♪ afghan forces are still not as strong as they need to be. >> in a dramatic shift of strategy president obama announces that u.s. troops will stay in afghanistan to combat a resurging taliban. ♪ hello, i'm mary ann and you are watching al jazeera live from london and also coming up, a syrian army launches a major offensive north of the strategic city of homs. eu leaders agree a multi before dollar deal with turkey to help
stem the flow of syrian refugees to europe andr, graffiti messag written on the set of the hit u.s. t.v. show. ♪ the u.s. president has announced a major shift in policy in afghanistan saying more troops will now remain on the ground there through 2017. president obama says afghan forces are doing well but they are still not strong enough. roslyn jordan has more. >> reporter: the u.s. president wanted to leave office with almost no troops deployed in afghanistan but circumstances have forced barack obama to give up that goal. 5500 troops will be stationed around afghanistan after 2016. >> the mission will not change. our troops will focus on training afghans and counter terrorism operations but these bases will give us the presence
and the reach our forces require to achieve their mission. >> reporter: right now there are about 9800 u.s. troops in afghanistan. their training and providing battlefield advice. under the president's original plan the number of troops who dropped to about 1,000 by the end of 2016. the political pressure on obama to cancel the troup draw down has been building for sometime and on wednesday more than 30 former u.s. officials sent him a letter warning of chaos if u.s. troops leave. >> i think it would be a great loss for all of us if a too rapid withdraw of american capabilities and counter terrorism capabilities led to a deterioration in the situation just as a new president is coming into office. >> key factors say analysts the taliban's temporary take over of kunduz city and continuing the stability in iraq. >> the obama administration is
also probably taking a hard look at their plan for withdraw in light of what happened in iraq and the pace at which we pulled out of iraq. without saying whether it was the right or the wrong call in iraq i'm sure it's raising some red flags when we look at the disengagement timeline for afghanistan. >> last year president obama made a promise to young military officers. >> you are the first class to graduate since 9/11 who may not be sent into combat in iraq or afghanistan. [applause] preventing afghanistan's disintegration means obama is breaking that promise both to the troops and his political legacy. roslyn jordan, al jazeera, washington. al jazeera's jennifer glasse is in the afghan capitol for us and says the extension of the u.s. mission will be welcome news for the afghan government. >> reporter: it comes against a back drop of resurging taliban fighting not only in the north and kunduz taliban taking kunduz
city their former stronghold, holding it for three full days and having a presence there for almost two weeks before withdrawing from the city in afghan and taking that back but we also saw fighting in the south, the taliban taking control of the main highway between kabul and kandahar for several days stranding thousands of afghan travelers there and crippling any transit between the two major cities in afghanistan and also in zobel and helman they attacked checkpoints and afghan security checkpoints killing more than 20 afghan policemen this week and the afghan security forces were able to repel an attack on gazni city but taliban making their presence very much known around afghanistan, afghan security forces will have the help of u.s. forces for another year at least. >> reporter: updating you on that bit of breaking news that we had earlier from nigeria, several explosions at a mosque in the northeast of the country
took place in gaduzri in a particular part of borno state where the government has been trying to calm the situation there, ongoing violence and we have the latest now from the capitol of borno state. >> reporter: well, basically two suicide bombers apparently attacked muslim worshippers in the mosque as they were praying and one of the bombs went off inside the mosque and the other outside of it. officials are putting the total number of it as 14. but actually on the scene people are saying at least 25 people have been killed in the twin explosions, 26 others have been injured. the force of the blast according to eyewitnesses has destroyed the mosque while worshippers were praying and probably who may be having more number of de
dead. >> israel is continuing to expand security operation in east jerusalem and the occupied west bank 32 palestinians and 7 israelis killed since the beginning of october and al jazeera mike hanna has more on how israel's measures are impacting people's lives. >> reporter: intense security at entrances to the old city. police ordering palestinians to lift their shirts, some instructed to remove their shoes. but this group waving israeli flags passes through unchecked. the security clamp down is directly related to the degree of anxiety among jewish israelis. false alarms about impending attacks sparked panic in a number of locations in israel and have been several reports of israelis with dark complexions being attacked by fellow jews after they were mistaken for palestinians. >> security forces work together with the members of public who
