original documentaries al jazeera america presents only on al jazeera america we'll be back with more on al as russian air strikes continue in syria, moscow denies civilians are being caught in the cross fire. >> coming up in this program, dozens of civilians are held as the afghan army battles to take back control of kundus from the taliban. a major win for government forces in yemen and the mali government saying the government failed to
properly equip them in the fight against boko haram. russia strongly denying any air strikes in syria against isil have led to the deaths of civilians. moscow's military advancement in syria is intensifying still and the russian defense ministry says its latest round of air strikes have destroyed 12 isil targets in syria. one of them a command center. saudi arabia says the strikes have caused civilian deaths and failed to hit isil targets. the u.s. has been carrying out air strikes of its own in syria. moscow insists it's targeting the same, quote, terrorists and isn't working against the americans. with so much military action the fear is that the war in syria could escalating forcing more people to leave the already
war-torn country for refuge. >>reporter: russian jets attack the town that is not an isil strong hold. they're mainly in eastern syria. instead this area is dominated by rebel groups that oppose president al assad, a russian ally. also they hit another town. it's the second day of russian air strikes and already there are concerns as to whom they're targeting. this according to activists was the result of wednesday's attacks. civilian casualties as russian bombs were dropped. and, say the opposition, the raids focused on command and control posts not held by isil. >> we urged before that the russians are intervening in syria not to fight isil. they're intervening to prolong the life of al assad and support the continuous killing on a daily basis of syrian civilians.
>>reporter: saudi arabia has criticized the russian raids and demanded that moscow stop them. western governments including the u.k. and the u.s. have also questioned president putin's intentions. the russian government has dismissed those concerns as part of a propaganda war saying isil positions are targets along with other groups. it's added layers of confusion to an already complex civil war. >> we all want syria democratic, united, secular. syria whose rights are guaranteed but we have some differences as for the details on how to get there. >>reporter: the u.s. which is also conducting aerial bombardment against isil in syria has agreed to hold talks with russia as soon as possible to avoid clashing with russia's 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 deconfliction discussion, meeting, conference, whatever can be done as soon as possible. >>reporter: it was hoped meetings between president obama and putin at the u.n. in new york this week might have led to a united international response to the crisis in syria. instead russia's military intervention marks a dramatic and dangerous escalation the syrian ambassador to russia blames the u.s.-led coalition for the advance of isil saying russia's role is vital in defeating that group. >> locations of al quaeda are the locations of isil. isil is the main arm of al quaeda. that's why hitting the al quaeda locatio locations or the extremists helping isil is the main goal
and the main target again. russia today is leading the regional and international efforts to fight isil and to fight all the terrorist extremist organizations that are helping daish today. >> james bays is at the u.n. asking who specifically russia was targeting in syria. >>reporter: the u.s. coalition says it's fighting isil. with your air strikes, you now say your military is targeting terrorists. can you be specific first in addition to isil which specific groups in syria do you believe to be terrorists? >> well, if it looks like a terrorist, acts like a terrorist, walks like a terrorist, fights like a terrorist, it's a terrorist; right? i would recall that we always
were saying that we are going to fight isil and other terrorist groups. this is the same position america is taking. the representation of the command. the targets are isil, al nusra, and other terrorist groups. this is basically our position as well. we see eye to eye with the coalition on this one a short time ago representatives of the u.s. and russia discussed the situation in syria via a video conference. it's hoped that the two can form some kind of unified approach. both of them trying to target isil strongholds. we are now live in washington d.c. this is all part of what's become known as deconflicting. basically they don't want to shoot each other out of the sky and each want to understand what the other side is doing. what came out of this
conference? >>reporter: well, we don't know yet, david. there is going to be a briefing at the pentagon in the next hour with the spokesperson, peter cook, who is expected to give a read outof that meeting between u.s. and russian military officials via video conference. two days ago, the u.s. had announced that it was going to try to have these decon fliflic talks. they want to make sure they don't shoot at each other and possibly cause a more serious conflict than what already exists inside syria. but, again, we should have a better sense of what actually came out of those discussions in the next hour over at the pentagon >> it's all rather interesting because as far as the russians
are concerned, the deconfliction would simply involve those who are part of the u.s.-led coalition not going into those parts of syrian air space at the same time athe russians because they simply said get out we're launching air strikes. but the americans are furious about this. i wonder how it could be resolved. >>reporter: well, that's really the rub. is it going to be a formal court nation mechanism similar to what the u.s. and other members of the coalition that have been carrying out air strikes against isil both inside syria and iraq have or is it going to be something for informal where top leaders actually talk to each other and a gentlemen's agreement as it were is reached. the potential for some kind of mishap is very, very high according to u.s. military officials and so what might come out of this might be something
