as war rages on in his country, syria's deputy prime minister addresses the u.n. thanking the government's allies. ♪ hello, i'm julie mcdonald, this is al jazeera, live from london, also coming up. days into its syrian bombing campaign, russia says it has hit and killed isil fighters. >> this is a political choice that we make to allow this to happen every few months in america. >> reporter: u.s. president represents his sadness and
frustration after another mass shooting. plus -- >> reporter: i'm john holman on mexico's pacific coast, where tun hundreds of thousands of turtles arrive each year but the major of their eggs is being stolen. syria's deputy prime minister says his country will take part in peace talks. >> -- we were and still are believers in the political choice, political dialogue, according to the parameters known to all, namely, the unity of syria east territory and people, maintaining the state institutions, developing them and improving their performance,
and that the only way to a political solution is through syrian-lead national dialogue without any foreign interference. >> let's speak now to james bayes with the latest from the united nations. hi there, james. listen what he said he painted a very black and white picture and said syria is still strong. >> reporter: he did. this is the sort of narrative we have come to expect from the syrian government over the last four and a half years. everything is portrayed in terms of counter terrorism. yes, he says that they are fighting isil, but he says everyone that the syrian government is fighting, he also brands as terrorists. interest, i think that comment that you remarked on, the fact that he says the syrian army is strong, because many people believe the syrian army was in a pretty bad way before russia started these air strikes.
in fact the head of the syrian national coalition earlier on, when i was speaking to him, he told me he thought if russia hadn't intervened then president assad was on his last legs. also interesting that the syrian deputy prime minister and foreign minister who is always deputied to do these speeches, says they are still committed to negotiation and would be prepared to have geneva three talks on the future of syria. he says and makes clear that the sir ian government attended previous peace talks, those talks in moscow that were not brokered by the united nations, and not seen by most of the international community as proper talks and the talks last year that were lead by the then mediator of the united nations,
but those talks broke up in geneva, because the syrian government was not prepared to go to the phase of talking about political transition. the opposition wanted to talk about it. the syrian government wouldn't talk about it, and that's why the geneva talks last year failed. >> james, does that mean that we're further than ever away from a diplomatic solution, just some of the things he said that the only way to work things out was with syrian talks, he also said we can't take part in diplomacy while we fight terror? >> reporter: i think we are further away, not because of the position of the syria government. i think this was a most predictable speech by the syrian deputy prime minister and foreign minister. i think we're further away for a different reason, it happened maybe as a coincidence or maybe
not, while we have been here in new york, there was a feeling that just perhaps the u.s. and russia were going to get together and try to force things forward, everyone saying that if those two powers were there, and then could engage the rest of the international community with a strategy everyone agreed forward, there would be a way forward, but russia has instead gotten involved militarily with these air strikes and that certainly is moving the diplomatic efforts now to the back again. >> james bayes live from the united nations. james thank you. well for the first time russia has targeted the islamic state of iraq and the levant during aerial attacks in syria. the air strikes in the isil strong hold killed 12 fighters. the russians also again targeted other syrian rebel groups. turkey has asked russia to stop
attacking the rebel grouped largely supported by the west. meanwhile the presidents of russia and france have met to discuss their military operations as they have tried to overcome differences over whether syrian president bashar al-assad should stay power. >> reporter: the russian defense ministry says it is destroying isil command and control centers along with arms dumps. >> translator: to avoid hitting civilian targets the air strikes are determined only after thorough reconnaissance. >> reporter: but on the ground the syrian opposition tells a different story. it says they have been targeting sillians and armed groups opposed to president bashar al-assad. >> translator: air strikes could affect the opposition, but not that much.
the syrian government has been hitting the north for months, but it didn't stop the rebel advance, so strikes without ground troops won't be successful, but now there is information of a possible land operation being prepared. >> reporter: looking at the map the air strikes have concentrated on front line areas that surround president assad's heardland. one target was only recently captured by opposition forces. it had been one of the last government strong holds. it is not only close to the heartland, but also an important hub for sending government reinforcements to aleppo province. further east there are also battlegrounds. here the government has struggled to maintain a grip on a region that leads to the sea. and homs, it is a last government strong hold between damascus and the west of the country. question kremlin said the aim of
the air strikes to help the syrian armed forces in their weak spots. the syrian opposition believes that's exactly what the russian military is doing, but it is not clear if the air strikes will be able to change the balance of power on the ground, if it is not accompanied by a ground operation. but there are those who believe the west, including the united states is quietly supporting russia's actions. >> translator: the west is colluding with russia. what is happening now is efforts to end our revolution. >> reporter: opknowns of assad say russia's intervention could give the government an advantage, and they believe that is the objective. to use military force for diplomatic gains, whereby president assad could negotiate a political settlement. the turkish president also says he will be speaking to vladimir putin about the sillian deaths in syria which he says
are a result of russian air strikes. >> translator: we'll talk about our concerns regarding russian air strikes and i'll tell him how concerned i am about that. i'll urge him to reconsider his steps. turkey is the most affected country by the suffering in the region. russia does not have borders with syria, but turkey does. i'm very concerned about what is going on. turkey hosts 2 million refugees from syria, and turkey, not russia takes care of them. i want to understand from him why is he so interested in syria. i'll remind him of our previous meetings, and together evaluate next period. >> as questions mount over who russia is targeting, president putin has been discussing the crisis in ukraine as well.
