syria's war enters the fifth year. we look at how the conflict wrecked lives, broke homes and left a nation divided. hello, i'm martine dennis you are with al jazeera live from doha. also to come. twin blasts from a church in lahore. 14 kill and more wounded. their homes stood here. the island nation of vanuatu tries to recover from the deadly category 5 cyclone, and...
>> phil lavelle - it's 2015 - not the future. apparently this is what the future will look like. noisy, isn't it. find out more later in the programme. when a group of children were arrested for scrawling anti-government graffiti on a wall in syria, no one could have predicted what would follow. the protest which began is now in its fifth year. the united nations says more than 220,000 syrians have been killed. more than 7.5 million people have been forced from their homes, but have stayed within the country. 4.5 million are thought to be trapped in areas that are besieged or hard to reach. in all, more than 12 million syrians are in need of help inside their own country.
4 million others registered as refugees. here is the report on how it all began four years ago. these are the images that helped spark the revolution in syria. people raising their voices against the rule of the president. when we took to the streets, each one of us felt we had a revolution simmering inside of us waiting for the right moment to come out, and we can feel free. the fear barrier collapsed. we all went out. my mother brother and family. we used to chant, the yelling came from the bottom of my hearts. >> reporter: gardenia is not her real name she's an activist. she says now she cries when she
looks at the videos. it's hard to contemplate a demonstration when people are starving looking for something to eat. four years after the revolution she insists on hiding her identity. she is afraid of the government which controls parts of deraa, where her family lives, as well as other parts of the country, including the capital damascus. we were there for rare moments four years ago when people's homes were high. most believed they'd be able to overthrow the syrian government within weeks. many syrians hoped the army would turn been bashar al-assad. that's not how ept unfolded -- events unfolded. the revolution turned into a civil war, and syria into a battle ground for regional and international forces to fight for their own agenda areas. more than 200,000 syrians have
been killed. more than 3.5 million became refugees, and 80% live in poverty. across the country. villages and drones. syrians are exhausted. too much blood has been spilt. the bill has been high. the bloodshed must stop. syrians are lost. they don't know where things are heading, and that things are out of their hand. foreign fighters flooded into syria. including those that came to help the opposition. the government had help from groups hezbollah, and fighters from iran. and to add to the complexity. the islamic state of iraq and levant controls parts of syria. many of the activists who rose up found themselves targeted by i.s.i.l. >> now the problem is not only with bashar al-assad the
foreign powers fighting each other on our land this changed the course of the revolution. >> during the early days of the revolution, the country was split between supporters of the syrian opposition and those of the regime. it was an us or them approach. but the conflict today has many players, and has dragged on with no clear winners, only losses on both sides. as a majority of syrians are left to watch the solution from the side lines. we can talk to the syrian academic and writer and an associate analyst at the doha institute. thank you for talking to us here in al jazeera. we have seen over the last four years pretty much an international impasse in terms of the way that they dealt with the conflict.
of the existing current international processes, are there any that could yield an impact negatively or positively. we all agree now, that the conflict in syria is a war by proxy, how they are supporting different local proxies. we have maybe iran and russia. we have the united states saudi arabia supporting the opposition. and i think that has led to a stalemate on the ground. neither party can allow the proxies to lose or be defeated. any agreement on the upper level will have an impact. if we have led, for example, an agreement, welcome. >> indeed indeed. >> so we are going to have - we'll see it on the ground in
syria. if we don't have agreement on the back of that failure on the ground in syria. we have to stay in this place. russia turkey saudi arabia it's not just between the united states and iran. there are other players measuring interest in this conflict. when it comes to this international coalition to fight i.s.i.l. there seems to be yair yoonan imenty. the turks always kept themselves one step with a foot outside the coalition, saying constantly that the future of bashar al-assad must be part of any action. this is the turkish possession.
