u.s. military forces launch more airstrikes against isil fighters against syria and iraq. this is "al jazeera america" live from headquarters in doha. also, coming up, after 13 years and 453 deaths, the u.k. hands over its space in afghanistan. america's ambassador to the u.n. makes a high-profile visit to west africa to help mobilize support for the fight against ebola. we report from the birthplace of the arab spring, 5 million tun
easeians are voting for a new parliament. >> the air force has launched a new airstrike against isil hitting serial targets in the past few hours. in syria, five airstrikes near kobani destroyed seven vehicles and a building occupied by the group. in iraqi, three airstrikes southwest of muss ill dam and three air strikes were carried out southeast of saluza. we have our reporters in iraq and on the syria/turkey border as well covering this story from all angles. in a moment, there is bernard smith who will update us from the turkish border town of erfa. but first, charles strafford joining us from erbil to tell us whether this is a significant escalation of the u.s. air strikes in iraq in particular targeting isil and if so, why.
it's not really an escalation. what it does show, though, is the importance of protecting this dam, mosul dam there, taken by pesh perfect forces in mid august. these airstrikes are an indication that the centcom as confirmed, an indication of how far important retaining control of is that dam is. we have spoken to a peshmerga commandser. he said there was fighting around a town called elkindi, a former iraqi military base. a lot of rockets that is in control by isil. a lot of action in that area as well. those streaks on a day as well when the town of zuma fell back into the hands of peshmerga forces. they retook control of that town. all in and around mosul. it's significant insofar as it shows just how desperate the
measures are being taken to retain control of mosul dam . >> all right. thank you very much, charles stratford reporting for us from erbil. now, we willcross cross over to orfa, on the border with tissuing and syria because bernard smith is covering what's happening over in kobane. bernard, have the u.s.-led coalition airstrikes reversed the advance of isil fighters on kobani? >> the airstrikes, a part of what is a pattern now in kobani, a daily patterns, airstrikes confirmed in the early hours of sunday morning and what happens is that kurdish fighters on the ground in kobani give the cord ants to the u.s. coalition and they bring in the airstrikes on isil positions, either isil vehicles, houses where isil might be hiding out and isil artillery. this is a pattern we have seen
happen every day now for many weeks. the airstrikes are an essential part of the attempt to stop kobani falling in to isil hands. it is fair to say that i think without the airstrikes, the syrian kurdish fighters in kobani would be struggling. they don't have the heavier weapons they need. they have not yet received many reinforcements. so they need those airstrikes to help them hold the lines. but no education yet that either side, whether it be isil forces or kurdish forces made any advances or gangs. it's been pretty much a stalemate for the last few days. intern arrested, thank you. reporting from orfa. the continuing violence has turned syria into a nation of refugees. gerald tan has this report on the plight of those who have been forced to flee to find safety. this syrian camp near the go land heights is named what means
hope. it's supposed to provide protection for those who have escaped fighting in their towns but they say they are disappointed. conditions are so dire that many have even left. >> we came here seeking shelter. there is no food or water. nothing but further humiliation. what can we do? we escaped bombardment and humiliation back home. >> throughout the camp, there are more stories of despair. 4-year-old mohammed has an acute hearing loss. he is to now unable to continue with medical treatment. we are suffering a lot in this camp. what as to the strategy is my child needs a cochlear implant or a proper hearing aid. the one he is using has run outs of batteries. >> the camp was set up on a strip near the border and for the israeli army nearby fem it's unlikely they will be attackered by the syrian army, but they say they need better care. >> where is the national
coalition or the national council? they are not living up to their responsibilities inside syria. what are they doing for displaced families and children who's homes are destroyed? areas of safety are hard to find. cities and villages have been bombarded every day. some of the worst violence on sunday happened in homs where dozens of people were killed. according to the syrian observe tory for human rights, in just the past week, the syrian military carried out more than 530 airstrikes and barrel bomb attacks. government forces may be making full use of the aerial advantage to defeat the rebels but on the ground, it's a civilians who are getting killed. gerald tan, al jazeera. in neighboring lebanon, there has been fierce fighting in the northern town of tripoli. at least 10 soldiers and six civilians have been killed in violence related to the conflict in syria. stefanie dekker is in tripoli not far from where the battles are being fought.
