syria's government thanks russia for bombing isil while urging the west to coordinate with its forces. ♪ hello, you are watching al jazeera live from london. also coming up. >> this is a political choice that we make to allow this to happen every few months in america. >> the u.s. president represents his sadness and frustration. one of the most wanted drug traffickers is killed in the jungles of colombia.
plus -- i'm john holman on mexico's south pacific coast where hundreds of turtles arrive each year, but the majority of their eggs are being stolen. ♪ syria's top diplomat has told world leaders that air strikes against the so-called islamic state of iraq and the levant in his country are useless unless they are coordinated with government forces. he addressed the u.n. general assembly saying that only russia is havingen an impact against isil because it was invited to intervene. >> translator: terrorism cannot be fought only from the air, and all of the previous operations to combat it have only lead to further outbreak. air strikes are useless unless
they are conducted in cooperation with the syrian arab army. >> our diplomatic editor james bayes has more from the united nations. >> president assad doesn't come to this gathering of world leaders, instead he sends every year this man. who told the general assembly that he fully supports the russian air strikes in syria because they are properly coordinated with his military, a military that he says remains strong. >> translator: i say syria will continue to fight terrorism in word and indeed, and the arab syrian army is capable of cleansing the country of those terrorists. despite all of the sacrifices and high prices paid and that we are still paying.
>> reporter: a very different view comes from the opposition. >> russians came to help bashar al-assad and to prolong his lifeline. >> reporter: so do you think if russia had not started these air strikes and moved some of its forces to that base in latakia, that assad was on the verge of collapse? >> that's right. he was about collapsing. >> reporter: in his speech the depu deputy prime minister said his government would be prepared potentially to go back to the negotiating table. he said his government cooperated fully in peace talks in geneva last year. although most believe those talks broke down, because the syrian government were unprepared to discuss political transition in syria.
>> let's look in more detail at what is going on in syria. according to monitoring groups the air strikes in the isil strong hold killed 12 fighters. during its third day of strikes the russians again targeted other syrian rebel groups. turkey has asked russia to stop attacking those groups. it says moscow's military intervention will only make matters worse. meanwhile the presidents of russia and france have met to discuss their military operations as they try to overcome differences other from bashar al-assad should stay in power. >> reporter: the russian defense ministry says it is destroying isil command and control centers along with arms dumps. >> translator: the russian air strikes are determined only very thorough reconnaissance. >> reporter: but on the ground the syrian opposition tells
darnth story. it says russia air strikes have been targeting civilians and armed groups opposed to the government of bashar al-assad, and that the aerial campaign is part of operations to launch a ground counter offensive. >> 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. now there is information of possible planned operation being prepared. >> reporter: the air strikes have concentrated on front line areas that surround president assad's heartland. one target was only recently captured by opposition forces. it had been one of the last government strong holds in idlib province. it is not only close to the heartland, but also an important hub for sending government reinforcements to the province.
further east there is also a battleground. here the government has struggled to maintain a grip on a region that leads to the sea. and the northern countryside of homs is a last strong hold between damascus and the rest of the country. the government said the aim of the air strikes was to help the syrian government. it is not clear if the air strikes will be able to change the balance of power on the ground, if it is not ak -- accompanied by a group operation. >> translator: washington does want to end the war and the situation is more complicated. the west is colluding with russia. what is happening now is efforts to end our revolution. >> reporter: opponents 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. where president assad could negotiate a settlement from a position of strength. as questions mount over who moscow is targeting, president putin has always been discussing the crisis in ukraine. he and president hollande were joined in paris by the leaders russia and ukraine. neave barker has been following this talks in paris for us, and has the latest. >> reporter: this was the first contact between putin and western powers since russia began aerial targets in syria, but they were focusing on the
ukraine situation. an accord largely fell to the wayside. now as the french and german leaders have suggested all sides are willing to put some of these 13 points listed in the minks agreement into practice, including the withdraw of heavy weaponry, focusing on reestablishing the border between russia and ukraine, and also elections in parts of eastern ukraine under separatists control. sec conciliation, though, is still very much a long way down the road. the french president also addressed the war in syria, saying that russia must focus its military action on isil targets. >> translator: we must work with russia, with the u.s., with iran, turkey, and gulf countries, all countries, and
find a political solution in syria. regarding russia's air strikes, not all countries are involved. but what i reminded putin of is russia must focus solely on targeti targeting is. high level talks have failed to come up with a peace plan for libya. the two rival governments haven't agreed to a peace deal that was drown up by the u.n., u.s., and other member states. the u.s. secretary of state john kerry says he hoped agreement could be reached soon. >> there is no time to waste. we all know the threats that further hesitation will bring. libya has already suffered economically, socially and
