>> russia denies causing civilian casualties during its air strikes inside syria. i'm shiulie ghosh live from doha. also coming up, not giving up, afghan security forces says they won't stop fighting the taliban. the future of the oslo peace accord is up in the air. plus -- >> i'm in the u.s. state of maine where they have already
canceled two shrimping seasons because of climate change. and now they fear that lobsters could be next. ♪ president vladimir putin has denied reports that russian air strikes in syria have killed civilians. russian's defense ministry says 12 isil centers have been hit. saudi arabia is demanding that moscow ends the attacks. victoria gatenby has more on the air strikes. >> reporter: russian jets attacked the town. the town is not an isil strong hold. they are mainly in eastern syria. instead this area is dominated by rebel groups that oppose president bashar al-assad, a russian ally. they also hit this town. it's the second day of russian air strikes, and already there
are concerns as to whom they are targeting. this according to activists was the result of wednesday's attacks. civilian casualties as russian bombs were dropped in homs and another province. and the raids focused on commands and control posts not held by isil. >> translator: we urged before that the russians are intervening in syria not to fight isil, they are intervening to prolong the life of bashar al-assad, and support the continuous killing on the daily basis of the syrian civilians. >> reporter: saudi arabia has demanded that moscow stop the raids. western governments have also questioned president putin's intentions. the russian government has dismissed those concerns as part of a propaganda war. it has added layers of confusion to an already complex civil war.
>> we all want syria, democratic, united, secular, syria which is a home for all groups, who's rights are guaranteed, but we have some differences as for the details on how to get there. >> reporter: the u.s. which is always conducting aerial bombardment against isil in syria has agreed to hold talks with russia as soon as possible to avoid clashing with the military. >> we agreed on the imperative of as soon as possible, perhaps even as soon as tomorrow, but as soon as possible, having a military, to military, de-confliction discussion, meeting, discussion, whatever can be done as soon as possible. >> it was hoped that meetings between president obama and
president putin might have help. >> the syrian ambassador blames the u.s.-lead coalition. it insists that moscow has been coordinating with his government in carrying out air strikes. >> translator: locations of al-qaeda are the locations of isil. isil is the main arm of al-qaeda, that's why hitting the al-qaeda locations, or this extremists who are helping isil is the main ball, and the main target against terrorism. russia today is leading regional and international efforts to fight isil, and to fight all of the terrorists extremist organizations that are helping daesh today. >> james bayes joins us live
from u.n. headquarters. >> reporter: i think the comments from the ambassador are most important in this sense, that -- they are confirming what we all knew was going to be the case, that the assad regime invited russia in. that means in international law terms what russia is doing in syria is legal, because the assad government are still in the seat here at the united nations of syria. they are still the member state governing syria in terms of the u.n. general assembly which continues to meet behind me and because they have invited russia, then under the u.n. charter and under international law, it means russia's involvement in syria are legal under international law. we knew that we syrian
government would support this. they would never say no to one of their principle backers, the russians, and clearly they want these air strikes as well, but it also gives them this legal grounding. >> okay. and russia also saying that it is going to coordinate with the u.s. regarding operations inside syria. does that mean we're any closer to some kind of grand coalition regarding isil? >> not at all, all they are talking about is air traffic control, de-confliction is the word, trying to make sure that they know who's planes are up there when the other side is flying to make sure they don't shoot down each other. so that is to avoid a real serious escalation between u.s. and russia, and the u.s. has some of its allies that are also flying planes over syria. those allies will be meeting in the next couple of hours. an important meeting, trying to
take stock of where we are. i understand from one of the allies that the meeting will include the key western allies of the u.s., france and u.k., it will include the gulf countries, qatar, the united emirates, and saudi arabia, and the closest of the neighbors to the united states in terms of their political military positions, jordan. and they will take stock. because all of these countries have been having meetings, and they all have had some sort of interaction with the russians, but i think it's clear that even though they have some sort of strategy, and the turks would like to see a no fly zone, and the french are inclined to support them in that, and the others are not as convinced. so it's clear there is no agreement, really, with the
russians. you heard sergei lavrov speak saying there are some differences in the detail. the detail is this, whether president assad can stay or not. that's the essential sticking point for the last four and a half years and why 250,000 have died, shiulie. >> james, thank you. our diplomatic editor in new york. well the numbers of people fleeing the conflict in syria and other middle eastern countries is continuing to rise. the u.n. refugee agency says it expects 1.1 million refugees to flee to europe by the end of next year. most of the refugees make their way to europe via the mediterranean sea and the agency said those numbers could rise even further. heavy fighting is continuing out there kunduz city between the taliban and the afghan army.
