syrian government air strikes killed dozens of people in areas held by isil. as kurdish forces recapture more jill villages from isil, we loot what's left behind. ♪ ♪ you are watching al jazerra live from london. also coming up on the program. the 13-year-old who says her father gave her to boko haram to be a suicide bomber. plus. >> reporter: overall, big dumb fun. >> cinema goers brave online threats and watch tony's controversial film the interview, but is it any good? 1k3eu9s 100 years since the
fabled football match between british and german troops during world war i. ♪ ♪ hello there, thank you for joining us, syrian medical sources say government air strikes have killed at least 45 people in the areas held by the islamic state of the iraq and levant. the attacks targeted towns in the north eastern province of aleppo. one child is reported to be among the dead. five armed fab shun shuns in alo have united in to one rebel group. calling themselves up inning and chose be a choppedder remember they come together to fight against the government of president bashar al-assad. in syrian activ activists say mr strikes outside damascus, this video posted on line is said to show the aftermath of the attack. at least 10 people, mostly children were injured.
human rights watch has accused the jean government of indiscriminately targeting civilians in the besieged area of homs. almost 100,000 people are said to be trapped in the neighborhood which is one of the last remaining rebel strong holds. zeina reports from beirut in neighboring lebanon. >> reporter: government sniper around the district in homs. moving in and out is severe restricted. according to human rights watch, residents are harassed and sometimes detained when trying to do so. it says it has become a prison for its residents. the government wants the fighters inside to lay down their arms. but the opposition wants guarantees. >> translator: the government wants deflectors to hands themselves in. i am an army deflector and there are others like me, what guarantees do we have that they won't kill us like they did to some fighters in old homs who surrendered.
>> reporter: they have gained control over much of the third largest city. but the rebels say that they have to surrender because the districts were besieged for months. this is the laugh one in rebel hands and government attacks have intensified there since ceasefire talks collapseed in october. many civilians have been killed in the densely-populated neighbor neighborhoodses, some 100,000 people. many who fled from other conflict zones live here and they are growing increasingly desperate. >> translator: even when we were able to bring this surprise the so-called block traders in the district took advantage of our situation. and now there is a government siege and he cannot bring anything in. the people want the fighters to leave and this to end. >> reporter: the government blockade and intensive shelling has had devastating consequences on the civilians there, we understand that the people and not the fighters are now engaged
in u.n.-mediated negotiations with the authorities. the government says at any point to make ideal. but it has to involved restoring state sovereignty in the neighborhood. some surprise have made it in since the blockade late last year. but no november it was tightened preventing aid from entering the government has been accused of using starvation as a weapon of war a tactic that my work again here. the father of the jordanian pilot captured by isil on wednesday in syria has appealed to his captors to treat him well. isil took the first lieutenant captive afternoon his plane came down. the u.s. military says it's likely that the fighter jet crashed. >> reporter: the pilot is the first captive taken from the u.s.-led coalition, which is carrying out air strikes against the armed group. jordanian officials have called the pilot a symbol of heroism
and sacrifice. >> translator: i sent a message to our generous brothers of the islamic state of iraq and the levant of i ask them to host my son with has at that time. i ask them not to be ungenerous towards my son. i and god to fill their hearts with love and ask for him to be returned to his family, wife and, mother safely. >> meanwhile iraq's army says it has attacked isil fighters in western and central provinces think one operation in anbar province involves local describes men and u.s.-led coalition strikes. a separate offensive has also been launched in the neighboring province. kurdish fighters appear to be regaining ground near iraq's border with syria. they are fight to go recapture the town of sinjar, which has been under isil control since august. ma hommie add adow reports on what is left behind in the jill i thinks theivillages they have. >> reporter: currish fighters raised thei their flagged.
they want to make it clear who is in control here. this is the man leading them. the general says their offensive has been a success. >> translator: we have gotten strategic territory back from isil. and also seized major roads particularly one running along the iraqi syrian board. whoever controls these areas has the upper hands. >> reporter: but the towns and villages that they have recovered from isil remain desert the. most of the residents of these towns we were told now live in camps or have crossed the nearby syrian border. this newly-retaken town reveals a number of tactics isil fighters used to protecting themselves from air strikes. here they are burned tires to create a smokescreen to hide them from the jet fighters. and to my left, are a network of tunnels that they have used to navigate their way around town.