there remains an incredibly tense stand-off between the army and fighters holed up in banatabano, the road where we are. you can hear it. it has been ongoing threw throughout the day. rpgs, small arms fires t sounds incredibly intention from what we have been hearing throughout the someday, now when you talk to people here, many people who have been here waiting have relatives here they are calling for a cease-fire. they say at least give them time to get our women and children out of there. we can bring them to safety. at the moment, that hasn't happened. politicians and relickous leaders are meeting in tripoli trying to find a solution. the message we heard from them was that they weren't happy with the army besieging, as they called it, this neighborhood because of the civilian presence, they say they stand behind the army trying to root out what they call terrorist
elements that may have to do with the spillover from syria. an incredibly intense situation remaining here people concerned, people angry and it's heightening the sectarian tensions here lebanon of course, sectarian, divided between those who support the syrian revolution and those who support president al assad. >> 23 activists sentenced under an anti-protest law. many have started hunger strike including the parliament activists are not safe. she is described as a prisoner of conscience. al jazeera continues to demand the release of three journalists who have been detained in egypt for 302 days. they were convicted of helping the outlawed muslim brotherhood. they are appealing against their convictions. britain's war in afghanistan is over after 13 years and 453 deaths, the united kingdom has
formally ended combat operations. the british army has handed over camp bastion, the last base in helmet prove incident to the afghan troops. more from kandahar in southern afghanistan. >> the handing over of the basis marks the end of the combat mission in helmut prove incident. it was the last base, the end of the war for british forces. as well as for u.s. marines leaving helmut prove incident, the latest step in the nato withdrawal from afghanistan, its combat mission finishes at the ends of 2014. about 12,000 nato troops will stay here in the training, advising, and assisting role next year and through 2016, helping those 350,000 afghan security forces here as they really fully take control of the country. there has been very fierce fighting here in southern afghanistan especially in helmet
prove incident of the thetable has taken over some rural areas at that time. >>liban has taken over some rural areas. afghan officials point to that as the success of the afghan security forces. they know they have a lot of skills they need to learn. they know this is not going to be an easy transition but a big milestone in southern afghanistan as nato closes its last two basis in hellmit prove incident. >> the united states ambassador to the united nations has criticized the slow response to the ebola outbreak in west africa. samantha powers making a high-profile visit there while the worst affected country is liberia. according to the world health organization where am nearly 3,000 people have lost their lives. in recent weeks, guinea has seen a spike in the number of cases. the death toll stands at more than 1500 as of now. sierra leone struggling to contain the virus, more than
1200 people have died. in total, almost 5,000 people have lost their lives to ebola. tom ackerman is joining us from washington, d.c. to talk to us a little bit more, tom, about samantha powers visit to west africa and also what else is she saying and what is she saying that needs to be done at this point to contain the outbreak? >> same an that powers is going to be visiting three of the hardest hit countries you mentioned. prior to going to brussels to muster a campaign for more doctors, more beds and money from the international community. the u.s. and some other countries she has been critical of the tepid, inadequate response to the emergency. she is criticizing authorities in the united states, especially in new york, new jersey, and i
will know which have elevated the mandatory quarantine protocols for people who have even had no symptoms but are returning from those stricken areas. here is what she said before she left for this trip: all of us need to make clear what these health workers mean to us and how much we value their service, how much we value their contribution. we feed to encourage more. we need many more than going right now and we need to find a way when they come home, that they are treated like conquering heros and not stig matized for the work they have done. >> now, that comment came in reaction to a very anguished account by one of the nurses who worked from africa and was subjected to a mandatory quarantine by what she called people who made her feel like a prisoner when she arrived in new jersey and even though she
exhibited no symptoms and until you have symptoms you are not considered contagion. she is one of the people who is under mandatory, 21-day quarantine. there is a doctor in new york who has exhibited more serious symptoms who had reported himself as being ill and is now being closely monitored, even his whereabouts over the previous days when he arrived in new york are being very closely traced right now by authorities. r here. >> thom, thank you very much, tom ackerman reporting from washington. 5 million are heading to the polls in tunisia, the birthplace of the arab spring. there are ongoing concerns about security, but this is another key step in the transition to democracy. a report. there is a sense of excitement in cues across tunisia. for many young people, this is
the second time they voted in a free election here but he admits democracy won't be easy to achieve. >> it's still a long way to go. being a fashion entrepreneur, i saw so much creativity and so many things coming out of this revolution, i am staying positive. i know there is a long, long, long way to go. >> most people are expected to vote for the two major political forces. the, one party that means the call for tunisia calls for a separation between the state and religion and an islamic party led by this man who lived in exide i'll for decades under the previous regime. >> today, the dreams of the marters of april come frew, those who died when they spoke of the tun easeian parliament. god bless our army and policemen who protected this path.