politically, and its people have been hurt terribly. they deserve better and the path is open for them to now achieve better, but each party has to live up to the responsibility of this critical moment, and that means reaching agreement on the names of new leaders, not tomorrow, not next week, but now. this can happen here. and we hope that the process can be completed within a very small number of days. >> let's get more now from kristen kristen saloomey. a sense of frustration there from john kerry. what are the sticking points at the moment? >> reporter: well, there as you say an agreement on the table, a plan that the united nations has worked out, by neither side has yet to sign on. the general national congress said that it has a number of minor sticking points, but one
major one is that they want sharia law enshrined as the law of the land in libya, and they say that's what the people of libya want. the other side says they are ready to endorse this deal, but it has to go back to tobruk where the nationally recognized government is based. we're hearing the united states and united nations saying the time for negotiations is over, but need to sign up, but at the end of the day, the power is in the hands of these two groups. they have to come to anning a greem or there's no agreement. >> right. and the urgency of the situation underscored by the violence in libya. the u.n. has been speaking about that as well? >> reporter: for sure, some half of the population is in need of some form of humanitarian assistance. the government institutions are not functioning, education, and
so on, and there is also wider concern for the region as well. the country has become a hub for human trafficking. isil has taken root in libya, and it is feared that the country could become a safe haven for that. the united nations is concerned about not only the people of libya, but also on the stability of the wider region. >> kristen thank you very much. there is much more still to come for you on al jazeera, we'll have the latest from afghanistan, as taliban fighters battle with the army for control of kunduz. plus . . . >> i'm katherine soy in rwanda's capital. i'll tell you about the government's grand plan to modernize this city by 2040, and that means all of this has to go. ♪
>> welcome back. let's take you through our top stories. syria's foreign minister has said his country will take part in u.n. preliminary peace talks. monitoring groups say at least 12 isil fighters have been killed in air strikes by russia over the islamic state's strong hold. and russia's president has been discussing the crisis in ukraine along with other world leaders. the taliban says it is retaking
parts of kunduz. afghan troops recaptured much of the city of thursday, but the taliban say they have pushed them back. in that claim is being denied by the government. the taliban said it shot down a u.s. plane on thursday night, killing 11. our correspondent filed this update for us earlier. >> reporter: we're hearing there is heavy fighting going on right now, afghan security forces confirming to us that they have received their reinforcements from kabul, and tonight they are going to launch their biggest attack on kunduz. but the residents of the area 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 neighbor province theres 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 neighbor provinces. residences of kunduz province are now leaving, because we talked with couple of them they are telling that life is impossible to survive in kunduz city anymore. it is not only the heavy bombardment and artillery. it's also the shortage of food, water, lack of electricity. tunisia's president has lifted a state of emergency. he put the special laws in place in response to the attack in june in the resort city. 38 people died when a loan gunman opened fire on the tourists. moving to iraq now where the
most influential shia cleric has called on world powers to support his country's fight against the islamic state of iraq and the levant. he was speaking through an aid after nationally televised friday prayers. it comes a way after abadi said he welcome russian air strikes in his country. >> reporter: the trip to new york has two parts, the first is the speech to the u.n. general assembly, and the second part is participating in an international conference on terrorism. but it is really about defeating isil. his theme at the speech will be one of trying to unite all of the different countries in coming together to defeat isil.
he'll want a lot more cooperation between all of the international partners in defeating isil. we'll also be looking for a solution to the problem of isil within syria as well, because they are both linked at the counter terrorism conference, we'll be looking for much more concrete measures. he'll be asking the international community to step up in logistics, arms, and military help. there are significantly different positions for a lot of the partners in the coalition against isil particularly when it comes to russia and the u.s. now the united nations secretary general ban ki-moon has called for the u.s. to take action to reduce gun violence following thursday's mass shooting where nine students were shot dead at a college campus u.s. media as identified the shooter as chris mercer.
the community college has remained cordoned off as investigations into the attack continue. politicians in oregon have spoken out after the incident calling for gun reform. >> for the future, it is clear that it does have to be about more than words and good intentions if this carnage is to finally end. as a country, we cannot just shrug our shoulders and move on. in my view, ending these massacres is going to require compromise. compromise that is about rights and responsibilities. gun owners have rights under the law, and there must be responsibilities if these massacres are going to end.
