>> the iraqi army tries to recapture ramadi from isil but says it will take time. >> welcome, you're watching al jazeera live from doha. syria agrees on key points for peace talks as its foreign minister meets his chinese counterpart. a violent christmas eve across the west bank, four palestinians are killed after several attacks. storms sweep through the u.s. causing self deaths and travel chaos.
it is iraqi army has liberated big parts of ramadi. it says the advance is slowed by explosive devices left behind. >> as the days wear on, iraqi forces trying to retake ramadi have made a sobering admission, it will take time. the military's trying to overpower isil fighters who have been in control of the city since may. backed by airstrikes, ground troops are edging forward street by street towards the center. >> morale is high and god willing, we will keep advancing to retake the whole of the ramadi city. we are now at the main district and god willing, we will liberate the remaining part of ramadi.
>> iraqi intelligence said there are just a few hundred isil fighters left within the city parameters. they are proving a difficult foe. they have planted explosive booby traps capable of damaging 25-ton vehicles. this will slow advancing troops but hasn't stopped them. >> following the liberation of the area, the division started work to remove and diffuse bombs planted on the roads and in houses. all the bombs have been diffused. >> the iraqi government is confident that its security forces are in the final stages of this operation. >> there was a plan followed by the counter terrorism forces, isil has lost the balance of power and it doesn't know which direction they are being attacked by iraqi forces. >> ramadi is littered with rubble and shrapnel.
this is an urban battlefield and up to 10,000 civilians are thought to be trapped inside the city. the hope that is victory will come swiftly and with no further loss of life, but both seem unlikely. gerald tan, al jazeera. let's break this down for you. ramadi is the capital of anbar province, that is the biggest province in iraq. the capture of the city allowed isil to set up supply lines from syria to rack. it was able to bring fighters from its syrian stronghold of raqqa way up in the northwest through across the border to ramadi. seventy kilometers up the highway, fallujah is also under isil control. two cities are strategically important, because they are pretty much on the doorstep to the iraqi capital, baghdad. director of the iraqi institute for democracy and development says even if iraqi forces push
isil out of ramadi, they do still face resistance elsewhere. >> one of the factors which apparently they learned the lesson that in tikrit, once idlib rated with both the shia mobilization force took over and are actually ruling tikrit, now they are learned this lesson and they try to avoid any involvement by the shia mobilization force, however, muck the sunni tribesman, there are still inner squabble and fighting, who will control it. they are against the previous gone, against the council, so who will control it even among the sunni arabs in ramadi. this hasn't been decided yet. in addition to that, there's a bigger problem, because most of the isil who in fighting them are also part of the same tribes in anbar, so how they reconcile between these two within the party, how they will deal with them. in addition, what is the general vision, political approach to
the whole problem, if this will end in anbar, how about mosul, how about the rest? but no doubt, this is tactical victory for abadi government if they succeed in regaining ramadi, but it should not be considered as a changing the game in iraq. it is only a milestone. syria and china say they've agreed on key principles required for next month's peace talks in geneva. the syrian foreign minister is on a trip to beijing, which previously vetoed resolutions on syria in the u.n. the u.n. hopes talks lead to the formation of a national unity government. last friday, the u.n. security council unanimously approved a resolution endorsing an international roadmap for peace in syria. >> syria ready to participate in
the syrian dialogue in geneva without any foreign interference and our delegation will be ready as soon as we receive a list of the opposition delegation. >> we should stick to a peaceful resolution on the syrian issue, the people of syria should decide the future and fate of syria. u.n. plays a key role in negotiations. we agree that these three principles should be upheld throughout the whole peace process of syria. >> the china national association of international studies representative says the meeting between foreign ministers in china is important because beijing doesn't have an agenda when it comes to syria. >> china has good relations with almost all these major players who have one set of vested interest or another in syria. china can apply a higher level
of objectivity and i am partiality to the situation in syria. china can play an important and indispensable role and china may eventually win the trust and confidence of not only the syrian government right now, but also rebels in syria, but also more importantly, other major players who are now fighting their way out in the situation in syria. one thing is simple, that is peace should prevail in syria, rather than war and destruction. if peace will prevail, this will not only set a good example for people in syria, but it can also set a good example for other burning conflict in that part of the world. >> four countries received security warnings for christmas in areas of beijing, the chinese capital, police increased patrols in the diplomatic and
entertainment areas. the french embassy, britain's fortune office and australia office of foreign affairs received similar alerts. a huge fire killed 25 in saudi arabia. the place swept through the intensive care unit and maternity unit of a hospital. more than 100 were injured. it's taken 21 civil defense teams to battle the fire on the first floor of the building. an investigation is in and out underway. >> one person's been killed after israel forces fired shots at the refugee camp. that's between occupied east jerusalem and ar ramallah. the palestinian red crescent said one victim was shot in the head. it is the latest attack in the occupied west bank. earlier, israeli police fatally shot a palestinian after an attempted car ramming and in another incident, israeli police shot a man dead in hebron after he say he tried to stab israeli soldiers with a screwdriver.