the conflict between government forces and pro-russian separatists has killed more than 8,000 people and displaced 2 million others since april last year. ♪ taliban fighters are managing to retain control of parts of kunduz after the afghan army began an offensive to retake the city. the taliban says it has now pushed the army back. the claim is denied by the afghan government. u.s. air strikes are assisting the army in their attempt to drive though taliban from the northern city. the taliban says it shot down awes u.s. plane on thursday night, killing 11 people. our correspondent is in afghanistan about 130 kilometers out of kunduz. >> reporter: we are hearing there is heavy fighting going on right now. afghan security forces
confirming that they have received their reinforcement from kabul, and tonight they are going to launch their biggest attack on kun -- kunduz. but the residents tell us that more than half of kunduz is still under control of taliban. now taliban seems that they are spreading the war in the north of the country, just few hours ago, taliban got control of another district. afghan government confirmed that too. in the past three days that is the fourth district that taliban are capturing from afghan government in the neighboring provinces. residences of kunduz province are now leaving, because we talked with couple of them, they are telling us that life is impossible to survive in kunduz city anymore. it is not only the heavy boment bardment and artillery. it is also the shortage of food,
water, lack of electricity. that's why all of the residences are leaving the province. yemen is breaking its diplomatic ties with iran. the president made the announcement on state television. it comes after saudi-lead coalition made significant gains over the houthi in the last week. benjamin netenyahu has named a shooting near an illegal jewish settlement in the occupied west bank on palestinian incitement. he says a couple was killed when a palestinian gunman opened fire on their car. the shooting comes as tennings between israelis and palestinians continues over the al aqsa mosque compound in occupied east jerusalem. >> translator: this is a hard day for the state of israel, we have witnessed a particularly
cruel and shocking murder in which two parents were murdered and their four little children orphaned as a result. my heart is with the children. all of our hearts are with the children and the family. the murders knew they were murdering a mother and father, the children were there. it has proved what incitement brings acts of terror and murder like we saw this evening. colombian police kill one of the country's most powerful drug traffickers. i'll be telling you about the government's grand plan to modernize this city by 2040, and that means all of this has to go. ♪
♪ reminder of our top stories. syria's deputy prime minister says his country will take part in u.n. preliminary peace talks. machine groups say at least 12 isil fighters have been killed by russia in syria. the taliban says its fighters are managing to maintain control of parts of kunduz after the afghan army began an offensive to retake the city. more information is emerging about the shooter who killed at least nine people at a college in the u.s. police have searched the home of the suspect. the u.s. media have identified as 26 year old chris mercer.
his social media profile indicated he was also fascinated by mass shootings by the ira. the u.s. president has responded with anger about how regular mass shootings have become the norm. >> somehow this has become routine. the reporting is routine. my response here at this podium ends up being routine. the conversation in the aftermath of it. we have become numb to this. we talked about this after columbine, and blacksburg, tucson, newtown, aurora, after charleston. it cannot be this easy for
somebody who wants to inflict harmon other people to get his or her hands on a gun. >> allen schauffler joins live now. what more do we know about the shooter and what actually happened in the college? >> reporter: well, they are still trying to piece that together. the college is about a kilometer down that road, the area remains sealed off. they have found a substantial amount of ammunition. they have also found several pages of what has been described as hate-filled note. the local sheriff has decided not to name chris mercer, he said that would bring him the notoriety that he sought. this is the local newspaper here, you can see the headline. just take a note of that picture, because it is also repeated in the usa today, the
same picture, the headline, college shooting, fourth since august, and it even makes the front page of the "wall street journal." so the police still trying to put together exactly what happened, a time line of what happened almost 24 hours ago at a quiet community college in a rural part of oregon. >> it's such a small community, i can only everyone knows somebody who is affected. how is everybody copes? >> reporter: well, when barack obama says things have become routine, he is right. but for the people here this is a day unlike any other. they have to deal deal with the horror of what happened, deal with the grief, they have to deal with the mourning, and the question, how could it happen here in how did this man manage to get to the college? did he really ask people are you a christian before he shot them
either in the head or leg. and they hope that law enforcement and the federal agencies that are here will be able to give them quick answer, because it is going to take a very long time to recover from what happened in a very short space of time. alan thank you. colombian police have killed one of the country's most powerful drug ptraffickers. he was also on the u.s. treasuries kingpin list and had a $5 million price on his head. early reports say several of his men were killed in the heavy fighting that happened with police. well, alexander joins me live now. what is the significance of this man's death? >> reporter: well, julie this is one of the biggest blows against drug trafficking in this
colombia in years, probably since 2012 when the colombian military were able to kill then leader of the farc. as you were saying the colombian military and the police were going after victor for months in the region in the northeast of colombia. it's a notoriously lawless region where a lot of the cocaine is grown, and from there usually moved to venezuela to be sent to central america or mexico. the operation went underway early on friday, and as you were saying, president santos confirmed the death via twitter. he also miraculously escaped another operation back in august where, according to the military, he was injured. he was notoriously cruel drug
trafficker, he was the head of a disdengeded faction of a rebel group that reached a deal with the colombian group back in the 1990s. he was also known for branding his many underaged lovers with tattoos of his face, sort of controlling them that way, and saying they were his property. so this is seen as a major victory for the colombian government in his war against traffickers. >> thank you. now at least ten people have been killed in a syrias of explosions in nigeria northeast. 39 others were injured when suicide bombers blew themselves up. boko haram has increasedly used suicide bombers to target people
in the city. 117 people were killed less than two weeks ago in wave of attacks there. >> reporter: the attacks came just hours after the nigerian military announced that 80 boko haram fighters have surrendered to the nigerian army. the fighters surrendered because of the increasing pressure being applied on them by nigerian troops alongside coalition forces in the northeast of the country. we have seen over the last few months how boko haram's ability to attack in the northeast has been degraded, but there have been isolated cases of attacks with devastating consequences in the northeast of the country. for example, few days ago there were reports by locals although this has not been confirmed by security services that boko haram fighter attacked in northeast nigeria.