>> the electoral system makes it unlikely one party will win an overall majority. there will have to be some sort of an agreement. i don't see any coalition, they are grass roots toward each other and they have been attacking each other very vehement vehemently. it is possible they will find an agreement for a neutral government to take place. >> it's that kind of compromise and national dialogue that led to a new constitution in january. successive governments have failed to cut unemployment and improve living standards. tun easias may be politically divided but they can choose which path they want to take. the drinkition to democracy isn't just about a fee election. people want economic change and security in the country. a big security presence around the country.
a few days ago, police discovered an apparent hide out of a group preparing attacks. this they raided the home, killing 5 women and a man who they say were armed: the stability of the country is at stake in this election. most people say they want the goals of the revolution fulfilled. but what is important now is that people also feel that this can trust the election results. al jazeera, tunis. >> still ahead on al jazeera: anger on the streets of nigeria as locals insist there is no ceasefire with boca haram. >> coming up, we will see how a ban on by silks on the main road is affecting likelihoods and the environment.
hello again. you are watching "al jazeera america." here is a reminder the top stories. the forces have conducted more airstrikes against isil targets in syria and iraq. in syria bombs struck outside the town of kobane where units near the mosul dam and fallujah were hit in iraq. after 13 years, britain's war in afghanistan is over. the u.k. has ended the combat mission handing over the last base to the afghan forces. the u.s. has handed over its last marine base. and the united states ambassador to the united nations has criticized the international community over its slow response to ebola.
samantha power says some nations which offer to help have yet to send their contributions. she is currently on a visit to west africa. >> tensions remain high in nigeria. >> that's despite the government saying a cease-fire is still in place. many nigh yearians are skeptical about the deal. the country remains uneasy as hera matasa reports. >> this man raised suspicion when he refused to open his bg.k it's an unfamiliar face in this part of abuja at a time when residents are nervous. attacks in the northeast are still going on despite a nigerian government insisting a cease-fire with boca haram fighters is holding. >> we don't want the kind of issue to happen they suspect the man could be from boca haram because he was carrying these: he says he is just a cattle
herder. the guns are to protect his animals. many here don't believe his story. they don't know what this man was doing in the neighborhood. they don't know why he was carrying the ammunition. they are worried about boca haram attacks in nigeria. they are not taking any chances. >> abuj a, the capitol is more than 500 capitols from boca haram territory but residents know they are not safe. there was an attack on a shopping mall here in june. why is someone bringing this into our domain? this year, boca haram, so, we are afraid. >> reporter: the government says the cease-fire was tstill holds officials also say: >> people are who not really, you know, not very happy with the cease-fire to bring up vigilantes within the regions and, you know, some of them do cause problems, you know, and
there is -- but, you know, the main thing is that the federal government is committed to the cease-fire. >> many nigh year januarys say they are skeptical about the cease-fire and on edge. >> that's why some here want the man data captured killed. others want the police to kill him. it's a challenge getting into a nearby car but this may have saved his life. h hera mutasa, abuja. >> 24 european banks have failed stress tests. the banks have nine months to improve their finances or rick being shut down. the greatest concern was italy with nine failures there. three each from greece and cypress a financial analyst says the european central bank has glossed over the data. they find that the banks only have a shortfall of 25 billion euros at the end of last year and 9.5 billion as of now. >> that's ludicrously low, much
lower than many market age lifts thing, more than independent analysis conclude and it jars with the experience of bank behavior and people seeking loans down by impaired assets. it's hard always to judge how investors are going to react. certainly, i don't think it draws a line under the crisis as one might have hoped that it would because the ecp has clearly gone soft on eurozone banks, continuing to pay for problems there and, therefore, investors in the markets cannot be reassured that the problems are in hand. >> to ukraine where vote something underway in the parliamentae elections. president petro poroshenko's party is expected to top the poll being conducted against a backdrop of cond violence in the east. barnaby phillips reports from kiev. >> on the very street where
