afghan security forces under heavy attack as they try to retake their city from the taliban. ♪ hello this is al jazeera, live from doha, i'm adrian finighan. world leaders are speaking at the u.n. general assembly in new york. the u.n. chief calls for an end in fighting in yemen after more than a hundred people were kill in a strike on a wedding
party. and there is a massive marine reserve that is twice the country's size. ♪ we begin in northern afghanistan fighting near the former taliban strong hold. a convoy of afghan army vehicles has been brought to a halt by taliban gunfire. our correspondent is with the afghan army, which is attempting to head towards the city. earlier he told me that the troops are complaining they have no lead ship. >> reporter: hundreds of afghan security forces are trying this morning to advance towards the city, but they are facing big difficulties, not only taliban, ambush along the road, but also ied's roadblocks, so for three
times they have tried to break all of these ambushes. they could nth. they are all -- you can see them, they are all waiting here to see what will be next. afghan commanders in the field here telling me that they are missing a lack of communication and a lack of leadership. there are many units from different afghan security forces, afghan special forces, afghan army special. and afghan [ inaudible ] in this operation, but no one wants to take the lead. no one wants to be the first to try to break these ied traps and also these ambushes. >> this was supposed to be the day that afghan forces attempted to retake the city from the taliban. it seems, though, it's the taliban that is gaining ground here. do afghan forces have the wherewithal, the strength to take on the taliban?
>> reporter: we talked to people in the city. they are telling us today, taliban used a loud speaker and announced their identity, people in the city, telling them that continue with your -- with their normal life and they could open their shops and -- because they are promising people that they are not going that quick. but afghan security forces were promising since early this morning that they will retake the city today. but we are seeing that they are facing difficulties, a strong resistance from taliban, not only in kanduz city, even along the road. before they get close to the city, they are facing resistance from the taliban from other province. >> all right. let's bring in rosiland jordan in washington, d.c. ros, what if anything is the
u.s. doing to help the afghans right now retake kundus. >> reporter: well, the u.s. military has launched an air strike to try to eliminate a threat to the force. that's a comment from the sporeses person from the coalition in kabul. the situation is this, the u.s.'s decision to go to war against the taliban back in 2001 is still in effect. so the u.s. military even though it is supposedly in an advisory role at this point, does have the ability to carry out military strikes such as what has happened in the last couple of hours. it also does have the ability to try to get more engaged with the afghan forces. there are some 10,000 u.s. troops in afghanistan right now. however, that decision has not yet been made to increase the u.s. military engagement.
>> all right. what more if anything can the u.s. do to counter the talibans efforts in afghanistan? and what does this tell us about the u.s.'s decision to withdrawal from afghanistan? >> reporter: well, adrian your audio has just dropped out there, so i'm hoping i'm not stepping on you. but certainly one of the questions this raises about whether or not the u.s. military's efforts to help stand up the afghan national army has actually worked, or whether there are factors within the afghan military that still need to be addressed. we heard the note that some of the troops with whom he was on the front line are complaining that they don't have leadership. that certainly is a major failure if that is in fact the case, and so the u.s. military is having to revisit the question of whether it should be
dealing with the training program more vigorously or whether it could be politically pulled off here in the united states to perhaps increase the amount of the u.s. military effort inside afghanistan. there's already been discussion in the past several days about whether the u.s. military should be drawing down, basically to an embassy security forces at the end of 2016 because of the ongoing threats from the taliban. whether or not it's advisable to do that sort of drawdown. of course the political climate here in washington is such that it might be a tough sell for the obama administration to stay that the u.s. needs to keep combat troops inside afghanistan. >> ros many thanks rosiland jordan in washington. in around 20 minutes from now, we're expecting to hear from u.s. president barack obama as we bring you coverage of the u.n. general assembly, barack
obama expected to address an international conference on terrorism that is taking place alongside the again -- general assembly in new york. this is the president of [ inaudible ] speaking right now. now air strikes with hit the city of mosul for the first time since it was taken over by isil. air strikes have been avoided to prevent civilian casualties. imran khan can tell us more about this first strike since isil declared that the city was theirs. >> reporter: that's absolutely right. now the area that this air strike has hit is the old city. that's one of the key places where isil have a significant presence. what diplomatic sources are
telling us is this may well have been an intelligence-lead strike against a very specific target. the iraqi army won't confirm or deny whether it was iraqi forces or coalition forces that mounted this air strike. but there is a real concern -- and this is the reason that air strikes have been very uncommon in the center. it's a very densely populated area. we are hearing from the people that they are living in their cellars now. isil are taking advantage of all of this, and they are have used mosul as a base from which they cannot only administratively use it as a base, but as a financial base as well. they are taxing the city, and they are using to support their fight as well. >> thank you very much. when we hear from president
obama we'll also hear from hi abadi. now what are thing to be the first pictures in yemen devastated by air strikes have been shown on tv. we're unable to verify this video which is from a houthi rebel television station. the u.n. secretary general has condemned the air strikes which reportedly killed up to 130 people at this wedding. saudi arabia which has been bombing said yemen for months, has denied any involvement in the attack. >> translator: what target? you hit weddings? a wedding tent with women and children inside. all civilians. so what strategic target are you talking about?