more formal. but when you consider the fact that the u.s. is also very suspicious of whom the russians are targeting, are they really targeting isil or are they going after members of the free syrian army and others opposed to the government and president assad. that's another level of complexity that the u.s. wants to untangle as quickly as possible. they don't belief that the russians -- believe that the russians are actually going after isil. just look at where they were targeting on wednesday around homes. isil doesn't really have a foot hold in and around holms. it's more in the northeastern part of the country and the u.s. wants to clear this up as quickly as possible. >> thank you very much indeed. that's good for now. we'll be back with you. benjamin netanyahu has said
he's prepared to move forward with talks with the palestinians. he said this about 24 hours after the palestinian president -- peace agreement known as the oslow accords. >> i am prepared to immediately, immediately resume direct peace negotiations with the palestinian authority without any preconditions whatsoever. unfortunately, the president said yesterday that he is not prepared to do this. well, i hope he changes his mind. because i remain committed to a vision of two states for two peoples in which a demilitaryize palestinian state recognizes the jewish state. >> there are those as we go to our diplomatic editor, there are those who would say it's very
easy to say that's your commitment when you know the other side is saying you're pulling out of it. >> absolutely, david. and i think he only quoted part of what president abbas said 24 hours earlier at the same podium. he said he would no longer be bound by the oslow accord. that's a peace process and the mechanisms put in place in the peace process following that hand shake years ago on the white house long because he said israel was completely ignoring the oslow accords and was not engaging properly with them. so i think the palestinian response is you say you're ready for peace but your actions do not show that. but as usual it was a performance by the palestinian president, sorry, the israeli
prime minister. he used the rhetorical flourish saying that the palestinians were prepared to walk away and he wanted them to come back and he said i know it's hard. >> the extraordinary thing was too, james, not only the silence in which he tried to sort of berate those people who had kept quiet with the deal with iran and that went on for the best part of a minute i think but what struck me was his closing line in which he tried to suggest israel was not only the guardian of jewish values in the middle east but the guardian of the whole world's safety. israel is protecting you, he said to everybody out there. yeah. absolutely. and that is a reference, i think, to the first part of his speech and in fact the majority of his speech which was not on the conflict that he has close at home, the israeli/palestinian
situation. it was on iran and iran's nuke deal making it clear in his few that the international community and the negotiations with iran concluded in july in vienna a great mistake. he said that the so-called charm offensive by the president of iran should be seen for what it really is but i think it's worth telling you that nearly everyone that's spoken before him in the general assembly seems to have been impressed by that charm offensive and by those negotiations and that concrete deal that was done in vienna. every other speaker it seems, even those that privately have unease about the situation, were praising that as an example of what multilateral diplomacy can achieve for the world. james, good to hear from you. thank you very much indeed.
our colleague is in jerusalem. just scrambling here to find a couple of things that benjamin netanyahu actually had to say. he said the deal with iran doesn't make peace more likely but war more likely. an rapaciou tiger, referring to iran. i'm wondering whether the speech, certainly the iranian section of the speech was directed for home consumption, to those people that felt that he had not protected israel's interests enough when it comes to the deal the international deal with iran. >> i think you're spot on with that. we only have to consider the time of day here in israel. it's just gone past 8:00 p.m. in the evening so that speech was delivered during the prime time news hour here in israel. an awful lot of israelis watched this speech as it was going out
live. and mr. netanyahu clearly aware of this. the big portion of his speech in which he was extremely hawkish about that deal on iran criticizing it to the point some people have put it to the point of theatrics. i think that was really for the domestic audience. here in israel he's been criticized very strongly about his handling of the iran deal. in fact, they believe he antagonized the white house and pushed president obama away by giving that speech to a joint meeting of congress and effectively prevented israel from having a significant say in what this deal would look like or able to derail it all together. so it's very clear this first portion of this speech was directed to domestic audiences. but the other part of his speech, a much warmer netanyahu emerged and this was for the rest of the world. he talked about the sunni states
that surround israel. countries he said he wants to work with when it comes to preventing iran from growing influence across the middle east and as he put it around the world. but what was also interesting about that portion of the speech is how far along his speech that he actually finally came to address the palestinian issue and how much time he dedicated to it as well. in fact, it was only a very brief portion of his speech when you consider everything else that he said and in some level it really almost explains just where his priorities are when it comes to the various issues in his head that he believes. iran, domestic issues, that relationship with sunni countries, then the united states, and then it was the palestinian conflict and indeed mr. netanyahu's strong speech at the united nations just 24 hours ago when he put into question the oslow accord. so a very interesting speech from the prime minister of israel but for two very
