grounds. and the united states relying on these forces on the ground to try to get rid of isil. a strategic province we heard iraqi officials issuing warnings
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to help them control this province, which is just set at the iraqi capital. >> so, a coalition airstrike against isil helping iraqi forces in anbar in any way at all? >> well, there have been a few airstrikes mainly helping the iraqi government forces keeping control of the dam. the critical infrastructure in haditha, the haditha dam. the government is still in control of that. overall the airstrikes have not changed the battle lines. isil controls much of the sunni heartland in june. the government has not been able to recapture any territory here in the north. the strikes helped the kurds recapture the mosul dam and a few villages, but they have not been able to reverse the momentum. so far they have little appetite of turning against isil at the moment. they want guarantees from the
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government that their demands will be met. >> anbar is a big chunk of territory. explain its strategic significance. it stretches down as far as the outskirts of baghdad? >> reporter: exactly. borders isi, it means that isil will have an open supply line. we have to remember that some sunni tribes did support the government in efforts to get rid of al-qaeda a few years back. that's why it's important to have sunnies on board. what we understand from sunni opposition leaders on the ground, they want the government to approve the creation of national guards, local forces to protect their own regions. they say we get rid of isil, and who replaces them? shia militias.
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they call them militias. they do not want to get rid of isil only to be replaced with shia militias. they want their own forces to protect them, and only then will they help in the fight against isil. >> thank you. in erbil in northern iraq. well, isil is also on the offensive on the syria-turkey border. the town of kobane, right on the border, has been a contentious battlefield for a few weeks now. airstrikes continue to bomb this strategic town. isil fighters are carrying out a three-pronged attack from the town's eastern side. they struggle to defend the syrian town and there are fears of what is thought thousands of civilians still trap there had. let's go to the latest that you're hearing from kobane, jamal? >> reporter: the latest is that there is intense fighting on the
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eastern and southern parts of the town there. that's from sources i've respond to earlier today. there is the allegedly attacks by isil. there are vehicles heading towards the border, but never reached the desired destination and exploded earlier than anticipated. that did not result in casualties, but it is difficult to figure out exactly who controls what in this town. because obviously the intensity of the fighting and the difficulty to get that information in terms of free movement for journalists is making it tough. however, we did manage to speak to kurdish fighters that belong to the militia group there that is essentially fighting isil on the front. we spoke to some of their fighters who are receiving treatment here in turkey, and here's what some of them had to
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tell us about the fight over there. >> on the hospital bed lays a fighter who was wounded in battle. all he can think about is going back to his hometown of kobane. he and his sister fight for a rebel group linked with the pkk. they fight at the front to keep kobane from falling to isil. >> four isil fighters attacked us. we managed to kill three of them, but i got injured during the fight. >> reporter: he shows me his injury. he considers himself lucky to be alive. as notorious as isil have become there are conflicting reports about their numbers, weaponry and where their fighters come from. after he described to me who and what his comrades were up against. >> isil has so many fighters from different countries. mostly from north africa and algeria and morocco.
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one of those we capture are fr is moroccan and they have heavy tanks and artillery. >> reporter: they refused to tell us who is paying for their treatment, but local forces tell us it is most likely the bkk. another one of those injured in the battle for kobane. >> isil fighters were ten meters away from us, suddenly i got shot at that moment. i was alone. my friends were not near me. as they got closer to me i was ready to blow myself. 1234 i asked him if he was scared. >> yes, to be hadn't i was scared when i was shot, but my belief in the resistence and solidarity shared by my friends made me stronger. i wanted to keep fighting to protect my homeland from the foreigners and take revenge because many of our people have been killed.