have a wide and large understanding of the security issues involved and also are aware of the tense period that we are in at the moment. there is definitely not panic. >> reporter: but even the police spokesman is wearing a stab vest. >> personal safety is important and walk around with a religious man and therefore have to be careful both being jewish, religious and a police officer, i could be targeted. >> reporter: occupied east jerusalem a number of neighborhoods have been sealed off and all residents having to pass through police checkpoints. this barrier adds at least an hour of commuting time for those needing to go to work or university. only a handful of individuals have been involved in the attacks and the dominant emotion among residents here is anger that so many are being made to pay for the actions of so few. mohamed is a prominent community leader here and he voices the frustration of his fellow residents. >> translator: netanyahu was
putting pressure on the palestinian people and the people of jerusalem. this pressure will create a bigger explosion. it won't calm things down. to calm things down you need a political decision, not a security one. >> reporter: the warning that this punishment of the people, the structured humiliation may threaten the very security israel contends it is designed to enforce. mike hanna, al jazeera, occupied east jerusalem. well despite a new security measures more violence has broken out in the west bank city of bethlehem. [gunfir [gunfire] palestinians and israeli car was hit by a molotov cocktail and burnt cars and threw stones and tear gas. bolstering security on the border with gaza and deploying two batallions there and took part in a sin a solidarity rall
we have more on the comments by the prime minister benjamin netanyahu. >> he wanted talks with the palestinian president all in the context of the u.s. secretary of state john kerry visiting imminently israel to try and solve the crisis out and he is not optimistic the likelihood of the two leaders actually meeting is well remote it has to be said but there is a possibility that king abdullah from jordan could become involved and there could be something to go on with that. netanyahu went on in this briefing very thoroughly to accuse the palestinian president of lying and the context of this was a full presentation to the international media claiming that there was provocation, there was incitement from the palestinians over the attacks
and the way that the local media, the palestinian media and indeed social media were projecting what was happening inciting youth into violence. there has been a response from the palestinians, the plos and aracat has said what happened here was a failed attempt to distract from the palestinians suffering and the children were systematically targeted all the time by israel. in developments elsewhere the syrian army has launched its long awaited offensive in northern homs countryside and it's focused on two areas on a highway that links the provinces of homs and hanna and wants the route to bring supplies to battles up north especially in the cities of idlib and aleppo and wants to secure a corridor between strongholds along the coast and the capitol damascus and dana has more. >> reporter: the battle in
northern homs countryside has begun. rebel held towns are coming under fire. this is a coordinated assault between the syrian army on the ground and the russian airforce. it is the second offensive of its kind since the military intervention of russia. its airforce is providing support to its allies on the ground as they try to advance into opposition territory. but civilians are caught in the midd middle. >> translator: this is a civilian area. i.s.i.l. is not here, you russian dogs, the whole world should see this. >> reporter: activists are reporting fighters as well as civilians are being killed and injured. tens of thousands of people live there. many of them displaced from fighting elsewhere in the country and this corner of syria has been surrounded by the army for years. the only roads out lead to government-controlled territory. >> translator: people are afraid, people have started to leave the areas that are being hit but they can't leave the
countryside because all the roads are blocked, there is only one route out but it's under government control and people are afraid they will be arrested if they go there. >> reporter: the syrian military says the aim of the offensive is to end the presence of what it calls terrorists and restore security and stability recapturing the homs countryside would help the government secure territory linking its seat of power in damascus to its popular base, the coastal alo white heart land. >> translator: homs is the area they want to control and center syria and roads lead across the country. it's important for the regime and for the opposition because this is the capitol of the revolution and we will fight until the end. >> reporter: the opposition is also under attack on other fronts, the northern hama countryside and southern areas in the nearby providence of idlib are battle grounds and there are reports of a major ground opposition being planned around the northern city of
aleppo. the homs offensive is linked to a broader military campaign that began two weeks ago when russia started air strikes targeting opposition controlled areas in the west of the country. the syrian government and its allies are on the offensive and for now have stopped rebel advances in the area. this is one of the biggest military operations against the opposition in years. the immediate aim is to recapture territory and weaken the opposition. it's also about using force to bring about political concessions. daa with al jazeera beirut. ahead for you on al jazeera a diplomatic balancing act and why south korea is playing piggy in the middle between the united states and china. and why surviving snake bites may become difficult in some parts of africa. ♪