dozens of people were shot dead in february's uprising, today, they came to vote. the young, and the old. everyone knows this is a crucial time in ukraine's history but they on many other things. >> we hope many things will improve soon, that we have peace and that the economy will get better. these elections are very important to me. >> what do you see is the importance or the significance of these elections? >> nothing. because nothing will change the situation in ukraine because the corruption is too big. and i can't tell you that these people are going to be in the power of ukraine practically they say they are different but they are the same. mentality was the same as it was. >> president poroshenko traveled
to the east to a town captured by separatists earlier this year but was then retaken by the government. so his visit here was a statement. he wanted to say that this town belongs to ukraine and that better times are ahead. >> people are very intenrnets i want to vote, for the new country, also, for the reform, for the anti-corruption, for building up new states and for the peace. all of these people are waiting for the peace. >> much may dmevend upon these men in the weeks and months ahead. soldiers were given time to vote, but the cease-fire is shaky. many ukrainians fear that the conflict is bound to resume. after the turmoil of the past year, there is a lot of talk here in kiev of a new political beginning. the zanians also know that the success of their country's transition is to some extent out of their own hands. it depends upon how much support
they receive from countries in the west and sdeingdz taken by vladimir putin and the russians to the east. in nearby index square, life goes on. the vintage car rally is being held where people fought and died to overthrow president yankee yankee just a few months ago. familiesn enjoying the winter sunshine hoping the sacrifices of the past year have not been any vain. barnaby phillips, al jazeera, kiev. >> brazilians are voting in a presidential run-off which is too close to call. the incumbent president dilma rousseff is seeking a second 4 year turn. she is challenged by n neffes who got a third of the vote in the first round am several neim hawaii are preparing to evacuate as a lava flow edges closer to their homes. the lava has crossed a road on the edge of the town of hoa and
moving at about 9 meters an hour. it is coming from the volcano that has been erupting continuously since 1983. it's been a year since the indian city of calcutta banned bicycles to improve the flow of traff traffic. it's unset environmentalists and those without means of transport. a report. cal cuta's roads are brimming with all sorts of vehicles like any indian city with one difference: there are no bicycles on the main roads. the past year, a bicycle ban has pushed cyclists on to these back roads. it's especially hard for those who use a cycle to make a living. bashan says for him, the ban means traveling longer and working less. he estimates his income has gone down from $200 a month before the ban to just $80.
>> the ban has affected my family heavily. if the ban goes on for a longer time, i don't think i can make ends meet. business is bad for those who repair bicycles since many have switched in the past year to other forms of transport. before the ban, i used to have at least 20s or 30 siblingzs in this garage every day. now there are not 5 for me to nix. imagine what will happen if it goes on for another year. calcuta police declined or request for an interview but in past media statements, police have said general safety and traffic congestion were the main reasons behind the ban and there is no plan folift it. >> with traffic increasing every year, calcuta police say that since banning bicycles from these main roads, traffic flows faster. however, critics say besides affecting those who's livelihood depends upon traveling by
intooiblingz, spanning this form of transportation puts downs one of the greenest forms of getting around. >> the state's pollution control board says 50% of cal cuta's air pollution comes from cars and this environmentalist said banning bicycles will make that worse. if we allow more and more vehicles to come on cal cuta streets means the air pollution is only going rise. if we don't look at more sustainable methods of transportation, it's going to become a problem. >> he is still trying to fight the ban along with others who use their intieblings for work. they want to stop sitting idle and start moving again with the rest of the city. ays, calcutta. after a lengthy delay and a pricey overhaul, the picasso muse e-mail has re-opened in. large crowds turned up to see one of the most extensive collections in the world
featuring thousands of picasso's works. the spanish artist spent most of his life in france until his death in 1973. the $66 million project took five years to complete. much more on our website, aljazeera.com. with spectacular landscapes- new zealand is a pristine paradise- ranked the freest country on earth. but this south pacific nation has the second highest imprisonment rate in the western world.