4 syrian rebels fight back after a major government offensive on the road from damascus. hello. this is al jazeera live from doha. our other top stories. critical condition, doctors in yemen protest against the lack of medical supplies in the city of thies. a vote for peace and no violence as voting in car. on new years eve, the art of
time through the eyes of one craftsman in tokyo rebel forces are fighting back against syrian government forces in the south of the country. these pictures are said to show the aftermath of an attack on an army tank in the rebel controlled town. al jazeera is unable to independently verify these pictures. it is on the main supply route that connects bashar al-assad's government and the capital of damn as tuesday to the border of jordan. that's where the first antibiotic government protest took place in 2011. >> reporter: activists describe the fighting in the city as the heaviest since the rebels took
control of the area four years ago. they're trying to claim some of the territory which has been under the control of the rebels. we do understand from different sources that the rebels have called for general mobilization. they're asking for different factions based in the north and the west to come to the defense. we have different factions operating over the last three year. one has been backed by the americans and western allies and different conservatives groups. the problems that these groups have been fighting for. we do understand that if they lose the area, that could be the beginning of the decline in the whole area which has been the focal point or the berth place of the uprising against bashar al-assad. so all sources tell al jazeera that this fight is a critical one and there is absolutely no way for the opposition to lose
it because if they do that could be the beginning of the end it has been three minister since the syrian air strikes began. russian forces have carried out more than 5,000 bombing runs in syria since then targeting various groups including i.s.i.l. those strikes have killed more than 2300 people. more than a third of those killed with civilians, including 180 children. russia label's those allegations as absurd. hospitals are saying they are on the verge of shutting down. rob matheson has the report. >> reporter: at the closing of the year no let up in the fighting in yemen. houthi rebels fire shells at a hospital killing a child. hospitals are on the front line
in the battle between the rebels and supporters of the internationally recognised government. at the hospital in thies they plead for more oxygen supplies. without them they say medical care will suffocate. >> translation: we are protesting told because we are no longer able to save our patients. they arrive injured be ewe cannot help them. there is no oxygen or surgery equipment. >> reporter: people with family and friends being treated in the hospital are having to bring in their own oxygen bottles. >> translation: i had to get it from outside the hospital because none are available here. >> reporter: the united nations says more than 21 million yemenis need aid. that's roughly 80% of the population. aid agencies say houthi fighters are not allowing the supplies through. some of that aid is being provided by saudi arabia which is led a coalition fighting the houthi rebels.
both sides have been criticized for the number of civilians killed and injured in bombing campaigns. saudi arabia says its humanity convoys are being targeted. >> there's some on our and others organizations, fighting by military people or non-military people who are attacking those. we are calling all of those people that you are violating international law. >> reporter: the patients at this hospital are unlikely to care where the aid comes from. just as long as it comes. rob matheson iraq's government says the battle to retake ramadi from i.s.i.l. has destroyed 80% of the city. the government claims control of central parts on sunday, but i.s.i.l. remains entrenched in certain districts. the prime minister is promising to turn his attention to mosul. hundreds of thousands of people
are estimated to have been displaced from the country's second largest city. many of them belong to ethnic computers and have escaped to erbil. >> reporter: this man's holidays hasn't been the same for last two years since he lost his arm in a car bomb explosion in mosul. it is hard, he says, to learn to write with the the other handment that's why he goes to a class for younger student. his family first had to leave. they left 20 kilometres away. when i.s.i.l. came to that town, they left again. like many others, it is this time of year that is the hardest >> translation: my family and i can't celebrate. my son lost his arm, my brother is missing. i.s.i.l. took him as a prisoner. it is hard to feel happy when your loved ones are missing. >> reporter: at this camp for displaced chris tenses, more
than 50,000 people are month mosul. they miss their homes. they're living so close to the front lines against i.s.i.l. locally known here as d.a.e.s.h. this man is a priest who also was forced to leave his home in mosul. >> translation: we like to give our people hope and we all believe that god is always with us. i.s.i.l. is very close to where we are. it is a threat not only for the christians but all peace-lovely muslims in kurdistan. >> reporter: every year the congregation at this church grows. many who lost everything still hold on to the one thing that they can, hope. >> i and everybody hope to return to our homes. >> translation: we want to go back to our lives and go back home to peace and safety. >> reporter: as the politicians
search for a solution for the conflict, in areas like this just out of the reach of i.s.i.l. fighters, chris tense have fled-- christians nigeria's president says his government is ready to negotiate with boko haram for the release of nearly 200 school girls missing for over a year and a half. any talks will depend on identifying credible leadership within the armed group. the girls were taken from their dormitories in april last year. there is no evidence to suggest now whether they are alive. despite continued attacks blamed on boko haram, the snow yearian government says it is close to-- nigerian government says it is close to defeating the group.