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>> a young curd from northern iraq, he had traveled to kobane because he said it is his duty to defend the kurdish nation. >> isil is abusing and hijacking islam for their actions, but this is not islam. we are muslim, too. they captured our friend and beheaded him, but our faith remains strong. >> reporter: until now ankara has refused to send ground troops to kobane and kurds continue to demand that it does. they say they don't want the turkish army to intervene. what they lack in weaponry, it seems, they make up in conviction. >> while on the political front there are some developments. we just got a statement from the foreign minister who is actually in the united states at present. he said that the u.s. and turkey managed to get some sort of an agreement and demands that they have in terms of getting involved more in the fight against isil. that is based on providing
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support through what they call moderate syrian opposition groups. turkey said that it should not be a fight that is one dimensional but should involved the assad regime there. the discussion has been going on for several hours, and we expect a statement in an hour's time where we'll get clarity where the turks will allow for foreign armies to use their air base now. there is some sort of political developments taking place. we're waiting to see how they'll materialize in the coming hours. >> we'll be back with the updates. while the u.s. is continuing a limited number of airstrikes against isil airstrikes in kobane the u.s. secretary of state admitted saving the syrian town from isil is not part of the long-term strategy to defeat the group. speaking in cairo john kerry said the focus should instead should be on defighting isil in
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iraq. >> kobane does not define the strategy of the coalition with respect to is this. kobane is one community, and it's a tragedy of what is happening there. we don't diminish that, but we have said from day one it is going to take a period of time to bring the coalition thoroughly to the table to rebuild some of the morale and capacity of the iraqi army, and to begin the focus where we ought to be focusing first, which is in iraq. it is iraqis who will have to take back iraq. it is iraqis in anbar who will have to fight for anbar. and we're confident that just as that happened before, that can and will happen again. though it will take some time to build that capacity in order for it to be able to be effective. so no one should anticipate as
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president obama said from day one no one has been guilty of any exaggerated expectation here, certainly not from the administration. the military leaders, the civilian leaders from day one have said that this will be difficult. this will take time. we have to rebuild. we have to constitute the coalition, responsibilities have to be divided up. people have to get to their place of responsibility, and that is taking place now. >> well joining us now from london is the middle east editor, what do you make of that, john kerry saying that kobane is not part of the long-term strategy to defeat isil. why is it not in the coalition's interest to make sure that the town douse in the fall. it has become a similar bomb of the perceived failure of the coalition's efforts to degrade isil, hasn't it? >> well, i think what you heard from john kerry is a sense of
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priorities. iraq comes first. iraq, i think, difficult though it is, is easier than syria. everything that is happening on the syrian side is much more difficult. i think what kerry is saying as well as establishing sense of priorities and he said look, kobane is one place. it is very difficult to do very much about it for two reasons. it is unspoken but clear. one is the position of the turkish government, which is the closest to what is happening in kobane. it's reluctance to get involved largely because of its own concerns about the kurdish issue. and the second is the absence on the ground in syria of the sort of forces that will be necessary to really sharpen the fight against isis. the americans are leading an air campaign even as they acknowledge that air action is going to be limited in its
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effectiveness. i think it may sound harsh, it may sound cynical, but for kerry to say that kobane is not the focus of the current efforts is, in fact, correct. the primary focus is iraq, where it is realtively easier to do something about the forces on the ground. >> perhaps we're looking at pictures of kobane shot from across the border in turkey. perhaps the media has relatively safe access to kobane. they can look at this battle from around three miles away. where of course we don't see what isil is doing elsewhere in syria and iraq. it could be argued, though, couldn't it, that the president assad forces barbaric isil actions are for now, his forces are responsible for the massacre of many more people than isil so far. >> well, i think its important to remember we must remember what happened before in this crisis. you only have to go back to just
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over a year ago to august 2013 when by a majority of reliable accounts the syrian government used chemical weapons on a very large scale against syrians. something that president obama had vowed would not pass. it did pass. so i think it is important not to forget atrocities that have been committed throughout now the nearly four years of the war in syria. isis has the attention, the focus. it's easier, i think, for everybody to get exercised about atrocities committed by a non-state actor, and there is no doubting that some of those atrocities have been appalling. but it is important, as you suggest, not to take it out of the context of what has been a prolonged struggle with what is the current figure, 200,000 people have died already, if not more in the war in syria. so everybody is transfixed by isis. i think you're right, the
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physical access of the international media of kobane has a magnifying and to some extent a distorting affect because we can't look as closely to other events that are happening in cases not very far away but which are inaccessible. that's true. >> thank you, indeed. yemen's president has appointed a diplomat as employment after rival political groups outed his predecessor. bahah the former oil minister from southern yemen. >> reporter: this is the man who faces the delicate task of keeping yemen together. bahah has served as yemen's oil minister before being sent as it's ambassador. he was appointed oil minister again. a few months ago he was chosen
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as yemen's united nations' ambassador. bahah is from the south. on tuesday the movement would hold a mass rally in the city of aden to call for the south to breakaway from the north. but the south is not yemen's only problem. al-qaeda in the arabian peninsula or akap claimed responsibility for this attack that targeted houthi protesters. the group is considered al-qaeda's most active off shoot in the arab world. weeks of violence during the houthi rebellion has weakened the government and created the divide between the north and the predominantly houth ire south.
