fighting back isil suicide bombers attack the syrian city of kobani close to the border with turkey. ♪ hello there, i'll julie mcdonald, this is al jazeera, live from london always coming up urgingeing -- edging towards the abyss. and the u.s. supreme court uphold tax subsidies that underpin the controversial
health program. and a volcano in indonesia sends clouds of ash high into the sky. ♪ hello there, warm welcome to the program. the islamic state of iraq and the levant has launched a counterattack on two fronts in northeast syria where the group suffered recent defeat. isil fighters entered the border town of kobani for the first time since they were driven out in january by the kurdish ypg. the syrian observatory for human rights, says 35 people were killed. the ypg has been gaining ground in recent weeks, and cutting off the group's main route from turkey. in a separate attack further east isil has driven syrian army forces out of a district which is partly government held and partly under kurdish control. fighters have launched
simultaneous attacks against syrian forces, and kurdish fighters. the group appears to be moving on the offensive after losing ground in recent days. >> reporter: injured in kobani after another attack by the islamic state of iraq and the levant. there are also reports of villagers being executed after isil fighters stormed in. others are again being brought across the border for medical care. suicide bombers in cars hit kurdish forces in the town. they struggled to fight off isil fighters who disguised themselves in uniforms of the ypg. kurdish fighters have been fighting isil for control of kobani since last year. isil also launched a simultaneous attack on one of the last remaining towns in the north under the control of the syrian government. >> translator: there have been
clashes between the syrian military against islamic state terrorist terrorists. it's home to many syrian refugees. this comes as islamic state terrorists entered from turkey into kobani. >> reporter: turkey's government denied that. and say they entered from the western side of the town inside syria. >> translator: claims that the terrorist group daesh crossed into kobani from turkey are just lies. it is just not true. >> reporter: isil has recently had serious setbacks on the turkish border. kurdish fighters have taken control of some provinces. isil has lost supply lines on the border as well as influence. >> isil has a result needs to show that it still has influence, and that's why it's on the offensive again, also we have the regime itself
retreating from some areas because it is overstretched and this is giving isil a big opportunity to advance. and finally we have the anniversary of the so-called caliphate coming up on monday and isil needs to show it is still very influential and powerful on the ground. >> reporter: and civilians are again caught up in the fighting. kurdish families have also been forced to leave their homes. around 8 million syrians have been displaced inside of syria, and there seems to be no end in sight to the fighting. kobani becoming a flash point again is a cause for concern. well elsewhere in syria, opposition fighters have launched major attacks against government forces. they have taken a strategic square in aleppo after two years of fighting. for the south heavy fighting continues government-held areas.
>> reporter: even after nearly five years of war, it takes time for those hit by a bomb to make sense of what has happened. this is close to the jordanian border in southern syria, the birthplace of the syrian revolution is being bombarded by government air strikes as rebels there make more gains. rebel fighters are calling their latest offensive the southern storm. an alliance of many different groups of fighters in the south has been formed. more than 50 groups including the al-nusra front have joined forces to force syrian troops out of the area. >> translator: we the central military operations center announce the beginning of the southern storm offensive to approve the oppressors, to return people's rights and sovereignty. >> reporter: the syrian military has been hitting the town for a month now. rebels say the jets are backed
by iranian and lebanese allies on the ground. despite many setbacks they say they have captured many villages in the southern province and cut fighters supply routes. >> if there are falls, then that's another nail in the coffin of the regime as far as the rebels are concerned, but of course, it's an opportunity for the regime to exert its control to show that it is not a dead duck, so to speak. it still has some fight left in it. >> reporter: in northern aleppo rebels have surrounded military barracks and seized an important square. the square is the northeastern gate of government-controlled parts of aleppo city and it has taken rebels over two years to win control. affect viss say the syrian government has dropped dozens of baseball bombs in the latest fighting. jordanians said they have not heard shelling this heavy coming
from syria in a while. although rebels have made significant gains, it is close to damascus and the syrian government always seems to strike there. ♪ now a solution to the greek debt crisis seems no closer with a meeting of european union finance ministers breaking up again without an agreement. angela merkel say there is no further progress on talks. the imf says greece must make stronger reforms. greece's prime minister is in brussels to negotiate with creditors. >> i think the european union are full of disagreements, and
compromises, so i'm confident we'll reach a compromise that will help european union and greece to overcome the crisis. >> lawrence lee has been following the day's developments from brussels. again we have no agreement. it feels like ground hog day. >> reporter: yeah it is absolutelyier to chewous, they have now for this which was supposed to be the final meeting to sort it all out, they had meets all yesterday afternoon, all through the night and into this morning, and they can't get anywhere. and i think it's embarrassing and more than a little humiliating, for the european union's finance ministers to abandon these meetings. they abandoned one last night after just after an hour. what they now seem to be
