this is bbc world news, the headlines: as theresa may tries to form a working government despite losing her majority in the uk general election, a party from northern ireland has agreed in principle to help her party get its programme through parliament. two key aides to mrs may have resigned amid reports that senior members of the governing conservative party had threatened to spark a leadership challenge unless they went. american special forces are helping the philippine army fight islamist insurgents in the southern city of marawi. the us involvement comes after months of hostility towards washington by the philippines president, rodrigo duterte. the queen mary ii cruise liner is helping in a major rescue in the mid—atlantic after yachts taking part in a race were hit by a huge storm. at ten o'clock, we ll have a full roundup of the day s news. first it's our world: football on the front line. they are the unlikely
sporting heroes in a country ripped apart by conflict. syria is in the midst of a bloody civil war but the national football team is trying to send a message it hopes can transcend political and religious differences. i am following the team as they compete for a place in football's biggest tournament, the world cup. some syrians refused to support the team because it is associated with the assad regime. but for others, even those who have fled for their lives, the team is a symbol of national pride. the team has defied the odds by beating some
of asia's biggest and best. now they are on the road again competing for so much more than just football glory. it is friday afternoon in damascus, and the weekend is under way. prayers in the morning, and like so many places around the world, football in the afternoon. it is here that i meet tarek, assistant coach
of syria's national team. i am joining him as he watches a low—key fixture in syria's premier league, which is also attempting to carry on despite the conflict. syrian football fans have much to cheer about right now. their national side has performed beyond expectations, as they try to qualify for next year's world cup in russia. economic sanctions mean the country and therefore football has little money. what cash there is comes from the assad government, keen to use football to give the impression of a united, functioning state. need somebody to support him, ourfederation, our government. our equipment, our conditions, not what we want. syrian government officials are keen to show us that
football is flourishing. let's go and meet the man who can tell us more about this. it is half—time, and tarek introduces me to his boss, the head coach of the national football team and the man responsible for their recent good results. you beat china 1—0. you drew with south korea. there is a real opportunity here for syria to go to the world cup. do the players now believe, do they have the belief in their hearts, that they can qualify for the world cup? syria's president, bashar al—assad, wants the perception
to be that his country is returning to normal. sport helps with that. but regardless of his intentions it is clear that sport, that football, coming back to syria provides the people with the chance to forget about their worries, at least for 90 minutes. after six years of war, more games are being played and fans are slowly returning. but football is only possible in government—held areas, and not in large parts of this country outside the regime's control. this season is interesting because all syrian people want to come back to stadiums, want to support the teams. i think it is 2—2 at the moment. we will see who can get a late winner. first time on this field, two team scored four goals, because all games on this field finish higher.
there is another! 3-2. all games on this field finish in1—0, 1—0. the first time this year, five goals. a bit because you came here. it is the bbc‘s fault. we should come every week. what looks like normal life does go on in president aside‘s damascus. you could be forgiven at times for thinking there is no war. that is how syria's leader wants it. here on the east side of damascus, we are at a football field that has been hit in the past by mortar fire. very few of the national team play in syria, but 5—star players i hear training with their local club.
for a variety of reasons they have stayed in syria, their career choices complicated by the war. every so often you can hear the sound of an aerial artillery shell going off somewhere in the distance. we are very close here to one of the front lines, even as we are in the centre of damascus. the players are not fast. they haven't even raise an eyebrow. it is the sound of war, something they have grown up with. omar midani is one of the younger members of the team. does this team really believe it can go on and qualify for russia? the training looks familiar.
that is where similarities between the game here and in other countries ends. the difference is not just the conditions, but the hopes and expectations that are placed upon this team. there is no part of life in assad controlled syria untouched by the regime. every facet of society, especially where there is success, such as with the national football team, is presented as a sign of a functioning state. but the illusion
is easily shattered. we were filming at the market when we heard a loud explosion nearby. there were reports a number of people had been killed. we are going out to see if we can find out what has happened and what damage has been caused. two devices have detonated. one by the roadside, another by a suicide bomber targeting mainly shia pilgrims visiting from nehra. all of a sudden, i am a war reporter. our correspondent, richard conway, is at the scene. this is the largest attack to hit a mass kyuha sim sometime. a suicide bomber detonated his device in this commercial district in the centre of damascus, killing at least a0 people and injuring dozens more. working as a sports correspondent means you simply don't see devastation like this. the number of people
killed arose over to 7a. the experience is a shocking and harrowing insight into the painful realities of life in syria. what before had just been words about the conflict, war and bombings was now very real in my mind. i had come to syria to find out how football could possibly thrive and matter in a time of war. right now, that question seemed more difficult to answer than ever. this is important. tarek has devoted much of his life to syrian football. in this box are the medals that prove it. this is you? with the captain's armband? yes, number five. that was before the war. there are many players now
in the national team, but... so now you are the coach? today the majority of the most talented players look to play abroad. today it is different. before the six years, all the syrian players in the national team played here. now we need our players to play outside syria. i think who plays inside syria, his living is not good for the future. look at that. this is for you and your group. you baked us a cake? so kind, thank you. tarek is preparing to say goodbye to his family and fly to malaysia. sanctions in the war mean this team must play its games on neutral ground, a 14,000 kilometres round—trip awaiting them. the game against uzbekistan is arguably the most important match in syria's history.