one more palestinian was also shot and killed in the aerial settlement. police say he stabbed two security guards. violence that fled the start of october has led 125 palestinians and 20 israelis dead. >> the taliban is fighting for control of helmand province in afghanistan. the army has been surrounded by fighters after heavy fighting in the past few days. the key battleground has had british soldiers sent back to advice a year after they with draw from the region. we have this update. >> they are telling us that afghan special forces have been deployed and they are fighting in the bazaar and afghan security officials claim they have control of the district headquarters. we are talking about a very small area, the bazaar and
police headquarter is about 2,000 square meeters. that is where fighting is settle going on. taliban had big casualty last night and fighting is still going on. they have attempted reinforcement by road but we believe they haven't reached the area because on the road, there are a lot of area under control of taliban and a lot of i.e. de's and mine there. in helmand province, it's hard to say anyplace in this province or any district under control of taliban, even last year, capital of the province in district four of the capital, the fighting is going on and taliban are present strongly there. >> the taliban and their allies have various money making ventures, but opium is the most
profitable. afghanistan still produces nearly 90% of the world's supply of heroin. helmand province is rich in opium with an estimate of $3 billion a year. tons of the drug have been traded in this district. most is smuggled west and sold on the streets of europe. farmers are encouraged to grow poppies by providing tools, fertilizer and irrigation. as long as the harvest brings the farm either more cash than other crops, they'll have support. a political analyst said the taliban are not the only ones benefiting from the drug trade here. >> there's also another element involved in it, which is some of the corrupt government officials who also benefit from the traffic of drugs that are produced and then process'd to a certain extent and different
district in helmand. we can say there are a number of different parties involved in that production, so it's very difficult to say there is only one party who has control of an entire drug business in helmand or its districts in proximity. it's a huge amount of money. that is one reason conflict continues in this part of afghanistan for over a decade. the fact that the international forces left helmand, there is a better opportunity for taliban to have more access, more control over the cultivation of poppies and also a control on how to basically get more or generate more revenues out of it. >> still toe come here. >> we're regular americans, we're not white trash. >> when the american dream turns into a nightmare, when some mobile homeowners want better legal protection.
>> "inside story" takes you beyond the headlines, beyond the quick cuts, beyond the soundbites. we're giving you a deeper dive into the stories that are making our world what it is. >> welcome back. you're watching al jazeera, a quick rub through of our top stories for you. the iraqi military says it's liberated large parts of ramadi from isil. iraqi soldiers backed by tribal fighters began their push to recapture the area by thursday.
