raysuezavjamnews. i'm ray iraqi forces say they are making gains in their latest offensive against isil fighters around the city of tikrit. ♪ ♪ hello, i am jane dutton other stories making the news on al jazerra. >> my speech is not intended to show any disrespect to president obama. >> washington and israel play down tensions surrounding prime minister benjamin netanyahu's controversial visit to the u.s. moscow prepared for the funeral of russian opposition leaders who have shot dead in
the russian capital. plus. >> reporter: eye am in bang to think tie lands looking at the fortunes of thai airways to find out if it can emerge from the clouds of heavy debt to make a soft landing. ♪ ♪ iraqi force say they are making gains against isil i'm senior iranian commander is reportedly helping to direct the iraqi offensive. but the u.s. says it isn't providing air support because it hasn't been requested. around 20,000 soldiers and militia fighters are advancing on the city of tikrit. that's been under the control of isil since june, jane arraf is in baghdad and joins from there now, where they say they are making gains what do they mean? >> reporter: they mean that they are making progress in the three front in which they are fighting
around the edges of tikrit. they haven't yet goon in to the city. because this is going it be a very stuff fight. it's the biggest city they have tried to take back. and it's full of isil fighters and laid with explosives. that's one of the major worries. but what they have been able to do is take towns and villages along the way. they set off many of them, militia members particularly, from the city of samarra north the baghdad two days ago. and in between they have retaken most of the sound of el door which was a key base of support for isil. there is still fighting along the edges and as you pointed out account a huge iranian component there. sources on the ground tell us that the commander is actually on the ground directing the fight along with the iraqi military and iranian-backed militias so it's a very complicated fight jane. >> reporter: the assault iraqi forces have already recaptured towns in this northern province.
from the islamic state of iraq and the levant. but their pride is tikrit. the city is the birth place of former iraqi president sadam hussein and the heartland of the sunni muslim community. >> translator: this is prepared for the isil rats, we will crush them all over ca crete. >> reporter: the city was seized by isil during a blitz attack last summer. >> translator: today we launch this offensive to liberate the people and that will include samarra tikrit and all the other areas, this is a campaign to cleanse and liberate the province from the fifth of isil. our goal liberate them in the tyranny and terror i have isil. >> reporter: a force of around 20,000 backed by fighter jets and helicopters has stormed tikrit. shia militias and to thousand sunni fighters have joined this
massive operation. blue it's feared that the largely shia attack could unfairly target sunnis in this region, returning to parliament after a two-week boy cod they say threats have been made against people live inside the province, the army says they have recaptured a town from a group loyal to isil. iraq is getting significant support from iran, this video from eye ray i didn't iranian state tv is said to show the offensive. the general is heavily involved. tikrit is the biggest challenge so far for iraq's military. it's also a test as the country prepares to take back mosul in the coming months. the strong hold of isil in iraq. taillight al jazerra. >> jane, i was interested to find out that an iranian commander is helping lead this offensive while the u.s. hasn't
been asked to provide air cover. what does that say about the power play underway at the moment? >> reporter: i think it says as hider made clear in the point this is one of the most complicated fights they have face owed there is a huge iran i didn't know component here in the lead in fact. the u.s. rules of engagement are much more restrictive than iraqi rules the air support they have been providing which have allowed the iraqi military to advance in other places isn't as they have pointed on you want forth coming in this one. some say that they have not been asked. that could be because the iranians do seem to be in the lead in this operation. but it also could be because of those rules of engage think. this is a huge potential here for civilian cash casualties and a huge potential for backlash some of the sunni tribes there have been saying the shia militias in the forefront of this warned them weeks ago they were coming to get them. a lot it have goes back to a massacre by isil of more than 1,000 young recruits last year near the city of tikrit.