suggesting is they are just going to park it until saturday potentially to let the leaders get on with what they are talking about which is refugees and reform of the european union, and potentially come back on saturday and the head of the finance minister's group has basically been saying tonight that the greeks have not until saturday to agree with the proposal put forward by the creditors, which in itself implies that the creditors aren't going to offer any more concessions, but he says there is still a massive gap. so what happens next? angela merkel, who's thinking is helping guide the creditors has said that they won't be blackmailed by the greeks. and she said there has to be a deal by first thing on monday morning now when the markets open. so that time line has shifted back from friday to monday. but you have to ask yourself if
there's no deal on saturday what happens at the start of next week? are these institutions genuinely prepared to cut greece off? if they are? then it's a massive blow to e.u. and all of these people. if they are not prepared to let it go then it has all been for nothing. >> lawrence thank. the u.s. supreme court has upheld tax subsidies crucial to implementing president obama's healthcare reforms. [ cheers ] >> cheers erupted as you can hear there for the affordable care act outside of the court as the announcement was made. it's a big victory for the president that obamacare can now proceed. it's the second time in three years that the court has ruled against major challenges to the healthcare act. >> the affordable care act is here to stay. this morning the court upheld a
critical part of this law. if the partisan challenge to this law had succeeded, millions of americans would have had thousands of dollars worth of tax credits taken from them. for many insurance would have become unaffordable again. many would have become uninsured again. ultimately everyone's premiums would have gone up america would have gone backwards. and that's not what we do. that's not what america does. we move forward. >> alan fisher joins us live from outside of the supreme court. what does this decision mean? >> reporter: it means the legal arguments are essentially over. what remains of the political argument? this all revolved around a few words. it was about exchanges established by the state, those against obama said that they meant the federal government
wouldn't provide tax subsidies to those who wanted to buy health insurance. the supreme court said it was the intent of the law that was important, much more than the actual work. what does it mean in practice? well, the decision had gone against the obama white house, then 6.4 million people would have lost the subsidies, and many would have lost their healthcare coverage. so clearly you can see why the obama white house believes this is a significant victory for the american people but more importantly for the white house and barack obama's legacy because this was his signature, domestic policy achievement since his first term he has been fighting to preserve it since. >> what has been the rest of the reaction to today's decision? >> reporter: if you look at the republican presidential candidates, most have condemned the decision by the court. mike huckabee has gone so far as
to call it judicial tyranny. for a long they just wanted rid of obamacare, but they realize when you are talking about 6.4 million people, they can't just wipe that away now. they have to put something else in place. and perhaps they will be bringing forward ideas as we move into the presidential election season. but this is the second time the supreme court has held up an important point of the affordable care act, the second time that the chief justice, who has seen as a conservative has sided with the obama white house. this is a big win for obama, and a big win for the white house. >> alan thank you. still to come here on al jazeera, a special report on the new generation of child soldiers in the southern philippines.
merkel says there must be a deal on the greek debt crisis before markets open on monday. she made the comments after talks broke up in brussels without agreement. the u.s. supreme court has upheld a major part of president obama's new healthcare law. it means millions of americans will be entitled to receive tax subsidies. obama hailed the decision as a victory for americans. one of burundi's vice presidents has fled to belgium saying he fears for his life. he says he was threatened after denouncing president pierre nkurunziza's bid to run for a third term in office. haru ma tas sa sent us this
update. >> reporter: this is what we hear happened. the vice president wasn't heard from for a couple of days we were told they some sympathizers were hatching a plan to get him out of the country safely. that happened. when he was able to talk he said the reason he ran away was he criticized theed by to return for a third term in office. that's why he left. people are suggesting that news on thursday when another grenade was thrown in the city center. at least six people were injured and others in critical condition. and students who were part of the opposition marches to try to stop the president from running for a third term have been sleeping outside of the u.s. embassy for sometime now. the police moved in on thursday trying to remove them using
force. the students ran to the u.s. embassy for safety. the u.s. officials opened the gates, let the students in and closed the gates before the police could enter. now the police are outside trying to get the students but they can't get into the u.s. come pound. things are very tense on the ground people wondering what will happen in the next few days. the u.n. envoy to yemen is warning that the country is close to famine. 21 million people are now in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. people are caught up in fighting between forces loyal to president hadi and the houthi rebels and their allies. palestinian leaders have gone to the international criminal court with the hope of bringing war crimes charges against israel.