let's bring in al jazeera correspondent, hashem ahelbarra who has reported extensively from yemen. so if saudi arabia and the coalition didn't do it, who did? >> the saudis have always maintained the same position saying they are not hitting civilians, saying houthis are to blame because they are using some civilian areas to target their own rivals. but we know from eyewitnesses who were saying they were attending a wedding when they heard a fighter flying over the area, then there was a massive explosion that killed more than 135 people, mostly women and children, and it's only saudi arabia that has the military capabilities to -- to fly flighter jets on those areas, because the houthis don't have such capabilities. >> they don't have an air force or the fact that the coalition
has air superiority. >> most of the fighter jets were destroyed at the early stage of the air strike that were launched about six months ago. they are left now with ballistic missiles and anti-aircraft batteries, but as far as the air is concerned, it's mostly saudi-lead coalition. >> who would the coalition have been targeting here? houthi forces or force aligned to the former president saleh. >> the problem with the conflict in yemen, is you have houthi forces and forces loyal to the former president saleh. but from day one, it was quite clear that it was going to be air strikes. and the casualties from air strikes huge particularly in populated areas. most of the time they have
advantage of the area which are their strong holds. so it's sad in the sense that you are going to see more and more civilian casualties in the near future. there's no end to this fighting. >> hashem many thanks. all right. straight ahead here on al jazeera, pretending to be syrian to get asylum, germany says thousands of people are doing just that, but it is cracking down. and we'll explain why america's largest family planning organization is under skrooutny.
hello again the top stories here on al jazeera. an afghan army convoy of 100 armored vehicles has been brought to a halt by taliban fighters who have seized control of kunduz. army soldiers are complaining of a lack of leadership. and an air strike in iraq has targeted the old city of mosul. 17 people are reported to have been killed. it's not clear who carried out the attack. and what are thought to be the first pictures from a village devastated from an air strike are being shown on rebel tv in yemen. saudi arabia -- a coalition, rather, lead by saudi arabia has been bombing yemen for months and is denying any involvement in the bombing.
refugees keep streaming into europe. this is the scene at a port in italy a day after more than 1,000 were rescued from the coast guard. the international organization for migration says that a record 522,000 refugees have reached europe so far this year, more than half of them from syria. 383,000 refugees have been arrived in europe through greece, followed closely by italy, with more than 120,000. close to 3,000 have died making the hazardous sea journey. for those who have survived there are still many hurdles ahead. most of them travel through greece and macedonia on to serbia. hungary was for many the preferred route, but when
hungary built a razor wire fence, refugees were diverted through serbia and croatia. on friday croatia reopened its main border crossing. a record 10,000 new refugees arrived in croatia the very next day. europe is facing multiple problems dealing with refugees. angela merkel has said she wants to speed up the repatriation of people who fail the asylum process. her government says it believes a third of people claiming to be from syria aren't. lawrence lee reports now from munich. >> reporter: they are still arriving at munich train station. health workers are on hand to check their temperatures. others are also checking whether
they are who they say they are. a few days ago, we filmed a group in a town moving as fast as they could to the border with austria. among them was this man in red. he said he would do an interview with us. >> where are you from? >> syria. >> which city? >> damascus. >> yeah, you just came here from the border with croatia or -- >> i came here to -- >> [ inaudible ]. >> exactly. and go to autria and germany. >> reporter: yet at the train station he admitted he was a hotel worker from tunisia. he was pretending because he knew he had no chance of asylum. this air of suspicion has prompted the government to hire some 45 linguistic experts in some 80 different languages. everyone has to give a speech
sample to verify if they are who they say they are. any so-called fake syrians will not have their asylum claim automatically rejected, but you have to assume it will make life more difficult for them. we heard similar things in slovenia as well. the argument in favor of asking these questions, of course is that people who are not in fear of their lives should not be getting in the way of people who are. but others say the system should not discriminate. >> to go on this dangerous, long, and strenuous travel to europe to maybe cross illegally and in small boats over the mediterranean, and to force yourself through barbed wire, i think you have a real reason to flee. so i can't understand why they shouldn't be -- yeah, they shouldn't be refugees. >> reporter: the other point is inside the european union which is in many places openly hostile to any refugees the idea that some are getting through by
pretending is only likely to harden attitudes at all. syrians after all should hardly have to prove they are really running for their lives. the president of one of america's largest family planning organizations to testify before congress. that hearing due to get underway any minute now. planned parenthood uses more than $500 million in taxpayer funds each year. it could lose its funding after a series of undercover video showed staff discussing the sale of aborted fetal tissue. kimberly halkett is live from washington, d.c. what do we expect from this hearing? >> reporter: the hearing just started just a moment ago, and already very heated -- a lot of emotional opening testimony, and we said that we will be hearing from the president of planned parenthood very shortly who is on the defensive, as you point out, because of the surfacing of those videos that allegedly show
executives discussing the sale of fetal tissue. but planned parenthood has been at the heart of a wider budget battle that has been taking place in the u.s. congress. the argument over defense versus domestic spending. planned parenthood receives roughly $450 million a year in federal taxpayer funds, and there are many that feel that this is something that could be better spent here in the u.s. congress. they make the argument this violates many religious beliefs. the head of planned parenthood is going to take the argument that planned parenthood does a lot more than just conduct abortions. it's a very small portion of their business, and in fact what they are really doing is supporting women's reproductive health. they came to capitol hill with a message for members of congress. don't defund planned parenthood. for many working class americans it's their only access to
affordable health care. courtney was suffering from endomeet rios sis, she turned to planned parenthood to preserve her fertility. >> i worked really hard to get into this graduate program, and now i'm looking at i need to get a job, and i'm not going to be able to study for this reason. so planned parenthood made it so i could get the medication. >> reporter: natasha found a lump in her breast. >> planned parenthood was my first contact with getting my first breast cancer stre streen -- screening. >> reporter: not everyone in congress sees planned parenthood as benevolent organization. they also perform abortions. a video surfaced reportedly showing executives openly discussing the sale of fetal tissue for profit.