and that one, some of the shia militias are blaming sunni tribes for helping isil to carry that out. so this is going to be a very tough fight with a lot of potential repercussions jane. >> jayna rave, thank you. australia is deploying more soldier to his help train iraqi security forces in the fight against isil. 300 troops will be sent to the military base north of baghdad. in a joint mission with new zealand, prime minister tony abbott says they will train local fighters battling to regain territory seized by size ill. >> it is iraq that must defeat the death consult. but we do not want to leave the iraqi on his their own, we are naturally reluctant as a peace-loving people to reach out to far aware conflict but as we know this conflict has been reaching out to us for months now. the government's decision has the support of the prime minister of iraq. and it respond to his a formal request from the united states
to contribute specific australian defense force capabilities to this international coalition. >> activists say at least four people have been killed in government air strikes in syria. they reportedly hit the town in the country side. ooh-rah jim air strikes also hit the town north of there. libya's international recognized parliament has agreed to return to u.n. brokered peace talks with its rifle government following a meeting with the u.n. envoy to libya. they said they will meet for talks only if it's recognized as the sole government. it suspended talks in tripoli last week after a series of suicide bombings. the u.n. says all political parties in em request en are returning to the negotiating table. previous talks broke down when some groups frosted against what they call the houthis heavy handed policies. including the did he defense of the yemeni cabinet. the coming hours is rally prime minister will address a
joint sitting of the u.s. congress he's expected to layout why he opposes the terms of a potential nuclear dear with iran. netanyahu gave a preview of his controversial speech on monday when he spoke at the pro israel lobby a pak conference in washington. tom ackerman reports. >> reporter: as in previous appearances netanyahu received a warm welcome to have the american israel public affairs committee. one of washington's post powerful pressure groups. this time he took pains to assure that his difference with his president obama over iran should not split democrats from republicans in their traditional staunch report for israel. >> i regret that some people have misperceived my visit here this week as doing that. israel is always been a by spartannish and i should always remain a bipartisan issue. >> reporter: nevertheless. many in the u.s. jew jewish community are describing as a
tactical mistake netanyahu accepting the republican invitation without first notifying the white house they say he's forcing democrats to choose between israel and obama just as the negotiation to his reach a framework nuclear agreement reach a crucial phase john kerry signaled that netanyahu should not leak any specifics of ideal that israel may find unacceptable. >> we are concerned by reports that suggest selective details of the ongoing negotiations will be discussed publically in the coming days. i want to say doing so would make it more difficult to reach the goal that israel and others say she they share in order to get a good deal. >> reporter: wheel obama will mott meet netanya me here he said the current disputes should not be exaggerated. >> it's a distraction, the negotiators are going full speed
ahead. ultimately play what's been remarkable is the international tune at this we have been able to maintain in saying to iran you have to show the world you are not pursuing a nuclear weapon. >> reporter: netanyahu indicated that iran should be forced to dismantle its nuclear arms before they can weapon unize. >> we agree that iran should not have nuclear weapon. but we dison dison agrees on the best way to prevent iran for developing the weapons. >> reporter: the israeli leader says he has no intense of getting caught up in domestic american politics. but that perception may be hard to avoid especially if his speech on tuesday helps to push congress to adopt even tighter sanctions against iran in defines of obama. tom ackerman, al jazerra washington. in russia, a memorial services underway for murdered opposition leader boris net is off. he was shot on friday in one of
the more secure heavily mop toured parts of moscow. month suspects have been arrested. but thursday looking in to mo i have is rory challands is live what's the plan for today? the plan is boris them is off will be the subject of a memorial service taking place in the building behind me it's named after a famous late soviet era dissident it will be a very well attended event. you can probably see the large crowds gathering already. we have heard from the european delegation representing all 28 european union countries, are going to be here to pay their respects. to boris nemtsov. we also know that the kremlin is sending a representative as well. not anyone particularly high level. but they are sending someone.
and then after the memorial service, has taken place the body of boris nemtsov is going to be transported to a cemetery also in moscow. where he is going to be finally laid to rest. >> and rory, investigators say that they are following several leads. any idea what they are? >> reporter: well, the investigators are not revealing that much information about what they are doing at the moment. other than to say that they have seized various pieces of material evidence. they are looking at cctv footage. and they are conducting various examinations. not particularly particularly ref los angeles tory. they have been talking about the share justice motives they believe might have been behind the murder. they have been talking about these motives since he was killed late on friday night. but these are speculation.
it's speculation nothing concrete so far. one interesting investment is the woman who was walking with boris nemtsov. at the time that he was shot. who had been held not as a pictures but held for extensive questioning, she has finally been allowed to return back to her homelands which interestingly, is keif, ukraine. but we'll have to wait and-y what the investigation comes up with. of course many people close to boris nemtsov close to the opposition movement are not confident that this investigation will come up with anything substantial at all. thank you, roar i still ahead on al jazerra including accusations from both sides of the conflict in eastern ukraine that they are not fully abiding by an agreed ceasefire. plus. also better treatment of nigh grant the u.k. some say they are being treated more like criminals than victims.