the syrian foreign minister has met his chinese counterpart in beijing. the u.n. hopes talks in january will lead to the formation of a national unity government. >> four palestinians have been killed across the occupied west bank. israeli forces say they were retaliating after being attacked by the men. it is the latest in a spate of violence which started in october. in total, 135 palestinians and 20 israelis have died in the region. >> the town of bethlehem in the occupied west bank gearing up for christmas day. >> in manger square, marching bands received tourists. the palestinian leaders decided to tone down festivities in other parts of the west bank this year because of the violence. >> live now to bethlehem. we've had three months of bubbling violence, but is anyone speculating why it's getting
worse just over the past 24 hours? >> a real spike in violence in the past 24 hours or so. just today, four palestinians have lost their lives in a series of i wants, including an incident at the columbia refugee camp in which a group of israeli forces stormed that refugee camp. open fire injuring five palestinians and killing one. there are also other incidents elsewhere in the occupied west bank which claimed the lives of three palestinians and just the night before in jerusalem, in occupied east jerusalem, there were a series of incidents which left two israelis dead as well as palestinians. it's interesting that the israelis did storm the columbia refugee camp. it is significant, because a number of the palestinians who had been included or at least involved allegedly that in violence come from the colombia refugee camp. it is close to one of israel's
checkpoints. it is a scene of major conflict and the refugee camp there has seen a lot of violence, not least today on christmas eve. manger square always a set piece event in the christian calendar and also in the palestinian kale, it should be said, as well. this year, it's all going to be rather subdued, turned down, if you will. >> those are the words that palestinian leaders have described the festivities that we've seen here in bethlehem and in manger square. they decided to tone down celebrations. still, there really does seem to be a sense here of people trying to celebrate christmas in the spirit of the holiday. there are many people out here, although we are behind me it's kind of emptied out here, that is because the christmas concert is going to start soon.
celebrations are going ahead for midnight mass in which the patriarch will be delivering the mass and sermon there. although it is a very heavy christmas, a very tense christmas and for many here, a very sad christmas, they are determined to celebrate this year in the holy land, indeed here in bethlehem, the birth place of jesus christ. >> thank you. >> storms sweeping across the u.s. killed six people. dozens were injured as tornadoes destroyed and damaged homes. in several states, people traveling home for the holidays found flights were delayed. we have this report. >> it's a bleak mid winter in mississippi. >> this towering funnel cloud is one of several tornadoes that have hit the state since the start of the week. the youngs evident person to die was a 7-year-old boy. he was in a car, which like this truck was picked up and thrown by the wind. >> we are looking still at that risk of tornado activity,
especially across tends and mississippi. keep in mind, there are 72 million people that will still see the chance of some sort of severe weather overnight. >> this is what some of them will be waking up to. >> houses are totally gone. they're it totally gone. >> every so often, nature likes to remind us that it wields the real power. 2015 has been one of those years. it's an el niño year, a phenomenon in which the warmest ocean waters move from the pacific around the philippines. >> they bank up against the americas. north america's offshore temperatures are two or three degrees above what they should be. that cold air from the rockies sweeps across the plain states meeting up with the warmth of the gulf of mexico. were this to happen in the spring or autumn, you'd expect
tornadoes, fine, but in december, it's a rare event. >> this time, the earth currents are making their presence felt, regardless of the holiday season. al jazeera. >> japan lifting an injunction, power plants have been trying to get power plants back on line. local residents argued it didn't meet safety standards, but a judge ruled it didn't pose a danger to people living nearby. 18 drowned after their boat sank off the turkish coast. six victims were children. rescuers managed to save 21 people, but one is still missing in the aegean. the group was headed for the greek island of lesbos. the italian navy rescued 100 refugees off the libyan coast. italian navy is seen here
approaching the dingy loaded with people. more than 200 refugees have been rescued from similar craft in this area of the mediterranean in recent days. >> the exodus to europe hasn't stopped in spite of the winter weather. more than 3.5 million syrian refugees sheltering in countries which neighbor syria. hundreds of thousands more have made the journey to europe and then applied for asylum. most take the west balkans route traveling through greece and macedonia on to syria. hungary was the preferred route but when they built a razor wire fence, refugees were diverted through croatia and slovenia. the slovenian government said it was temporary and designed to steer refugees toward controlled entry points. since the refugee crisis began
many have tried to help them rebuild their lives. one group of refugees is doing it for themselves. they are musicians, busy recording a c.d. to help others. we dropped in on a recording session in brussels. ♪ >> a few days ago, they hadn't met, yet now these men from singing and playing traditional playing traditional songs from their home lands in far away belgium. on the boreder with macedonia, he told us he had to leave his lute behind. some kind europeans raised the money for a new one and now he awaits his asylum hearing, he uses his music to help forget the journey he has had to make.