they used doors of abandoned houses to cover the tunnels. and as the fighting reached the town, so did the air strikes. here one of the houses isil used as a base lies in ruins, it was hit by coalition jets supporting the peshmerga offensive. >> translator: the air strikes have been very helpful to our offensive. we have been guiding the coalition jets on where to target and that really helped in. [ inaudible ] creasing their accuracy. >> reporter: the peshmerge also he hemmed break a siege of mt. sinjar, 500 civilians from the yazidi minority have been trapped on top of the mountain since september. just fours days ago this road was inning possible. it's now an escape route for the hundreds strapped on the mountain. >> translator: most of our houses were destroyed in the
fighting says this man, they have been everywhere around us and advised to leave. isil left behind improvised explosive devices like this in most villages and towns they have lost. just one more thing holding people from returning to their homes. mohamed adow al jazerra in northern iraq. hope francis has used this christmas day address in st. peters square for condemn the persecution of ethnic and religious minorities. 10s of thousands of people gathered to hear the pontiffs message as he highlighted the flight of victims of the conflict in iraq and saer request. he also appealed for an end to an flick in africa and called for dialogue between israelis and palestinians. >> translator: i and him to look upon our brother brothers and st sisters in iraq and syria who have for too long suffered.
and who are suffering a brutal persecution. may christmas bring help to them and other displaced persons, exiles, refugees, children, adult and the elderly from this region and the whole world. may indifference be changed in to closeness and rejection in to hospitality. that all who now are suffering may receive the necessary humanitarian help to overcome the rigors of winter, return to their countries and live with dignity. ♪ ♪ a rocket has hit a tank at libya's biggest oil export port. it happened in an area close today two weeks because of fighting between forces allied to libya's competing government. the damage is said to be limited. gunmen belonging to yemen's shia rebel group the houthis have kidnapped the country's second highest intelligence
official. the major general was taken from his home in sanaa at dawn on thursday he's in charge of internal security in yemen. it's now 362 days, that's nearly a year, since three al jazerra journalists were detained in egypt. bahar mohamed, mohamed fahmy and peter greste were jailed over false allegations that his they helped the outlawed muslim brotherhood. they were appealing against their convictions and sentences, mohamed and peter were sentenced to seven years, bahar received an extra three because he had a spent bullet in his possession. which he had picked up at a protest. al-shabab fighters have attacked the main african union peacekeeping base in the o'malley capital lead to go a gun fight which lasted several hours. al-shabab said it was targeting a christmas party at the base, which is near mogadishu airport and houses embassy and u.n. offices. five of the attackers were killed. it's not known if any afghan union troops died.
russia has warned ukraine against the aligning itself with nato. the country's foreign ministry says ukraine's moves this week to move towards nato membership will further strain relations between the two countries. >> translator: a possible further expansion of nato to the east wilin he have at thatbly lead to a series, and political tilt. not only in europe but in the whole world and directly impact russia's national security interests. forcing our countries are you to take necessary adequate measures. meanwhile, russia's president has scrapped new year holidays for ministers, because of the country's currency crisis. it comes after he ordered a price cap to reign in rising vodka prices. vladimir putin says high prices would encourage the consumption of unsafe alcohol. falling oil prices and western sanctions over ukraine has caused this. russia's former finance minister
warned on wednesday that russia will enter recession next year. political analyst maria says the measure may be extends today other products. >> there is also been talk today in the government that other prices for basic foods may be regulated. of course it's got to do with inflation and the deteriorating economy. vodka is especially important. it's an important product in russia, not just economically, but culturally, socially and otherwise. especially since the new year is less than one week to come in russia, the tradition is to celebrate big time with a lot of drinking. vodka is important because when it becomes no longer affordable, as the experience has shown, people tend to consume alcohol containing liquids that are not intendeds for human consumption and that, of course, is very bad for health. a lot more to come in this half hour, including sierra leone shuts market like this in
the north which is under lockdown to stop the spread of ebola. plus. the parents of mexico's missing students reflect on their first christmas without their children. >> by the thousands, they're sending their government a message. >> ahead of 'em is a humanitarian crisis where tens of thousands of people are without food, water, shelter. >> a special one hour look at global attacks on free press. monday 9:00 eastern. on a
>> i'm ali velshi, the news has become this thing where you talk to experts about people, and al jazeera has really tried to talk to people, about their stories. we are not meant to be your first choice for entertainment. we are ment to be your first choice for the news. ♪ ♪ hello there, now a reminders of the top stories on al jazerra. syrian medical sources say government air strikes have killed at least 45 people in areas held bite islamic state of iraq and the levant. the attacks targeted the towns
in the northeastern province of aleppo. kurdish fighters appear to be regaining ground near eye rook's border with syria. recapturing towns and villages from isil. they are fight to go retake the town of sinjar which the group seized back in august. and the plight of ethnic and religious minorities in iraq and syria was one of the main themes of the pope's christmas day address. he appealed for dialogue and for an end to conflict in africa. two states in northeastern nigeria have imposed travel bans over christmas for fear of attacks by the boko haram group. police have also warned people to be alert. it comes as a 13-year-old girl arrested with explosives strapped to her body tells journalists that her father gave her to boko haram. natasha ghoneim has the story. >> reporter: detonate this suicide bomb or be buried alive, that's the choice this