>> tomorrow. did the police fail misty upham? >> if somebody did something to my girl, i need to know that. >> was is a case of discrimination? >> we had no help from the police. >> a family pleads for answers. "stolen sisters", an "america tonight" special report. tomorrow, 10:00 eastern. only on al jazeera america. ♪ ♪ hello again, the headlines iraqi forces say they are making gains in their offensive against isil fight. the a senior eye ray vinnie commander is helping direct the offensive. but the u.s. says it's not providing air support because it hasn't been requested. u.s. president obama has call the israeli prime minister's upcoming speech to the u.s. congress a destruction to nuclear negotiations with iran. benjamin netanyahu will tell congress why he's oppose today a possible nuclear deal. a memorial service is underway in russia for murdered opposition leader boris nemtsov.
that's a live picture come to us from moscow. he was shot in the back in a drive by shooting in central moscow on friday. the leaders of russia, ukraine, france, and germany have they would held a telephone coughings on the crisis in east turn ukraine coming off john kerry warned if the kremlin and pro-russia separatist fail to fully implement a ceasefire. fighting has killed more than 6,000 people in less an than a year. john hendon reports from rebel-2ke8d anheld donetsk. >> reporter: the machinery of war keeps rolling through a fragile ceasefire the silence is broken daily by small arms fire and mortars. that's hours he says. >> translator: in principle the ceasefire is holding but there is regular small arms fire so complete ceasefire can't exist before you arrived here several
small shells landed on our side. before we fired back, there were grenade launchers fire at us. >> reporter: as occasion volleys routinely violate the tenuous ceasefire, a report released monday by the united nations found 6,000 people have died so far. separatists say it is ukrainian forces who are violating ceasefire. >> translator: the ceasefire from our side, we are not just trying, we are upholding it completely. the firing yesterday was because the ukrainian side again violated the minsk agreement and start today open fire. >> reporter: a year in the to conflict in eastern ukraine the death toll continues to rise on a landscape transformed by the war. and with each passing day the frontline continues to shift. in weekend fighting three were killed. few here at the ukrainian frontline trenches expect the ceasefire to hold. >> translator: we are strengthening our defenses in preparation for the next offensively. enter preparing to deflect their
attack. >> reporter: if that happens with separatist troops appearing to wants to expand on the gains they have already made, the front line could shift again. john hendon, al jazerra donetsk, eastern ukraine. new leaked recordings allegedly reveal howie i didn't want's military and president discusses way to his take advantage i've low cost housing project. the recordings which can't be verified were reportedly made when el-sisi was defense minister under former president mohamed morsi. speaking to his chief of staff sisi apparently discussed taking commission from a residential project. >> translator: i will collect the fee for the electricity. >> he will take it. >> he will take it but we will take 50% that's the reality you see what i mean. >> the tape is part i've series of leaks said to implement the unitedunited arab emirates in deals with egyptian military a senior electronics type you are on the study of muslim at kings college in london. he said political players could
have leaked the conversation to embarrass the government. >> what makes the tapes interesting is, of course, the timing, why these need to come to the surface right now. at this point in time it was already known for quite a while that the uae was a very important player in propping up the egyptian economy ever since the take over by the military and subsequent election of jenny see to the presidency. the interesting questions now are, of course, who leaked it and with which objectives. if we look a little bit at the context, there are still parliamentary elections that need to take place in egypt. and they are due to take place this month although last week it appeared that because of a court ruling they might have to be postponed. so it's quite possible that certain political players in egypt have to have an interest in making this kind of news coming in to the open right now to embarrass the government.
india's foreign secretary is in islambad for would days of talks with his pakistani counterpart. it's their first meeting since india called off talks laugh year which were aimed at easing tensions between the nuclear rivals. in a moment we'll hear from faiz but first let's go to kamal hide tore tell us more. >> reporter: the. [ inaudible ] version r*elgss some dip today an all time low. even though it's connected to promoting connectivity at this as a well as trade within the regional states. fax stan will be asking india to talk about the contentious issues such as the. [ inaudible ] the issue you of. [ inaudible ] and water distribution. now although nobody expected any substantive talks on those key obstacles between the two, there was an expectation that it would
perhaps promote the resumption of dialogue between new delhi and islambad. back stan has shown its concern at a time when it says that it is operate on the ground its western border against the taliban pack tan and does not want to see an escalation on the country's eastern front here with india. importantly, the visit is also seen as perhaps a ray of hope for resume that go dialogue. but too many problems still remain between the two countries. and for more would go to our correspondent in new delhi faiz jamil. >> reporter: relations appeared to be warming up last year after the new prime minister was electorred and invited pakistan's prime minister to new deal a for the swearing in. it was seen as a bold step and a possible breakthrough in relations. but it was short-lived. india canceled foreign second level talks scheduled for zest september last year at india accused pakistan of violating a