a report. >> reporter: cashing in on the relative peace, trucks with supplies to liberated areas of north-east nigeria. it is a busy hub. >> the improvement will last for months because we are now getting the peace gradually, seriously, and people are now coming to the market to buy goods. >> reporter: some of the goods he sells end up in the hands of retailers at the market. >> boko haram's attacks on this attack have decreased. the last one was four months ago. business confidence is slowly growing. customers from across the border are slowly coming back. >> reporter: there is a long way to go to prepare the impact of the violence. >> it used to be the major part for the trade. it has impacted negatively, such
that it is has eroded the community by as much as 90%. >> reporter: it could be the case before the region finds its seat again, as infrastructure and business confidence have been badly shaken. >> locally, it is coming to an end. we may experience a few hiccups here and there, such as a few days ago, but we have turned the corner and the war is over. >> reporter: traders are trying to look to the future when they can gain access to cameroon, chad and nigaire. incomes have been cut by as much as 80%. there is cautious excitement about the reduction of violence, but everyone here knows it would only take a spark to shatter that confidence
votes are being counted in car. a landmark presidential and parliamentary vote passed without any major violence and many are hoping it will mark an end to conflict that has killed tens of thousands of people. live to the cop at all of bangui with our correspondent. a successful vote. now, of course, waiting for the results and the real challenge that comes when the new leadership is in place. >> reporter: yes. absolutely. i think widely it has been considered successful because it has happened peacefully. so the focus really turns to the credibility and transparency of the election. we witnessed several issues on election day. polling stations opening late in some cases several hours late, some opened without any election material and that forced the cancellation of the parliamentary vote in at least two districts in the capital. that is significant because here in the capital the
infrastructure is best, the communications are best, so you think the organization of the election would be best. many areas are remote and under developed. infrastructure and communications is an issue out in the provinces. we have heard of complaints of many parliamentary candidates of wider concerns out in those regions, but no confirmation yet from the country's election commission. we are expecting to hear from them later in the day. some issues as well with people turning up without their voter registration cards that they haven't been issued. they were told they could vote with another form of id but they were being turned away from some polling stations. some people were attempting to vote with voter cards that weren't their own. we spoke to the most prominent muslim candidate, abdoul karim meckassoua. he thought it wouldn't be a problem with the overall result, but he was concerned about the potential for fraud further
along this process when counting begins. he thought there would be a result in ten days. looking back on the past month for the referendum in which the country voted overwhelmingly to limit the president to two terms, the turn out was about 30%. so keeping an eye on that figure as well for this election will be very telling. remembering, of course, that le are almost half a-- there are almost half a million refugees outside of this country, registration of them has been slow and low and we're expecting a low turnout there. that's very important because mostly people from this country's minority groups are in those camps thank you for that. more still to come. international tribunal set up. china defends its decision not
the top stories. rebels are fighting back after syrian government forces launched a major offensive in the south of the country. the army has entered the key controlled town. hospitals in the yemen city of thies are on the verge of shutting down. doctors and nurses protested after one hospital refused to
take any more patients. nigeria's president is ready to negotiate with boko haram in relation to the 200 school girls missing. at least 24 people have died after four days of heavy rains in the u.s. states of missouri and illinois. the extreme weather has led to the mississippi river to rise. the national guard has been called in to help rescuers. south american nations are experiencing their worst flooding in half a century. more than a hundred thousand people have been displaced after heavy rains linked to the el nino weather pattern. the latest from our correspondent. >> reporter: people in the floods caused by the el nino phenomenon. it seems like these are repeating themselves all around
south america. areas have been flooded for days. thousands of houses destroyed by the water. over 160,000 people have been forced to flee. paraguay has been hit with more than 100,000 people forced out of their home near the capital. >> translation: this is how we pass the time and the street is dangerous because the traffic. >> reporter: they have been affected here. they say they're afraid. >> translation: it has been raining too much. it has rained so up mere it is scary. only god knows what he is doing. this is nature, but it is raining too much. >> reporter: el nino is driven by a warm surface water in the eastern pacific ocean. it generates climate fluctuat n fluctuations. it is still building and it could rival the weather effects
of 1997. with conditions set to worsen, aid organizations warn that that el nino could leave millions of people exposed to disease and hunger other news from around the world. venezuela supreme court has barred four newly elected law makers from taking office. putting the congressional majority at risk. it was a response filed by the supporters of the ruling socialist party. in december election the opposition took control of congress for the first time in more than a decade. the capital of belgium has cancelled plans for new year's eve fireworks because of security threats. the country has been on high alert since the paris attacks in november. several of the attackers had had links there. israeli prosecutors say the primary suspect in the west bank arson attack will be charged with murder.