this actually is what makes the turkish situation different from saudi arabia and others. the turks believe that it is as dangerous as i.s.i.l. if they remove one party in this case, it would not benefit from that. we have to take it all along in order to solve the crisis. it is not a solution because i.s.i.l. has been the outcome of this conflict. if we deal with the conflict we have to deal with the origins of that conflict. requiring us to deal with it. what position what degree of enthusiasm with saudi arabia to deal with the appearance of
bashar al-assad. do the saudi arabias feel he's part of a solution or do they feel he is not. this seems to be a dividing issue on how to look at the syrian confleb. >> i think today we have an agreement amongst all the players, regional and international. we don't want actually the state to collapse. we don't want the regime to collapse. we know that bashar al-assad cannot be part of any deal that will lead to ending the conflict. at some point you have to agree on that. that is a solution except for the iranians. that is it except for the iranians. everyone else is willing to
remove bashar al-assad - see that bashar al-assad leaves but the regime to stay. >> for now. thank you very much indeed for talking to us here at al jazeera. twin bomb blasts targeted churns in the pakistani city. 14 people have been killed. pakistani claimed responsibility, victorian gatenby reports. the pakistani taliban timed its attacks to cause maximum devastation. the two churches in lahore were parked with catholics and protest ants. there was chaos in the moment after the bombs exploded within minutes of each other. the attack was the worst on the community since the double suicide bombing in the north-western city of peshawar in 2013 killed more than 80 people. this time the bombings were in
the neighbourhood home to 100,000 christians. lahore is home to pakistan's wealthiest province. it is considered peaceful. attacks have been increasing after the government's attempts to hold peace talks with the taliban last year. christian community leaders say the government is not doing enough to ensure safety and attacks like this show that they are targets. let's go live to the correspondent in the pakistan. are we witnessing a spike in attacks in pakistan. >> it's more that the pakistan taliban adopted a policy of going after soft targets after a deadly attack last december. in which 100 students were killed.
she attacked a shia mosque in the province in which dozens of worshippers were killed. and the attack on the christians, so it appears that a new strategy was evolving that they want to use the sectarian wrists or tensions to escalate the conflict as far as the sectarian conflict is concerned. everybody nose they are targetting the security forces. >> there's a swift response from the government or armed force. after the attack. could you expect the government to move harshly on the taliban this time? >> well the government has, indeed moved in several areas of the federal administrationed area. the pakistani government. some of the factions what are
attacking within pakistan are using their bases so indeed the military on the offensive. still showing that they are capable of launching attacks although against soft targets. >> thank you. >> still to come on the programmes security dominates the election campaign, but this time around it's the riding cost of live. and the chinese economy. we'll tell you what else the chinese minister has been saying.
hello again, these are the top stories. syria's conflict entered its fifth year on sunday. the u.n. says more than 220,000 syrians had been killed, and half of the country's population displaced. twin bomb blasts targeted an area in pakistan forces are trying to gain control of the city of tikrit. turkish forces say they have evidence that i.s.i.l. fighters attacked them with gas. >> clothing sample were
collected in january. this video was filmed near tikrit. and they say an i.s.i.l. tanker was filled with chlorine. jane arraf has an update on that and the campaign to take tikrit. >> more militia reinforcements are on the way to tich tikrit. that allows reinforcements to get there and allow the forces within the city to be within that fight. neighbourhood by neighbourhood, street-by-street. it's been a tough fight, largely because i.s.i.l. dough into the city. they laid explosives throughout buildings and across of the cities. as the forces go in they dismantle the explosives and watch for snipers. the other effective i.s.i.l.
tactic. in the north kurdish officials have what they consider an alarming evidence of another district. they analysed soil and clothing in the aftermath of a suicide truck bomb in january, and found evidence that it contained chlorine. they say that means i.s.i.l. is using chlorine tanks with explosives to wreak havoc across the battle front in the north. they have not been independently verified. al qaeda and iraq in the past used chlorine not effectively. it's an indication, the kurds say, that the fight by i.s.i.l. is becoming desperate increasingly. >> vanuatu's president fears the worst after super cyclone pam batters the tiny island on saturday. 18 were declared dead. it's thought that number will rise. vanuatu is an archipelago in the
south pacific. east of australia. north-west of new zealand. there are 80 islands. relying on agriculture, fishing and tourism. all effected by cyclone pam. it caused a black occupant. the scale of daj would become clearer. this was a sturdy house in port veala. this is all that is left. it had withstood two previous psych lops. after cyclone pam, this family is homeless. >> it's a scene repeated over and over across vanuatu's capital. the roof of this home had been torn off completely. the scale of the devastation became clear.
jay leap's family opened a water front shop. everything has been destroyed. >> the glass window smashed. thousands are homeless. focussed on trying to survive. >> it lasts about a week something like that. >> one aid agency believes up to 90% of homes had been damaged. but the worst damage it is thought will be on the outer islands. rescue workers warned the death toll is likely to rise. >> it's critical that we make contact as soon as possible so we can get an idea of the defense of the devastation. outer island communities. what we have seen in port fila and how it gives a good bench
mark we assume complete devastation. now that the wind are dying down help is arriving. the task ahead is daunting. >> a quick flight over the runway, to look at how badly the small island has been hit, and on bound to port villa. >> thousands spent a second night in emergency shelters more that have been made homeless are expected to arrive. the tiny nation is coming to grips with what has been called one of the worst disasters. >> the world's second biggest economy is struggling to meet the gross tart. they are failing the people. he is speaking to reporters at the annual session of parliament. from the national people's congress, droip has more.