♪ welcome back, you are with al jazeera, top stories for you now, president obama has announced plans to keep u.s. troops stationed in afghanistan beyond 2016 delays plans to completely withdraw from the country. at least 14 people have been killed in a mosque in northeastern nigeria and some report the death toll is higher and took place in the area of borno state in the northeast of the country. israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu says he is open to meeting the palestinian president with unrest with israeli and palestinians and comments come as israeli expand
the military presence in jerusalem. now, in stories we are following reports are coming to us from brussels of a proposed deal between the european union and turkey, and stem the flow of refugees trying to cross into europe. and lee barker has been following developments for us outside the summit in brussels. >> reporter: well, a deal may be on the table even if a final agreement does for the time being at least seem a long way off. according to reports about this deal in return for receiving $3.4 billion in aid turkey would in response increase the level of incentives available for people arriving in turkey from the likes of syria to remain within turkey rather than automatically heading in the direction of the eu and talking about i'm improvements to living standards and incentives to remain in the country and also access to the labor market,
allowing people to work too. also attached to this deal that is on the cards is the potential for the liberalization of turkish visas allowing up to 75 million turks to be able to travel more freely across the eu. this of course is divided opinions within europe. the french president had some concern about this but under the current situation where we found the eu pushed in a corner and desperately needing to find a solution to the refugee crisis it seems like this deal that is being discussed could be the only workable solution being presented now any time soon. look now for you at some of the other main stories of the day, scottish prosecutors say they identified two libyans as suspect in the bombing and believe the pair were involved in bringing down the pan am plane in 1988 which 270 people were killed. scottish prosecutors and u.s. attorney general want to work
with the libyan authorities to interview the suspects in tripoli, the only person convicted of the attack died in 2012. and they will recall 8.5 million cars over an emissions scandal and promoted by the watchdog who early ordered checks on 2.4 million domestic cars fitted with software designed to cheat emissions test and the scandal first uncovered in the united states already wiped billions of dollars off the value of the german company. south korea's president is in washington ahead of a summit with her u.s. counterpart, barack obama and harry faucet reports from seoul balancing the relationship between the united states and china is proving an increasingly delicate task. >> reporter: south korea's president began her postponed u.s. visit paying tribute to veterans of the korean war, the shared find that is the reference.for alliance between
the two nations but it's showing some present day strains and last month he was in beijing and honored guests as china celebrated 70 years since world war ii and to improve the political relationship with china to match the vital economic interests there risk unsettling her country's main ally >> on the one hand china has enormous ties with the south koreans and as we have with americans and realize that china will grow with the unification prospects but it is critical for south korea to understand our biggest leverage comes from our ties with the americans. >> reporter: one of the most sensitive issues is the u.s. desire to deploy its terminal high altitude area defense antimissile system. taking you live to that eu summit that has been taking place in brussels where of course there have been negotiations on how to stem the flow of refugees coming into europe. let's listen in.
>> joint action plan to tackle the migrant crisis. our intensified meetings with turkish leaders in brussels and koran and new york in the last couple of weeks were under going the flows that go via turkey to the eu. the action plan is a major step in this direction, still it is clear from the very start and agreement of turkey makes sense only if activity has the flow of refugees and i will thank the commission for their great work in the association, the action plan. it's a really demanding and difficult issue and we were -- all of us are really impressed because of this effectiveness and impressive pace. thank you very much, mr. president. we agreed to work on an
integrated management system that will go beyond the next mandate. in the coming months the agency will be developed into a more operational body. our aim is to give them the right to return regular migrants on it's own initiative and make it more proactive in protesting the borders. in the meantime member states would be ready to send more to eu to secure the hotspot area in greece and italy. progress on german security is in my opinion a very important achievement of tonight. that's because i have advocated the need to protect the eu's borders but because it is our first obligation to protect the european community and guaranty the publics. we have made a step in this direction. third, we also discussed broader
challenges in order to be ready for a new influx of refugees next year. we had debate on the future of the top immigration, on eu border guard system and on the specific role of hot spots. these are all the issues and the goal today was to have a first serious exchange of views on them. if we are not able to find humanitarian efficient solutions then others will find solutions which are in humhuman and for s not european. and finally on britain, i briefly found a preparatory discussion between my officials and the uk over the last month. we welcome prime minister cameroon's comment to set out the uk specifics in writing by early november. thank you.