at least 50 people, mostly civilians were killed in the fighting. the interior ministry says afghan forces won't stop fighting until they retain kunduz province from the taliban. we received this update. >> reporter: the government of salving controls the city center of kunduz city, but the taliban is still resistant in the area around the center of kunduz city. people are complaining about they are being attacked, the civilians. afghan security forces are not alone today. they were helped by nato special forces on the ground and also a very strong air support by nato. both sides are using artillery, heavy machine guns, and also
nato support are bombing the area, and it's the civilian who are caught in between. the taliban are simply hiding in the residential area. what taliban did today, they attacked a couple of other districts. they captured a district in the north of kunduz city, and another district where we are standing, so the taliban are trying to spread the fight in the north in many locations to get out the focus from kunduz. yemeni government forces backed by the saudi-lead coalition have retaken ma'rib dam. while the gain is the biggest, fighting is just growing more complicated in the rest of the country. mohammed jamjoom reports. >> reporter: as the war grinds on in yemen, the terrain gets
more complicated, and the toll more severe. here in yemen's central ma'rib province, forces are claiming what they call a strategic victory. backed by saudi-lead coalition air support and after days of heavy fighting, they retook control of the ma'rib dam from houthi forces. their same is to cut supply routes. their celebratory mood is clearly on display. >> translator: we are now at the dam, and we will advance, god willing. [ inaudible ]. soon. >> reporter: but in sana'a, despite the increase in air raids in the past several days, the houthis are still in control, and there's anger against attacks by the saudi-lead coalition. >> translator: where is my house? i no longer have a house. i no longer have any furniture, no more home, no more anything.
>> reporter: here residents of the village are furious after a reported air strike on an yemeni wedding party that killed 131 people. while the saudi-lead coalition has formally denied any involvement, calling the report completely false, where claim the coalition. >> translator: what are the strategic targets that you have been hitting exactly? you hit a wedding party. women and children, you killed women and children. are these your strategic targets? >> reporter: while local residences and witnesses say coalition aircraft carried out raids in recent days, a saudi official said his country is abiding by international law in its military campaign. with more than 2,000 civilians killed, more and more aid agencies worry about the overall
impact this country is taking, a country that was suffering before this conflict began. >> reporter: they have also retaken the strait. it is a vital root for trade. houthi fighters had expended their presence in western yemen last year, around this important maritime corridor. there is much more to come on al jazeera, including these soldiers accusing the government of failing to properly equip them in the battle against al-shabab. ♪
♪ welcome back. i'm shiulie ghosh. you are with al jazeera. the top stories, syria's ambassador to russia says russia's intervention in syria is legal under international law. and vladimir putin is denying reports that russian air strikes killed civilians. heavy fighting continues between the taliban and the afghan army. and yemeni government forces have retaken control of the strait between the arabian
peninsula and the horn of africa. the strait is vital for trade. the united nations has praised the pal tinnian flag for the first time. but the symbolic moment has been overshadowed by the president's announcement that he is no longer bound by the oslo accord. >> reporter: raised for the first time at the united nations, the flag of the state of palestine, following a decision by the u.n. general assembly, observer states, there are two, palestine, and the holy see, are now allowed to fly their national flags. the ceremony was attended by the president and the u.n. secretary general. >> i sincerely hope that a successful peace process will soon yield a day when we unfold the palestinian flag in its proper place, among the family of nations, as a sovereign
member state of the united nations. [ applause ] >> reporter: however, the political process to lead to that day is dead locked. in his speech to the general assembly, president abbas put all of the blame on the israelis. he said he needed to raise the alarm about recent violence in jerusalem, which was caused by israeli incursions around the al aqsa mosque. and he said since israel was not abiding by the oslo accord, he would not either. >> translator: they leave us no choice but to insist we will not be the only ones who abide by these agreements. we cannot continue to be bound by these agreements, and israel must assume alling of its responsibilities as an occupying power. >> reporter: so is this the bomb shell he said he would drop or
just an empty promise. how will it change the way his palestinian authority work on the ground in the west bank. and what will be the reaction from palestinians there and in gaza. al jazeera spoke to an official from hamas. >> i think it was just words, just a speech. he was talking about the two-state solution, peace process, coexistence, peaceful negotiation, and now all of these things were been lies, illusion. >> reporter: the conflict will remain in the u.n. spotlight, the israeli prime minister, benjamin netenyahu speaks to the general assembly on thursday. james bayes al jazeera, at the united nations. there has been another explosion in a town in southern china, the day after a series of bomb blasts. the latest was in an apartment
block. no injuries are being reported. on wednesday in the same district seven people were killed and dozens injured in 17 explosions at government offices, a hospital, and a prison. police have ruled out terrorism, and have identified a 33 year old local man as a suspect. china is celebrating its national day. ♪ more than 50,000 watched the national flag being raised. the ceremony commemorates the founding of the communist people's republic of china, 66 years ago. people in china's western region are also commemorating another anniversary. they are marking 60 years since becoming an autonomous region. but not everyone is celebrating. >> reporter: it was by chinese standards, a low-key official celebration, held in doors.
the setting, the great hall in the regional capitol. a senior government official told the assembled guests that the region's stability was still being threatened by violent groups. they were the common enemy of all the people. >> translator: we must make a firm first to strike proactively and resolutely crack down on violent terrorist activities according to the law. >> reporter: here celebrations were even more muted, and non-existent in this nearby village. people we met here were all ethnic music uyghurs, some old enough to remember when people in's liberation army marched in. >> translator: i was so young. i was so scared. i cried. >> reporter: but she says her life is far better now. >> translator: we have enough to eat and enough clothes. life was really hard before.