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they say then only put out one national unity government where they have equal say is formed. last week presiden week it's president backtracked as prime minister after the houthi accused mubarak of having close ties with the u.s. but after both sides of the political conflict approving the appointment of bahah, it is hope that the country will be handed back to its government. >> thousands of health workers in liberia say they'll go on strike. find out why the dutch boss is feeling a tad jealous as his
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side continues it's euro 2016 campaign. we'll have all the details later in sport. sport. >> student protests appear to be growing across egypt despite several new laws restricting political disisn' disisn't on university campuses. it is not just students who are foisting their disisn't. they say staff has reason to as well. >> they're clamping down on dissent on universities. new regulations further tree strict their freedom to assemble
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and another layer against those who oppose the military government of president an dal fatah al sisi. >> there appear to be violent protests. this yellow flag openly displayed at this university is a similar of the now outlawed muslim brotherhood. students who protest against tougher regulation. at least 16 students were killed and hundreds arrested in protests following the removal of former president mohamed
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morsi. and more than a year since his ousting, thousands of students have been detained, quinted, a convicted and find. >> to have a good future, to be alive, and to have ability to speak, we also want to learn. >> reporter: the students aren't the only group on campus to be against the government. faculty staff have been voicing objections to a new regulation that allows university heads to isolate faculty members without investigation. that allows them to remove staff for political reasons. the protests come at the end of the political year. government officials had warned that protests would not be
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tolerated and hired a private security firm to monitor students. these damaged metal detecters show the disdain that the students have against the government's ever expanding security measures. >> al jazeera continues to demand the release of its three journalists imprisoned in egypt. mohamed fahmy, bader mohammed, and peter greste have now been detained for 289 days. they're falsely accused of aiding the outlawed muslim brotherhood and they're appealing their convictions. ten people have been injured in jerusalem when israeli forces confronted palestinian demonstrators. tear gas was fired near the aqsa mosque, which is revered by most muslims and justs. jews. it was being visited for the
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celebration of sukkot. the 50-day conflict between gaza and israeli ended with thousands of palestinians losing their homes. >> we'll pray for the redawn in managing these funds, and supervising gaza's reconstruction with the support of the international community. we would like to see the unity government assuming it's rightful responsibilities and functions in gaza. >> i have stressed to secretary general ban ki-moon that all these programs and the aid will never achieve it's goals unless the israeli blockade on gaza is lifted, and unless we liberate the palestinian economy and get
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rid of the israeli domination on the movement of goods and people. >> prime minister has the u.n. secretary general ban ki-moon no doubt very pleased at the $5.4 billion figure, the amount raised at that one day donor conferencing in cairo on sunday. what we understand is that half of that money will go towards the reconstruction of gaza. and the other half will go towards other humanitarian needs, and, indeed, to help support this new unity government, which is in control of the gaza strip. we also have fairly strong comments where he said that the endless, mindless suffering needed to end, and he wanted to end the cycle of violence here
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in gaza. since hamas seize control of the gaza strip there have been three conflicts with israel. this last conflict, which lasted seven weeks resulted in the deaths of over 22--around 2,200 palestinians. no one wants to see that kind of violence start again. that is perhaps why we saw such a strong comment from mr. ban. however, he did go on to say that he hoped both sides, both the israelis and palestinians didn't lose hope, as he described it, in the negotiations that have been taking place over the past 20 years since the oslo accord saying that the only way forward--the only way towards peace is through talks. whatever the case the palestinian president mahmood abbas appears to be determined to go ahead with his plan to approach the u.n. security council to put through a resolution which would set a timetable on the end of israel
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now nearly half century long occupation of palestinian territories. >> print's prime minister david cameron won't take part of in a parliamentary vote whether the government should recognize palestine as a state. it is due for a debate in the next couple of hours. even if the majority does back the motion, it is non-binding. 134 countries bilaterally recognize palestine, sweden being the most recent just last week. israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu has cautioned against granting palestine's statehood. >> it's an opportunity for the british government to recognize their moral and historic palestinian people. 66 years now since the
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palestinians were driven from their homes, and 20 years or more of failed peace talks. this may well be an opportunity to try to re-energize the peace process. >> the parliament, they're going to vote on this issue, but regardless of what they decide it's not necessarily going to lead to any decision on recognizing palestinian statehood. >> not necessarily. as you were saying the minister in david cameron's government will not be voting, but a lot of ordinary members of parliament have said that they will back this call on the government to recognize the state of palestine. it may be symbolic but it's backers say that it could give added impetus for direct negotiations between israel and the palestinians. on the other hand the government's line is that recognition can only come as part of those negotiations.
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a part of the peace process, as it's referred to. and many people who take that line as skeptical as to the effectiveness of what will happen over the next few hours. one of them who is with me here, the chairman of the zionist federation. you're not convinced that there is any need for this, why? >> this detract from the vital palestinian state. this adds to the romanticism of what they want to see as the palestinian state. the problem with that the palestinians are not ready to have a state dealing with social and economic issues. if they created a state tomorrow morning they would not function. creating another dysfunctional state in the placement is not something that we require. the only way through a viable palestinian state is through hard tough negotiations with israel working together in a marriage where they create a
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viable and flourishing palestinian state. >> many chrisics would say that it's not really serious about returning to negotiations, and actions like this recognition are all the only way to get it to start talking seriously to the palestinians again. >> we certainly understand how people would view these actions of israel, but there are internal political reasons for israel making these actions, and it does not help with others joining up with hamas in a marriage which detracts from the israelis coming to the negotiation table. going to the european countries to call for a palestinian state tomorrow morning is, again, detracting from negotiations and doesn't deal with the door issues. even if they had a palestinian state tomorrow morning, we still have problems with border, security problems with
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jerusalem. it doesn't deal with the problems. it embraces the romanticism. it's like perfume. it's nice to smell but it's not real. it needs to be real. we have to deal with the hard facts on the ground with both states living side by side in a flourishing future. >> can an employer make a worker do something and not pay for the time? can an muslim inmates demand the right to wear a beard in prison? time for the supreme court to get to work. it's inside story. >> hello, i'm ray suarez. autumn brings cooler nights,