we have seen little or no military or rather direct confrontation between boko haram and the nigerian military in terms of open warfare, however, we have seen also how over the last few monks civilians have been taking a lot of heat from these suicide bombers that have been going in the northeast of nigeria. the leader of the short-lived coup in burkina faso has handed himself in. he is being held at a police station near the capitol. he had sought refuge at the vat t can embassy. but on wednesday the army raided his barracks, and made further arrests. now an ambitious blueprint has been put forward to revitalize the capitol of rwanda. catherine soi has taken a look at the plans.
>> reporter: if all goes well, this city will look like this by 20 40. it's a master plan with a price. it's expected to cost billions of dollars. roughly half of the land is unusable, it's either wetland or steep slopes. >> it has to be utilized efficiently, so that we be able to accommodate people living now and the people to come tomorrow. we have to think about our future generations. that is very important. >> reporter: in the short-term, housing a priority. the present population of about 1.2 million people is expected to triple by 2040. in the new plan, all of these structures are expected to come down, and the place will be condos, apartments, and what many are worried about here, is
how much they will be compensated and whether they will be able to afford the new houses. this man shows me his property. it's an acre of land at the edge of the city center. in the new city these structures will not be allowed. >> translator: i have already planned to go elsewhere. i have another house up country, but i need to be well compensated. >> reporter: this is currently the largest residential project by a private investor, it's called vision city. there will be 4,500 units on completi completion. >> the primary goal was to teach people or to share with people how it is ideal to live as a community. yes, it is premium housing, and maybe not everybody will be able to acquire this property, but we are now looking into our phase
two which will then target low to middle income. the buying price is between 180 a $380,000. many rwandans can't afford this. there will be cheaper houses, but even government officials admit creating affordable homes is one of the greatest challenges. mexico's pacific coast beaches are prime nesting sites for hundreds of thousands of sea turtles, but their eggs are prized locally, and poefrps are increasingly capitalizing on a lack of policing. john holman explains. >> reporter: they arrive one by one, lit only by a sliver of moonlight. a million endangered turtles camber on to the beaches in southwest mexico each year, one of only two species to stage this mass invasion. they lay their eggs in quickly
dug holos. it's their only production against the dangers of the night. like these men known as horseman. they swoop on the eggs to sell as local del -- delicacies. it's illegal, but they say they have little choice. >> translator: i'm here because i need this work. we all have families. we don't have education or the papers to get the regular jobs. >> reporter: over 70% of the eggsen the beach were recently taken, and the number of the turtles worldwide have halved in the last 50 years. these eggs are also at risk from animals and birds, and that means that less than 1% of them are going to make it to
adulthood. middlemen sell the eggs for ten times or more what they pay the horsemen at the market. the illicit trade flourishes in full sight of the mayor's office. the navy used to guard these beaches year round, but was pulled off to battle mexico's cartels, only returning when massive numbers of turtles rife. now the government is stepping up protection efforts again. >> translator: we have just signed agreements with the navy, federal police, and the army to support us, and we are also using drones to protect the turtles. >> reporter: the government also offers work programs to give poachers other options, but while full-time jobs are scarce, and eggs plentiful, it is hard to resist temp ration. now nasa has released new
images from pluto's largest moon. the photos taken by the new horizon spacecraft reveal much more detail you can find out much more on our website, aljazeera.com. syria's deputy prime minister addresses the united nations. he says the country welcomes russia's intervention. meanwhile russia continues its bombing campaign and says it has hit isil targets inside syria. investigators search for answers in the oregon shooting as we learn more details about what happened from survivors. joaquin hits the bahamas. why the u.s. east coast isn't out of t