13-year-old says she was given after her father handed her over to boko haram. >> translator: i was asked if i wanted to go to heaven, when i answered they said i have to go on a suicide mission. and if i attempted to run, they would kill me. >> reporter: the girl says she and two other females were sent to this text tile market in in mid december. the others detonated their bombs killing four people. but the girl says when she saw the carnage being she couldn't flip the switch on the bomb strapped to her. >> translator: when he can came cot north one of united states said we should so separately. but i refused after my friend detonated her vest i was injured. >> reporter: boko haram ram has been used girls and women as weapons to kill and insight fear. as it tries to impose an islamic state in nigeria. since june, female suicide bombers have launched five other attacks. girls continue to be at rick of kidnappings and forced marriage,
the boldest example was the kidnapping of 276 girls for a boarding school in april. although some managed to escape most are still held hostage. thousands of people in the north have been driven out of their homes, although they might be safe, the misery persists in displacement camps. >> translator: i have to sleep in a shack made of nylon bags, we are cold, there is no work. me and my husband are unemployed. foot is scarce. if it weren't for the charity people, we would starve. >> reporter: from the people who lost homes to the families grieving the loss of those killed, or praying for the safe return of loved ones, this holiday season is filled with very little cheer. for so many in nigeria. natasha ghoneim, al jazerra. staying in nigeria, this day three years ago worshipers at the catholic church of st. at
st. teresa were attacked during christmas day mass. dozens of people were killed and from this report, the anniversary is adding to a climate of fear over the festive period. >> reporter: the mood in the capital is subdued. we have met people that stayed way from church services today afraid of what might happen. there are rumors that boko haram fighters may try to attack churches, may try to attack public gatherings, we are seeing people who also said or met people who also said that no amount of threat or violence can each them away from places of worship. we went to one of the amusements parks in the center of the capital, there a few hundred people were there, instead of the thousands that we used to see. a few years ago. now it's all because of the currents situation in nigeria, the violence swing especially the northern part of the country ricker people are hopeful the authorities can get a hands on the situation and bring the situation under control so
people can go back to their lives the way they know how. now, the recovery in one of the areas attacks by boko haram three years ago a suicide bomber hit a catholic church killings dozens of people there the rate of recover is a slow and painful. we have met families saying they are trying to piece back their lives together following what happens there. now, the nigerian authorities say they are taking ahead question steps to insure that during the festive period people's lives and property have been adequately protected. now we have zeina the love activity on the part of security agents on the streets of towns and cities across nigeria, stepping up security and conducting operations all over the place to insure that nothing terrible happens to people at this period. parts of northern sierra leone have gone in to lockdown for five days as the government steps up efforts to contain the ebola end delic.
shops and markets are closing cg and mosques and churches aren't allowed to hold services except for on christmas day. victoria reports. >> reporter: crowds head to christmas market in the capital freetown. but all around there are reminders that the ebola virus remain a threat. in the north of the country, scenes like these are impossible. the government has declared a five-day lockdown, but even in freetown where such restrictions aren't in place, christmas celebrations are muted. >> we are not enjoying the festival just work marred for a children so they can have something to eat for a day. >> reporter: the government has also announced more travel restrictions and a ban on public parties over christmas and new year. >> reporter: in neighboring liberia, more than 3,000 people
have been killed by bola. although the number of new infections in the country is going down. even so, people have struggled to find much to celebrate. >> no, not celebrating christmas. because of ebola. people are taking prechangeses me i tell my family and kids, you are not going out. we will stay home and watch movie all day. >> reporter: unlikely beer ya. the virus in sierra leone is still spreading in some places experts say restrictions on movement as well as the influx of both foreign medics and money will soon show results. victoria, al jazerra. a technician at the u.s. centers for disease control in atlanta is being monitored for possible exposure to ebola virus, authorities say a small amount of the virus was mistake enly moved in to a room where the person was working the technician will be monitored for 21 days. now, the controversial film
the interview has had its christmas day premier in the u.s. tickets sold out in many of the 300, mostly independent cinemas, that screens it. and it was also available online. the star seth rogan and director evan goldberg attended a screening in los angeles. the film is about an assassination plot against a north korean leader and it was pulled by sony pictures after throats from online hackers. public pressure sue the company reverse its decision. reviews of the film have been mixed. >> the killing of kim jong un was intense in the movie. but overall, big, dumb fun. >> this is a film i probably would not have come to see but bus because of the controversy i thought i would come out tonight to stand up for freedom of speech. >> super funny. super finney, people were saying i am going to watch the movie because, you know being it's a statement, but i don't know. actually it's a statement to come here and it's super funny.