>> when i touch the instrument, there's a lot of things go away. music means everything for me. ♪ >> he was a t.v. star in his native pakistan, playing classical music. when he tried to set up a music school in his home, the taliban came and told him it was forbidden and they wouldn't tell him twice. >> a lot of musicians has been threatened and has been injured, and they try to kill them, also. you can see all those, most of them leave the country, most of them could not continue singing, they stopped playing music.
>> on guitar is basil from damascus. he made the journey late this summer, and carried his guitar with him all the way, singing for the other refugees. ♪ >> we play music our feelings, what happened with us or how we live in damascus. that's all. >> the people helping organize this are close to their target of $13,000 to print the c.d.s. concerts are also planned. in a europe increasingly hostile to all refugees, it is perhaps a reminder of how war affects all of us, even the most talented. >> not bad. >> lawrence lee, al jazeera, brussels.
>> the ukrainian parliament voted in favor of a trading embargo with russia. politicians say it's in response to a similar decision by moscow last week, russia announcing it would suspend a free trade zone next month. more than 20 million people live in mobile homes in the united states. most of them don't own the land their homes sit on and they have few rights as tenants. in the second part of our special series, we have been talking to those who want more legal protection. >> then it ends up being worse. >> she has lived in her mobile home 13 years. she liked it so much, she was planning to buy another nearby for her children. >> we were in the process of looking when we got the notice. >> that notice from her mobile home park informed her it would close to build million dollar homes in its place. then her husband lost his job.
now they're both out of work. the home is not movable and they owe $17,000 on it. >> it's either going to go in the garbage or it will go back at the bank and they'll have to figure out what to do with it. we are not children, home makers, school teachers, we're just dollar signs, just because we live in a mobile home and not in a stick built house. we wanted to live a nice life and have nice things for our kids. >> for the homeowners of the trailer park, it is the indignity suffered over and over. >> trailer trash! >> if your richest relative buys a new house and you have to help take the wheels off of it, you may be a redneck. >> when trailer park owners sell the land, those with homes on it, people like joe get nothing. >> we're regular americans, we're not white trash. we have chosen to own our own home and a lot of people work all their lives.
what is happening in society is people in a lower bracket are excluded from i think having their own american dream, which is very sad. >> for-profit mobile home park owners didn't agree to talk to us. perhaps because they have little reason to. in most u.s. states there are no protections, the landowner can sell at will, raise the rent and even dictate how a tenant's garden should look. mobile homes are not mobile. >> they are not mobile. they are mobile getting from the factory to the site, but not intended to move again and there is nowhere to move to, so they're losing everything, all their equity and may still have a mortgage on that home. i call them prisoners in their own homes. >> these homeowners were notified that this park is about to close next spring, so by then, all 32 homes will have to either be torn down or moved at the owner's expense. one homeowner had just bought
two weeks before the notice. the park owner didn't mention that when they moved in. al jazeera, seattle. in part three of that series we'll move from mobile homes to vans. it's often a lack of retirement savings that leaves aging americans no alternative but to live in their vehicles. some congregate in the arizona desert for the winter. >> processions are taking place around the world to celebrate the prophet mohammed. in sanna, they are celebrating. fighters carried out security checks. the war in yemen is in its 10th month now. ♪ muslims in the libyan city marked the anniversary chanting hymns and playing traditional music. the music and dancing is taking
place despite the on going conflict there. planned celebrations in tripoli were canceled by the government due to fear of attacks. >> you can keep up to date with all our top stories on the website aljazeera.com. you can also talk to me on twitter. we're moments away from all the top stories. about innovations that can change lives. wildfire. >> we are going to explore the intersection of humanity and doing it in an unique way. this is a show about science by scientists. tonight "tech know" journeys into the jungle, this is one of the iconic animals of costa-rica with post cards of this thing.