line of control in kashmir and after the pakistani ambassador met with separatist leaders here in new delhi. after that neither side seemed interested in resuming talks until now. which were reportedly encouraged by u.s. press barack obama during his recent visit to india. while many people are hoping today's talks will lead to more dialogue between the two countries, many here in new delhi are being caw shows about the outcome of the today's meeting. a group of politicians in the u.k. has strongly criticize the the detention for refugees. it's the only country that doesn't have a limit while applications are being practice heheprocessed. >> reporter: critics say they are more than liar prisons. which can hold people indefinitely while they wait to find out if they are going to be thrown out the u.k. so the fact that a committee of politicians from all three major parties has acknowledged that there is a problem does mean
something. >> i think the problem with the system at the moment is that it is completely ineffective. and we hold people for far too lock and we hold people who are extremely vulnerable in detention and their anxiety levels rise and rise and rise and causes enormous distress, if you have a culture of disbelief and lots of very, very distressed people it's inning did heinevitably you are going to get mistreatment of people on the ground and it's not good enough. >> reporter: michael was born in ghana but grew up, went to school in britain, yet still they tried to deport him of he spent flee years in detention. >> detention broke me. it broke me to the core. i mean, the unattorney is a, i cannot unless you have been and lived through it, the uncertainty is unmanageable. i mean, i went through stages where i thought i have had enough. >> reporter: campaigners for people like michael hope the acknowledgment of the problem can be a step towards treating people with more humanity. >> i think one of the most important things about this
report is that it does call for a systemic shift in the whole approach to managing migration. and removals. away from this knee jerk for enforcement as a first resort towards engaging with migrant in the community. >> reporter: the commute committee says at any point rape victims or pregnant women to be spared detention entirely but time limits aren't the only issue. there are persistent suggestions of mistreatment inside the wider immigration system. this man died while being restrained by two guards. as they put him on a plane out of the country. abusive, race i felt texts were discovered on the phones of guards. that sorts of allegations isn't a one off. >> it is certainly significant the politicians here are finally acknowledging what rights campaigners have been saying for years which is there a brutality about the system. less is that national elects are two months away and it's genuinely difficult to imagine
any of the mainstream party leaders think that go there are votes to be won in bets are rights for immigrants. lawrence lee, al jazerra in central london. thai airways has been operating at a loss no more than hey year now, they have expected to approve a two yee re instructionyearrestructuring program. >> reporter: thailand's main airport seems to be busy as ever but last year there was a 7% drop in the number of travelers. thai air wares the national carrier is in trouble. not just because of a drop in tourists but also its $6.1 billion debt. it's been reported the airline may be deck klee insolvent with debts out stripping assets. and insufficient debt coverage. so what is the plan? and how did it come to this? the sixth thai airways president
since 2000. >> the environment changes. the competitor changes but we did not. on the low cost side which is the domestic and regional we still have a way to go. but it is possible as we have seen our competitors of similar size were doing. >> reporter: thai airway airways is a listed state ends prize that has been operating at a loss for sick quarters. how the government decides to deal with that is a key test at the time when the economy is struggling. already three routes have been axed and officials say assets like planes will be sold. perhaps most painfully as much as 20% of the workforce who thought they had jobs for life as government workers are to be let go. the tough decision will be made by a new body in charge of
reforming state industries. called the super board. >> this is probably the first case of the super board to show that they are doing something to reform state-owned enterprise. and for them they probably have to think about thai airways a is a company that is competing in the international aviation industry as well as a company that is representative of thailand. >> reporter: the biggest expense for the company has been identified as employee salaries. yes, the government wants to trim expenses but that's not going to be much comfort for the 25,000 employees uncertain of their future. the financial magazine forbes has released its annual ranking of the world's richest people.
gerald tan takes a look at the list. >> reporter: the richest person in the world once again is microsoft founder bill gates. his net worth is now $79.2 billion. gates has topped the list 16 times in the past 21 years. 290 people have made it onto the billionaire list for the first time. most of them in from china most in the technology sector. the youngest newcomer is also a tech tycoon. 24-year-old evan spiegel is cofounder of the mobile messaging service snap chat he's worth 1 1/2 billion dollars. he has a long way to go to catch up with number two and three on the list, mexican telecoms mag yet carlos slim alou and american investor war earn buffet whose fortunes both surpass the $70 billion mark. altogether they make up the forbes list of 1,826
billionaires. a record number of the world's ultra rich. if you fancy you can always log onto our website the address is aljazerra.com. >> nogales, arizona. a bus has arrived filled with people being deported from the united states. >> right now we're headed to san juan bosco, a shelter here in nogales where the mexican immigration authorities have picked the people who were just deported, they take them there so they have a place to stay on their first ni