many in congress were incensed and for a time threatened to shut down the government if federal dollars continued to support the clinics. the head of planned parenthood has been called to testify before the committee. >> it was such a lack of dignity for the human person, whether that was a baby's life that was taken through abortion, they were seen as a commodity. >> reporter: but many say the hearing is nothing more than an attack on women's reproductive choices, going on since abortion was legalized in 1973. >> what is really under attack is the right of women to control their own bodies, their own reproduction. their own reproduction and their own reproductive self. >> courtney agrees.
that's why she says she came to tell congress abortions are a small part of what planned parenthood does. and her chance had motherhood would never have happened without its support. kimberly is planned parenthood going to be cut? >> reporter: well, that is the focus of this hearing. there are many republicans who are k looking for ammunition, if you will, and are going to be asking some very sharp questions of the head of planned parenthood, but at the same time, while this is a largely partisan issue, and most republicans here, seem focused on cutting that funding, the majority of americans do not support that. numbers show roughly 65% believe funding for planned parenthood should stay in place. it puts their clinics and
working class neighborhoods, occupied predominantly by african americans, so if there is legislation that goes through the u.s. congress, barack obama, the u.s. president says he will veto it. >> kimberly many thanks. two palestinians have been injured in a confrontation with israeli soldiers in the occupied west bank. the youths were protesting at the action at the al aqsa mosque. iran's president is accusing saudi arabia of incompetence in its handling of the hajj stampede disaster. indonesia is also criticizing what it says is saudi arabia's slow response as various
countries struggle to identify their dead. foreign diplomats have been given around 1100 photos to identify the dead. ports are closed, flights have been canceled after a typhoon hit the southeastern coast of china. it struck on tuesday morning with wind speeds of up to 119 kilometers an hour. now whales, dolphin, shark and all sorts of other sea life are to be protected off of the coast of new zealand, fishing is being banned as one of the world's largest ocean sanctuary is created in the south pacific. >> reporter: the region is one of the most isolated places on earth. hundreds of marine species live in the waters. some endangered.
>> this is probably one of the most significant announcements that has been made in marine protection, because this is one of the last pristine sites. because this is an area that is uninhabited by humans, and it's such a large area. >> reporter: the prime minister reviewed plans for the sanctuary during his visit to the u.n. general assembly. >> this an area twice the size of our land mass and 50 times the size of our largest national park. it is truly a special place and we want to keep it that way. >> reporter: the announcement gained immediate attention. >> just over an hour ago, the prime minister of new zealand made an announcement that we can all celebrate. >> reporter: not everybody is celebrating. mining and fishing are now banned from the area, although some in the cities are upset,
the government says the benefits outweigh the cost. >> i'm confident the majority of new zealanders would say it's well worthwhile. >> reporter: new zealand says the area will be policed using satellite and defense force patrols. gerald tan, al jazeera. just ahead here on al jazeera, we'll be back in new york at the u.n. general assembly for more coverage. we're also expecting to hear from u.s. president barack obama, who is due to address an international conference on terrorism that's taking place alongside the general assembly. back in just a few moments. ♪
this is al jazeera america, a live look at the room where president obama is hosting a anti-terrorism summit. and president obama sits down with cuban leader raul castro, as the two nations edge closer to normalized relations. the president of planned parenthood goes on the offensive on capitol hill. and volkswagen says it has the fix for 11 million diesel engine cars outfitted with software designed to dupe emissions testing. this is al jazeera america.
good morning. i'm randall pinkston. the plan to defeat isil is front and center at the united nations. on the sidelines of the u.n. general assembly, the president will sit down with more than a hundred world leaders at the summit. it's not clear if russia's president will be one of them. mike viqueira is live for us at the united nations. mike, what is the president hoping to accomplish today? >> well, it's obviously a huge topic of discussion here, a very controversial discussion as we saw in plane view yesterday with the conflict between putin and obama, and whether bashar al-assad should be ousted or bolstered. president obama joining many dignitaries, foreign ministers, we understand that vladimir putin is not going to be here