documents handed to the icc allege crimes in last year's gaza war where thousands died. >> reporter: this as close as this man can get to land his family has owned for generations. when israel began building this settlement considered illegal under national law, an electrify electrified fence was built. he shows me how it prevents him from accessing his property but says he hasn't lost hope of regaining his land one day. >> translator: we inherited this land from our grandparents. i'm glad we are going to the international criminal court. >> reporter: dozens of settlements have been built across the territory, and are now home to more than 600,000 israelis. the key argument in the complaint against the
settlements is based on article 8, section 2, of the icc's roam statute, which states that transfer of an onning mieing power civilian population into territories it occupies is illegal. the file is broken down into three main categories of complaints. the first deals with these illegal settlements, the second deals with the status and treatment of palestinian citizens, and the final, last summer's war with gaza. israel is also accused of seriously breaching the international rules of war during last year's bombardment of the gaza strip when more than 2,200 palestinians were killed mostly civilians. the palestinian submission to the icc also alleges dozens of other violations of international law. >> our goal is to prove that israel has committed war crimes
and crimes against humanity and our goal is to help the icc initiate an investigation as quickly as possible. >> reporter: israeli officials have refused to provide information requested by the icc, saying the court has no authority to investigate palestinian complaints because in its view palestine is not a state. it will be up to the chief prosecutor to determine whether to order an investigation. only individuals can be indicted by the court, not states which means prosecutors will also have to determine which israeli military and government officials can be prosecuted for war crimes or not. cholera has claimed the lives of at least 18 people in south sudan's capitol within the
last three weeks. the government is promising to step up measures to counter the spread of the disease which killed 167 people in south sue sdan last year. treatment centers have been set up a teaching hospital, and a clinic housing civilians. the world health organization is conducting cholera vaccinations in vulnerable areas, targeting nearly 107,000 people. a volcano eruption has lead to the evacuation of thousands of people from their homes. stephanie decker sent this update. >> reporter: we have just had an eruption probably about an hour ago. it was absolutely pet raffiing. we were in a vailage interviewing some military there handing out masks, and all of a sudden all of the children started running, and we could see this massive cloud just trumabling towards us, we all
started running away and got to our cars. nothing happened to the village, but it gives you a sense of how strong mother nature are. we got in our car, and we got stills that are really armageddon like. it was the second biggest re biggest -- eruption since june 2nd. and the police said this is a red zone and we should be moving further away. but now all calm. just goes to show how quickly things can change. >> that was stephanie decker reporting there. the southern region of the philippines has been plagued by violence for decades. in the second part of our special series from the southern philippines, our correspondent reports on the battle to save a new generation of child
soldiers. >> reporter: he has been living a quiet life for over a decade now, but his past remains vivid. he was a child soldier at the age of 12. encouraged by his four brothers who were part of the first recruits for an armed group operating in southern philippines. years later, he is still too afraid to show his face. >> translator: what happened to me is done. i can't go back to it now. but i don't want my children to go through what i went through. >> reporter: abdul group up on an island in the southern most part of the philippines long held back by poverty and armed rebellion. the number of child soldiers recruited here is still unknown. the government admits the problem has remained on the back burner for too long and as a result a new generation of child soldiers has emerged.
♪ >> reporter: in this exclusive video, a new group of fighters is presented, and they are getting younger. they are called the sons of martyrs, that's because most of their fathers were also members, and were killed fighting the government. some of the recruits are as young as 14 years of age. according to the philippine military they are involved in kidnapping, extortion and killing. they are also involved in illicit drugs. they are uneducated poor and marginalized. they say there is no escaping their future. >> we're trying to save the next generation. we cannot save the present generation, because they have already undergone experiences since the '70s. they grew up in war. so what we're trying to do is to cut the cycle, and try to save
the -- this generation from -- from experiencing war and giving them hope. >> reporter: these children also come from the villages which have many armed groups but for these boys from warring communities, football has now become a unifying symbol. most of them are also back in school. this play center has been organizeded by the community, for the first time children have a semblance of what it is like to be a normal child their parents are grateful. they hope this means their children will grow up playing with toys instead of guns. one woman is driving afghanistan's male-dominated culture in a different direction. she has become the country's first female taxicab driver. nicole conston nicole johnston reports. >> reporter: it's a typical day
for this woman. look under the hood. wipe away the dust and she is ready for her shift driving a taxi. this job is anything but typical for a woman in afghanistan. >> translator: i feel happy behind the steering wheel. how can i say it? i'm proud. and i share this with other women. i want to give them more courage. >> translator: this driver is like a sister to us. it's better to drive with her than a strange man. >> reporter: sarah brought her first taxi two years ago after her brother-in-law was killed. she was determined to support 15 people in her family. >> translator: many male taxi drivers tease women or girls. so other women encouraged me to become a driver.
>> reporter: it's a hard to imagine 30 years ago there were women driving public buses, now it's rare to see a woman behind the wheel of a car, let alone a taxi. in this dusty field on the outskirts of town she is giving driving lessons. at least 20 women have told her they want to learn. >> translator: my message to the brothers who won't allow women to drive is they should allow us. how long do women have to sit at home in dark houses? >> reporter: changing society's attitude about women driving won't happen quickly. >> translator: a woman can't be a taxi driver here or any other city because there are security problems. >> reporter: still, sarah says nothing will stop her, not even threats. >> translator: they punctured four of my tires, scratched the car, and stole by registration
plates. other drives cut in front of me on the road. >> reporter: if she is afraid she doesn't show it. and any way, she is too busy picking up passengers. >> you can find out much more on our website, aljazeera.com. the affordable care act is here to stay. >> the supreme court upholds a key provision of the affordable care act keeping healthcare subsidies for millions of americans. ♪ this is al jazeera america, i'm randall pinkston.