>> mr. president, dear donald, i have only a few remarks to add to the remarks that he just made. i have one objective today, that was to lead member states back to the promises they made on the 23rd of september. and we are as far as the total amounts of our financial efforts in the refugee and consent, we are looking euros to be provided by member states. the commission after the elastin forming the council was put into the meditation of the parliament a support men moment of 1.7 billion for this year and next year and it has been agreed by european parliament for 2015 is
concerned and they are lacking behind and the promise today that they will much, the contribution of the commission that means money coming from the european money done so i don't think this will be coming in the next coming weeks and we asked the luxembourg to make sure the amounts we are speaking about will come in the next coming wee weeks. >> as regards turkey done has covered the main points. when president was here in brussels on the 5th of october with the presidents and myself and then we were able to continue our negotiations yesterday. i sent the vice president and first vice president to turkey
to take fresh negotiations with their turkish counterparts following the events at last week and there were three days of mourning so the negotiations were deferred. we received a report very early this morning that there had been an outcome of these negotiations and we were then able to reach agreement this evening as regards the exact shape of which this giant action plan will take. the joint action plan that pursues the two objectives. >> to stay in turkey is important and the second point is preventing refugee and migrants from traveling through turkey to come to the european union. i know that we debate and requests elsewhere about the financial amount we are ready to provide for this will be part of the discussions we will have in the next coming days under the leadership of the vice president
with turkey. >> thank you very much. i now open the floor for your questions as always, please state your name and the media you represent before asking your questions and the gentleman on the right side matthew? >> thank you very much matthew and president you said yesterday that it was time for david cameron to tang go and seems to have brought his dancing shoes this afternoon, this is a very significant victory for you because you asked him to come up with some documents and he said he will, are you pleased and could you go into some detail about what you want to hear from him in terms of detail and specificity of his agenda when he produces these documents in november? >> no.
[laughter] when i was referring to tango it wasn't an invitation to dance, not only to the dance coming from the island but also for the continental dances. i had a very good friendly, polite, constructive meeting with david cameron today. >> thank you very much, next question. >> that disappointed you we had a good meeting. >> sorry, mark and it's a question here and i'm in front of you. it's about the financial part and you said your main aim was to bring the member states back of the heads of state back to the 23rd of september. two questions. this is very difficult to make them do it and second maybe more important how can you be sure that like you just said within a few weeks the money will be as i
say committed? thanks. >> it was not very difficult. i had the opportunity to explain to all those what they are promised on the 23rd of september so i was really out the conclusions of the former council and i was growing the attention of colleagues to the fact that the different trust funds and we have launched on the 23rd of september. >> so we have been listening to donald tusk president of the council and the eu commission talking about the refugee crisis in the eu and the crucial border security and joint action plan with turkey, of course turkey being the main transit point for the many hundreds of thousands of refugees who have crossed from turkey into the eu. we know that an agreement has been reached that essentially the eu essentially turkey is going to cooperate with the eu
in preventing refugees from making that initial journey and we know the eu is going to transfer some money to ankora perhaps to the tune of $3.4 billion and we don't have a precise figure for that yet, negotiations will continue. you will find more here on al jazeera.com. ♪ two people, one patch of land and permanently contradictory visions of the future. tensions have been rising in jerusalem and israeli occupied areas captured in the 1967 war and still disputed territory. pal palestinians are attacking and promised land?