allen schauffler filed this update. >> reporter: this college is just about a kilometer where from i'm standing remains sealed off. police have taken weapons, a flak jacket, and what has been described as a hate letter. he admired the nazis and admiration for the ira. we also know the people in the building at the time, there was one woman we spoke to who heard the first bang, and then realized it was a shot and decided to get out and run to safety. >> i was running -- going as far as i could, getting away from that building. i went to the student center, and i hid in the financial aid office. there were a lot of other people there too. we were in lockdown for about 45 minutes, until we were told we
could come out, but we had to stay in the building. >> reporter: he heard from a former soldier who was a student in the school, who confronted the shooter when he heard the gunshots. he tried to talk him out of what he was doing, and ended up being shot three times. he is now in critical situation in hospital. this will lead to greater calls for gun controls in the united states, but after what happened at sandy hook it's unlikely since that wouldn't move public opinion this is unlikely to as well. this was the first since the shooting on wednesday in south dakota where an assistant principal tackled a gunman before he could wreak any havoc. colombian police have killed one of the country's most powerful drug traffickers. he had been followed by the
colombian military for months. he had a $5 million price on his head. the same assel chapo who escaped from a mexican jail in july. several of his men were also killed in heavy fighting with police. we spoke to our correspondent who has been following the story for us. >> reporter: this was the biggest blow against drug trafficking in colombian, at least since 2012, when they were able to kill the leader of the frac. it was the president of colombia who confirmed the death of victor in an operation that went underway early on friday in the northeastern region, this is a notoriously lawless region near the border with venezuela, where a lot of the coca crops are grown.
he was known for being a ruthless drug king pen. very cruel against his enemy. the military was after him for months and he miraculously escapes another operation against him back in august when he was also injured. he was also known for his obsession for gold weapon and young underage women which he would brand with tattoos of his face on their arms and legs. this is definitely a major victory for the colombian government and the military and sends a message to any eventual farc leader who might be thinking to continue operations in drug trafficking when an eventual peace deal is reached. an am by ambitious blueprint has been put forth for
the revitalization of the rwandan capitol. >> reporter: it is master plan with a price. the overhaul is expected to cost billions of dollars. roughly half of the land is unusable. it is either wetland or steep slopes so every available space will be needed to make the vision a reality. >> 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 generation. that is very important. >> reporter: housing is a priority. the population is expected to triple by 2040. all of these shops are expected to come down and in their place will be condos apartments,
commercial blocks. but people will worried about how much they will be compensated and whether or not they will be able to afford the new houses. this man shows me his property. an acre of land at the edge of the city center. he has built houses that are rented out, but 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 the largest private project by a private investor. there will be 4,500 units, a greated community, town center, and schools. >> the primary goal was to teach or share with people how it is ideal to live as a community. yes, it is premium housing, but
we are now looking into our phase two, which will target low to middle income. >> reporter: the buying price is between 180 and $380,000. many rwandans can't afford this. there will be cheaper houses but government officials say creating affordable homes one of the greatest call -- challenges. mexico's breaches are prime territory for sea hurtle hatchings. john holman reports. >> reporter: they arrive one by one, lit only by a sliver of moonlight. the endangered turtles camber on to the beaches each year, one of only two species to stage this
mass invasion in nesting season. they lay their legs in quickly dug hollows. it's their only protection against the dangers of the night, like these men known as horsemen. they scour the beach swooping on eggs to sell as local delicacies even as the mothers day them. it's illegal, but the men from poor and isolated communities 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 eggs on the beach were recently taken, and the number of turtles worldwide has halved in the past 50 years. apart from hue plan predators they are also at risk from
animals and birds, and that means that less than 1% of them will make it to adulthood. middlemen tell the eggs for ten times or more what they play the horsemen 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. 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 occasional work programs to give the poachers other options, but it's hard to resist temptation.
john holman, al jazeera, mexico. now nasa has released new images from pluto's largest moon. the photos taken by the new horizon spacecraft reveal much more detail. the moon is covered in mountains and canyons. >> new dawn in beijing, the ancient capital of the world's fastest growing country, home to the 2008 olympics. it's the vibrant centre, the super power, where the old wrestles with the new. communism clashes with capitalism and a new global economy is born, swallowing all in its past. but one thing about its people never changes...