it will probably do very well. it's been three months since fourth three students went missing in mexico' southern state of g ga prayer guerrero. parents have vowed to find them and made a video share their grief. david mercer reports. >> reporter: it's the kind of message no parents wants to gi give. >> reporter: mothers and fathers of mexico's missing students reflecting on their first christmas without their childr children. >> reporter: in a country where family comes first, the holiday message is a grim reminder of how families continue to suffer. in september, 43 students were abducted by police in southwestern mexico.
the police handed them over to a local drug gang, they haven't been seen since. months of protests followed, and while the government claims gang members incinerating the students, their parents refuse to give up hope. throughout the country mexicans continue to make vigils in memory of the students and to demands justice. on december 26th, hundreds of people will meet with the parents here befor before marchg down mexico city's main avenue, forcing the authorities to yet again hear their voices. >> reporter: it's this incision tense that makes this case you nick, officering a spotlight on the country's disappeared could be a catalyst for change. >> i sometimes think that this has, in a way, provided us with a very tragic window of opportunity to share the pain with these parents, but while sharing that pain also to
realize that this is something the whole country is going through. >> reporter: just hours before midnight on christmas eve. some of the parents arrive at the home of the mexican president. another symbolic act to show their solidarity and break the violence. >> translator: we will not rest until they find them. today christmas doesn't exist because of somebody important that is missing in each family. so we can't say happy christmas because there is no happiness in our hearts. it's the opposite. there is so much pain between all of us. >> reporter: parents are mexico's 43 missing students determined that their children will not be forgotten. david mercer, al jazerra. mexico city. well, it's 100 years since there was an apparent outbreak of peace during world war i. yes, on christmas day 1914, crittish and german troops layed down their arms to play a game of football in an area of land between the two enemy trenches. lee wellings explains.
>> reporter: the horror of life and death fighting in world war i has been commemorated throughout this 100th anniversary year. but it's the apparent outbreak of peace and goodwill on christmas day 1914, that has stood out as a symbolic moment. a ceasefire in the trenches and a game of football between troops in no man's lands. this is probably the only time in any conflict at any time in history of the world, that you had two conflicting armies lay down their arms and be friends. such a unique, extraordinary moment. ♪ ♪ >> reporter: remember act little have taken place across europe, including the battle ground of belgium, in germany, and across the united kingdom. in southern england, the british and never man armies united in football again.
the power of the story of a christmas truce has been utilized by advertisers in the u.k. such all supermarket chain, their moving film is being we would reached by som received be british public, though others question the integrity of companies attaching themselves to such a poignant event. and describing this as one football match between enemy troops appears to be a mixture of fable in fact. letters from servicemen exist that describe some football as having taken place but that was only a small part of an extraordinary truce. >> the main things that took part in the christmas troops were soldiers coming touts to no man's lands on christmas day, swapping food, badges, butt yous and also burying the dead from the attacks, that was a major part of it and then repairing the trench lines. >> reporter: the needs for people to say thanks to those who served their country was captured when hundreds of
thousands of people bought poppies for an unforgettable memorial at the tower of london. the christmas tuesday story provides a similar opportunity for people to show understanding and empathy to those that are gone but not forgotten. new generations do want to believe and celebrate this incredible day in 1914. which provided brief respite, hope and, humanity. for the millions who suffered on the battlefields. lee wellings, al jazerra, london. now another feel-good story of a totally different kind. video of a monkey coming to the rescue of an injured friends has gone viral. how, the first monkey had been electrocuted by high tension wires at a train station in northern india. his companion rushed to his side and with remarkable determination. actually worked to help him regain consciousness, shaking him, dipping him in water and even biting him to make sure
that he woke up. and the injured monkey finally did come to as crowds of travelers watched in awe. clever monkey. i don't think there is any monkey on the website but all the days news, aljazerra.com. the author of why women have it all. >> i don't think it's possible to have everything. i could we can't get to a better balance for women and men. >> she was the first woman to head policy planning for the u.s. state department but left her work in washington for her debate. >> i just realized i was going to miss the last two years my