three members were killed in dumar, including an 18 month old baby. the international criminal tribunal for rwanda officially closes on thursday. it was set up to prosecutor those suspected of involvement in the 1994 genocide. nearly a million people were killed. some of the are still on the run. >> reporter: these men say they killed dozens of their neighbors. they spent years in prison for it. it was during rwanda's 1994 genocide and they all say the mayor here at the time organized the killings in this area. >> translation: i killed because he had already filled our hearts with hate. if you refused to kill, he ordered others to kill you. >> reporter: after more than 20 years on the run, when this man was arrested in neighbouring democratic republic of congo, he
was flown to the capital. the u.n. criminal tribunal had indicted him in 1996. in 1994 thousands of tutsis fleeing the violence had gathered around here. inside it is asome behr seen. here are some of the clothes of people who were killed here. over here some skills and other human remains and here some of the weapons that were used to kill them. the indictment says that he over saw the killing of thousands of his country men and also raped and sexual violence against women. the tribunal known as the icctr who indicted him, sentenced 60 high-level genocide suspects. now it is closing. rights group criticises it for only trying people on one side of the conflict. the rwandan army defeated the
militia that were involved in the genocide that u.n. investigators say it also mass kerred touttsis. >> they shot not be compared to ictr was unprecedented and it did bring justice to some of the victims of one of the worst atrocities of the 20th century. malcolm webb. rwanda china has defended its decision not to renew press credentials for a french journalist. effectively expelling her from the country. ursula gauthier says it is about an article she wrote. she believes they did not read the article. the chinese foreign ministry says ursula gauthier should apologise for her reports. >> translation: first of all, china has kept in contact with all foreign correspondents.
i think if the journalist, ursula gauthier, she will apologise voluntarily nor evidence has emerged that a clinic may have illegally prescribing human growth hormones in the u.s. it was a clinic that was featured in a story earlier this week. the clinical was shipping human growth hormone to the wife of american football star peyton manning. debra davies reports. >> reporter: about a decade ago sports columnist was feeling exhausted. as he explained to al jazeera reporter, he went to see dr dale geyer who runs an anti ageing clinic. >> i went because i was dealing
with this overwhelming fatigue. i was sleeping 14/15 hours a day. i couldn't get out of bed in the morning. >> reporter: dr geyer told him he needed human growth hormone >> he felt it would raise my energy level and help me return back to the land of the living. >> reporter: dr leonard geyer was also named in a criminal indictment against a colorado pharmacy, illegally importing hgh in china. he wasn't a defendant or charged with any wrongdoing, but he was one of the doctors who allegedly purchased the drug for patients. earlier this week al jazeera's investigative unit revealed that charlie sly, who had done part of his pharmacy training at the geyer institute, said human growth hormone had been shipped to peyton manning's wife ashleigh. following this report, while he wrote about his own experience at the geyer clinic with hgh.
he knew it was banned for professional athletes. as a patient, he had no idea it's also illegal for a doctor to prescribe it just for fatigue. >> i knew what it was, but it's one of those things where if you are in a desperate situation and you have a doctor you trust, and i trusted dr geyer at the time, if he tells you that it's potentially medically efficacious, you will do it. >> reporter: one of america's top experts in hgh previously told al jazeera that the drug can only be prescribed legally for three very serious medical conditions. >> it's one of the only drugs that i know of that is in that way off-label prescription illegal not just not a good idea. >> reporter: bob says the hg m
had zero impact on his fatigue, only on his pocket. the gyer clinic did not respond to our request for a comment many of us will be keeping a close eye on the time as clocks wind down on 2015. one independent watch maker preserving the art of time works in a tiny workshop just outside tokyo filled with vintage tools and machinery he bought from onlike auction. >> translation: i am an independent watch maker. independent watch makers make watches all by themselves. usually a company would have people assigned to design, create parts and build it. independent watch makers do all of that by themselves. when i first began to create time pieces, i wanted to make something no-one has ever seen before, but now i want to
express the culture of my own country through my watches. the clocks we use divide the day into 24 hours. the japanese were made to be in day and night. the seasonal change is automatically adjusted by the changing speed of the hands or by changing the spacing of the indexes. craftsmen from 150 years ago had no computers, no precision instruments. everything was done by their own hands. there was a time where i was overwhelmed by the complexity and almost gave up. i didn't have any money or machinery, but it made me think i should be better off than them. the clock helped me decide my path. from observing every day life events, an idea would crystallise and gives shape to my new time pieces. i have incorporated designs
inspired by japanese traditions, such as the rock garden, a samurai sword-making technique. i made this watch just by my own hands and it took one year. i would like the owner of my time pieces to feel that kind of time. there are days when i get completely immersed and forget time. i could work on a part all day and if something goes wrong i have to start again. the fact that you can do everything by yourself is a bliss, not a hardship. you can transform the idea in your head into an actual shape and that is hard to do in an age where efficiency and cost cutting have utmost value. if you need a practical watch, the world is never short of far more accurate and economical watches, but these time pieces are going to accompany you on a life's journey. they would stop if you do not wind them up for two days and they are imperfect. humans need to look after them
to make them work. i think that is the charm of these watches well, time now to have a look at our website. the top story there is the battle in southern syria between government and rebel forces. also there a special look at what interested the world in 2015. all that and much more, al jazeera.com powerful weather system. >> these urchins are in trouble right now, why is that? >> our oceans getting warmer and more toxic. land frozen for years now melting. what is happening around the planet and what can science do