>> in the opulent setting of the golden hall of the great hall of the people a sober assessment of china's economy by the man who loves it. premier lee set a target of 7% growth, the lowes in a quarter of a century. now he says meeting that will be di. we estimated growth rate for china's economy at 7%. that is slower than the years before. it will be by no means easy to hit the target. at his only news confidence of the year the prime minister had another target in mind. the government's own bureaucrats. this blunt language reforms to reduce the state's role will be pain.
ful -- painful. this is like taking a knife to one's own flesh. pain is only natural. however painful it might be we are determined to keep going until our job is done. the job of china's national people's congress has been done for another year at the finale of a tightly controlled gathering, 3,000 happened picked delegates approved the perhaps. >> it's rare for journalists to be given access to the upper sanctum. it's the authorities aim to make sure it's not a stacked government. the premier vowed to punish factories responsible for emissions and said everyone needs to do more.
the strongest words are for the economy. we are in the new normal. for many china's economy is too much. >> a jewish supermarket at the stra of a siege in france. the score on the outskirts of paris has been renovated after being badly damaged. four hostages were killed. the attack followed the shoot eption in which 12 people dade. israelis go to the polls with the high cost of living. in the country where security dominates collections, imtiaz tyab reports on how political parties are struggling to address the latest concerns. >> this man, his wife and 2-year-old son put together gift packs for family and friend.
they'll be handed out for the jewish holiday. the carefully chosen sweets are more expensive this year. >>. >> translation: everything costs so much now. you go to the market to buy something, and you have to stop yourself. if you are short of this or that. you are short of money the following week. >> he is not only struggling with the rising cost of food but also the rent. four out of 10 israelis struggled to make ends meet. part of the problem is a shortage of affordable housing. >> he was shown around the 40 square meter apartment. which is about to get cramped with a baby due. >> my wife and i both work. we make average incomes. our rent is so high. if we made more money, it would be difficult. we can't think of buying a pleas and getting a mortgage.
the high cost of living lead to small street protests in cities like tel aviv in the weeks ahead of the general election. it follows protests in 2011 where hundreds of thousands of israelis rallied against costs. the leading leckued parties -- likud parties struggled to offer voters an economic plan. >> this has become a symbol of government inet attitude -- inept attitude how the bureaucracy is unable and unconcerned of meeting the needs of the average israeli. economy analysts but the blame for riding costs on high import taxes. a shortage of houses a blamed on a lack of land reform.
the government spends billions on the expansion of illegal settlement in the west bank. somewhere many israelis don't want to live. whatever the case, until major parties after a solution. people like this man and his family will struggle to make ends meet accurately predicting the future is as impossible now as it ever was, it is at least possible to describe how the world may look like before. computer models can assess water. phil lavelle has been to the festival in london where they are trying to work out what life will be like in the 20th century and beyond. >> welcome to the future. >> it's noisy, you can say that. will we really be strapped into
chairs like this in the coming years, virtual reality masks. who knows. at the moment it's just for fun. >> people are limited by what their bodies can stand. in the future i'm speculating that we'll go in people's brains to take them to the next level. >> safely down and back in the year 2015 here is the verdict on this one. >> this is the future fest in london. a look at how lies will be in deck sads to come. >> hello. >> a world where robots take on their owners faces. >> the ultimate selfie. >> a world of colour. >> this is not just a look at how bright the future will be it's asking serious questions about the problems the world will face. global water short edges, global food shortages. imagine a world where a bar of
chocolate costs $20. >> a trend we are locking at is water shortages. these are based on the theory that water will be in short supply or we can't trust it. what is inside these is powered fillings mostly vegetable. your sal ifa mixes with that. no -- saliva mixes with that. >> reporter: this festival has a distop yap feel. >> we can shape the future and have a role in deciding what happens. sometimes we leave it up to the business leaders about what are cities, what are government and every day lives. part of it is to say what kind of future do you want. something there to focus on now, if you want to find out
more about the main story that we are covering. the grim milestone that has been reached in syria, as it enters its fifth year of conflict. with more that 220,000 people having been killed. half the country's population displaced. ^ half the country's population displaced. [ ♪♪ ] hello, i'm richard gizbert, and you are at "the listening post," here are some media stories.