there is political capital for the assad regime in the team's success. but i cannot help but wonder if those forced to flee syria will be supporting the team as well. nearly five million people have sought refuge abroad from the syrian civil war. 80,000 of them are here in the zatari camp in northernjordan. it is a living, breathing testament to the human cost of war.
muhamed was a professional footballer with the syrian top—flight club el majd. when his brother was hit by a shell which hit their house, he and his family escaped over the border to jordan. like many here, he is angry. muhamed is beginning to get his football career back on track. he still supports the national team. esam plays football inside zatari. he was a young talent with a professional side in the city of dara, but in 2012, he fled with his family.
like mohammed, he is trying to resurrect his career. he coaches the children here in the camp. he admits to me that like many, it is hard to do. the guarded language used even here in the refugee camp makes it clearjust how fearful people are talking about politics. but still, like mohammed, he supports the side. life here in camp it is tough, but people are safe,
having escaped from the war. football is one of the central activities children get to enjoy. it is fun and gives them a sense of purpose. but it also gives them something that is very precious, having escaped from the conflict. it is essentially normal childhood. what is your favourite team? real madrid! what about england ? has anybody like any english teams? what about newcastle united? that is my team. you are run now though? you are like a little ronaldo. amar somma. why does everyone like him so much? high—fives, everyone!
i had wondered how much these children would know of syrian football, but clearly, the players are heroes. football matters because of the hope it can provide. even here, amongst those displaced by civil war and who have lost loved ones to the regime, i got a sense of the love and pride that they hold, that endures despite the suffering. it feels as though the country's football team provides people with a safe focus for those feelings. the historic malaysian resort town of malacca is the site of their game against uzbekistan. and it is days away. those members of the squad who travelled from syria have been joined by players earning much
bigger money in places like china, kuwait, and saudi arabia. the range of salaries is matched by the range of religions and backgrounds within the squad. i catch up with 0mar again and he introduces me to one of the few christians to play in the side, mardik mardikian. of course, more controversial than religious differences are political ones. the site has long been multifaith, but for this important match, a first: one of the greatest footballers of this generation left syria and criticising
the al assad regime. but he is returning to the squad for the match. beyond funding, the extent to which the al—assad government is involved in team affairs is unknown. the mix of faiths and politics within the squad certainly sends a message that the regime once heard: syria can come together, at least for football. —— wants. but many former players have not returned. before the war, mohammed al ibrahim represented syria 3! times.
the conflict caused him to pursue his career abroad. he has been asked to play for the national team, but he says he will not because of personal reasons. politics is probably not on the minds of the national team players as they arrive at the stadium for their game against uzbekistan. right now, they are dealing with another p: pressure. expectation arises amongst their fans. syria! there are about 100 syrian fans in the stadium. the country's footballing ambitions
now rests on the shoulders of these 11 players. it is a close game and at half—time it is goalless. in a sports club in damascus, the tension is palpable. fans watched the game head towards the final minutes. a win here is actually crucial to syria's world cup hopes. then, in the final minutes, al—katib is fouled and win a penalty. they score and syria have a famous victory. its meaning to those
the achievements really do seem to transcend both sport and politics. it demonstrates the power of sport and how, even amidst a civil war that has ripped syria apart, he can matter so much to so many. hello, there. low pressure was the driving force behind the weather. fine, sunny, and quite warm but the weather front will drift south eastwards. but low pressure is the driving force of our weather for the second part of the weekend as well. it will be a breezy day, strongest winds across the north and west of the uk and that is where you will
find most of the showers. more frequent in scotland and northern ireland, too. a slice of sunshine through the midlands but some parts of east anglia, the far south and east, will be cloudy. into the evening, we've got showers across scotla nd evening, we've got showers across scotland and northern ireland, one oi’ scotland and northern ireland, one or two on the western side of england. the further east you go, the dry it is. staying with double figures. 0n the dry it is. staying with double figures. on monday, we've got showers forecast, mainly in the north—western quadrant of the uk, one ought to further south but generally, rather dry. there will be strong winds for a time in southern scotland, down in the central lowla nds scotland, down in the central lowlands in particular. temperatures down by a notch or two. to get on
into tuesday, we see pressure trying to build from the south but equally we have got weather fronts raising their way by the north—west of the uk so we will see clouds and outbreaks of rain. the bulk of england and wales will have it recent day, like winds, patchy clouds, sunshine, and temperatures in the upper teens. as we head into wednesday, pressure still holding from the south but we'd still got wea k from the south but we'd still got weak weather fronts bringing a bit ofa weak weather fronts bringing a bit of a breeze towards the north—west of a breeze towards the north—west of the uk and some cloud and rain as well. on wednesday, england and wales, a pretty decent day, patchy cloud, sunny spells, some wind. as we look further afield, we have to
think about the upper atmosphere and what is going to happen to the jet stream. developments in the us have implications for us. the jet stream makes its way across the atlantic and will pick up areas of low pressure and push them towards us. this is what the overall set up looks like. five richard to the south of the uk will keep things fairly quiet. —— high pressure to the south. the low will get nearer as we head towards next weekend but the high bills in across the southern half of the uk and will bring finance settlement weather with it. pretty warm air up from the south. next weekend, rain and breezy. elsewhere, mostly dry with southerly winds coming around the high and that will warm things up quite nicely.