same terrorist groups as the u.s.-led coalition. >> the israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu attacks the iranian nuclear deal. he accused the general assembly's members of remaining silent on threats facing israel. in afghanistan, the battle for the city of kundus is getting more intense. the u.s. special forces who are accompanying afghan fighters as, quote, advisors have been forced to engage in gun fire on thursday they say as a matter of self-defense. they have stormed the city taking back control from taliban insurgents. the group says that's not the case. al jazeera has more. >>reporter: the afghan army say they have retaken the northern city but the taliban claim that's not the case. that they've just withdrawn to other neighborhoods before a counterattack. they say right now they don't
want anything except security. >> we want the government to security the city. the situation wasn't good in the city so i managed to escape but still some of my family are trapped there. i don't want anything else from the government. we just want a secure country. >>reporter: the interior ministry says afghan forces will not stop fighting until the whole province is back in their control. they're being supported by nato and u.s. special forces and they could be getting unexpected help. a former commander is trying to rally support for the army and called on all afghans to join the fight against the taliban. >> there are security issues around the country threatening districts and villages in most part. i urge the people of afghanistan to stand and cooperate with the afghan security forces to fight the enemy in all parts of the country. >>reporter: removing the taliban from the city while making
civilian security a priority will take time. the group's strength was proven when they managed to take the city earlier this week. it was the taliban's biggest victory since its government was ousted in 2001. al jazeera attained these pictures of members of the taliban driving captured humvees. >> when they border central asia, that path is where america got reconnioter. >>reporter: doctors without borders has been treating hundreds of injured people including dozens of children since the fighting began on monday. people living in the capital of kabul have been making their stance clear waving banners and
showing support for government forces. with reports of fighting spreading to other provinces, the question now is how strong and capable is the afghan national army as it takes on the taliban. the u.n.'s refugee agency has been revising its figures for the number of people coming into europe this year and next from 850,000 to 1.4 million. initially the estimation was made on those who traveled by the mediterranean. more than half of the refugees now trying to get to western europe are syrians fleeing war in their country and coming a different way. more than 2,000 have crossed the border from macedonia through serbia heading north they hope through europe. many carrying small children along this dirt road towards the serbian border villages.
around 300,000 are estimated to have gone through serbia in the past few weeks alone. it's a main route for those people aiming to reach western europe the war in yemen now, the saudi coalition has regained control of the strait between the arabian peninsula. >>reporter: as the war grinds on, the terrain gets more complicated and the toll more severe. here, popular resistance forces and army troops are claiming what they call a strategic
saudi coalition. >> you hit a wedding party, women and children. you killed women and children. are these your strategic targets? recon sanaissanc reconnaissance. >> a saudi official said his country is abiding by international law in its military control. more and more aid agencies worry about the overall impact this war is taking on a country whose population was already suffering before this conflict began. iran's state media says the number of iranians killed in the hajj stampede in saudi arabia last week has now doubled reaching 464 iranian pilgrims.
officials say measures are underway to transfer bodies home as soon as possible. saudi arabia's health ministry says the overall death toll stands at 769 but a number of other countries have suggested casualty figures may be far higher as hundreds of people are still unaccounted for. mass doce >>reporter: these photos of a military training session were taken by nigerian army soldiers from the third armored division. they're being trained to fight boko haram. the soldier who took the photos has asked us not to show his face fearing he could be jailed
for speaking out. >> how could somebody be training with ordinary -- >>reporter: the soldier is one of hundreds who were sacked in january for desertion. the president ordered the sacked soldiers to be reinstated to boost the number of soldiers fighting boko haram. this soldier thinks money for fighting boko haram is being stolen. >> it's unfortunate that some people have decided that, that is the only way of making their meals. soldiers also say the army has failed to rehouse their families. these are the living conditions of some of the wives and children of soldiers who have rejoined the army and who have been sent to fight boko haram. there are more than 50 families living here. there's no electricity. no toilets or running water. the reinstated soldiers lost their homes when they were
sacked. >> it's not been possible that the claims they are making are true. the previous allegations against the military. >>reporter: army commanders say the claims are untrue. >> you don't have to always train in uniform. some of them are just waiting to get their salary and also withdraw. desert again. >>reporter: the reinstated soldiers say they won't be able to focus on fighting boko haram until conditions improve. take a look at this in the u.k.
20 meters wide. it's a hole which simply opened up on a residential street just outside london from a front garden and driveway ten meters deep. a water leak made it all happen. al jazeera.com for more on all our news. al jazeera.com. states of emergency now in effect along the east coast as hurricane joaquim strengthens in the