>> reporter: talking to foreign journalists carries risks, so none wanted to give their names. this man claims of discrimination by haan chinese. >> translator: my boss was haan, but he stopped hiring people after those attacks carried out by us uyghurs. >> reporter: the government insists that both are treated equally, but rules ban uyghur men under 60 from growing long beards, and women from wearing vails that cover their face. 60 years on, uyghurs have little to celebrate say their exiled leaders. >> it represents occupation, colonization, repression. they will be forced to participate in festivities that celebrate china's national day. they have no choice. >> reporter: this is a difficult place for journalists to operate. we were detained several times and warned not to talk to
anyone. the police roadblocks reflect the official nervousness. it follows a series of attacks in the region, including one a week ago. the government blames groups that want an independent uyghur homeland. china's government appears to have a twin strategy for this region, continue the campaign against those groups it blames for the violence, while promoting this area as the bridge head for a new silk road, linking china with central asia and europe for trade roots. this is region is the size of western europe, but with a population of just 11 million, and bordering eight countries. the government denies repressing uyghur culture. 60 years ago, uyghurs made up 90% of the population, said it is less than half of that. some worry the silk road project
will lead to more haan settlers, and altering the balance even further. some nigerian soldiers say they are not being given the proper equipment to combat boko haram. they accuse army commanders of denying them money and say some officers have stolen equipment. >> reporter: these photos of a military training session were taken by nigerian army solders from the third armored division. without uniforms or equipment, they are being trained to fight boko haram at the nigeria army training center. the soldier who took the photos has asked us not to show his face. he fears he could be jailed for speaks out. >> how could somebody be training with [ inaudible ] how could be somebody be training with ordinary clothes, none of us have a rifle, none of us have
a uniform. >> reporter: the soldier is one of hundreds who were zached in january for desertion. this soldier thinks money for fighting boko haram is being stolen. >> the government has the money, but it's unfortunate that some people have decided that is the only way of making their livings. i believe the authorities in question [ inaudible ]. >> reporter: soldiers also say the army has failed to rehouse their families. these are the living conditions of some of the families. there are more than 50 families living here. there's no electricity, toilets or running water. the reinstated soldiers lost their homes when they were sacked. >> it's not impossible that the claims the soldiers are making are true in view of the previous
allegations against the military leadership. >> reporter: army commanders say the claims are untrue. >> you don't have to always train in uniform. [ inaudible ] for them to [ inaudible ] and to really [ inaudible ]. from where this started the training. some of them are just waiting to get their salary, and also withdrawal, go back and abscond again. >> reporter: the reinstated soldiers say they won't be able focus on fighting boko haram until conditions improve. britain's prime minister is visiting jamaica where he has ruled out paying reparations for british involvement in the slave
trade. caribbean countries accuse the government of being responsible for slavery and genocide in the 17th and 18th centuries. climate change is worrying lobster fisherman in the united states. from the state of main, our correspondent reports. >> reporter: it is known as the superman, a stage four lobster, it's claws recently emerged and extended. the economic future of maine depends on whether it will now manage to grow a shell. the lobster's importance to the entire coastal economy is clear, yet there's only one place to find out if the lobster has a future in maine's acidifying lobsters. this student is jessica at the laboratory for ocean signses.
in fact right now, the lobster catch is booming, because lobsters have migrated north to escape warmer waters further south. but water temperatures are rising here too. shrimping seasons in the gulf have been canceled because the changing climate has lead to population collapse. could the lobster be next. there are fears about more disease and predators. jessica is investing another effect, a lowering of the ocean's ph level. >> right now the ph is 8.1, the predicted range is 7.9. so that is a huge change in ph. >> some places in the bay where they measured the acidity in the clam flats, and it's enough to be dissolve clam shells.
>> reporter: even with maine's economy at stake, and a state commission that has recommended immediate reaction, climate change denial stretches from the governor to the state house. >> it is more a matter of ideology, largely in the republican party, not being able to see the effects of climate change. in this case both the warming that's happening, that's moving, some of our species northward, including our lobster, and the ocean acid if indication. >> reporter: the lack of urgency in confronting climate change, is a problem around the world. >> it is happening really fast and we better have our stuff together. you know? we better be ready for action of some kind.
>> reporter: it is intensifying. thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars now rest on what jessica discovers. and the latest on all of these stories and all of the day's development on our website, aljazeera.com. ♪ >> we agreed that the military should get into connect with each other, very soon. the u.s. and russia agree to hold talks and russia carries out a second day of air strikes in syria. residents on the east coast brace for a category 3 hurricane. and fighting for control of kunduz, the taliban push back