high-rise hotel in dubai, ata least 14 people are injured. despite the downtown new year's eve celebration went ahead in the city. hello, you are watching al jazeera live from london, also coming up. rebel fight back as government forces attempt to take control of a key town in syria. iran expands the ballistic missile program after reports of new sanctions from the united states.
and celebrations amido the security fears the world welcomes in 2016. new years celebration have taken place in dubai question spite a massive fire the blaze at the hotel. 9:30 p.m. local time. 14 people were reportedly injured in the blaze, one person suffer add heart attack due to smoke inhalation and overcrowding during the evacuation. >> they looked -. >> very close to the word's tallest building.
>> six tons of fireworks and the lights are in the buildinge fire and she joins me now on the phone. about events in the past hour or so, has there been much progress in extinguishing the fire. >> the fire house -- the authorities an hour and a half ago now, is probably accurate it is still locally now, however, for the building but it is fully uncontrol, and still covering a lot of downtown dubai as
well. which is still causing worry for people who aren't necessarily that close to the building and a bit of a distance. they are still coming -. >> and the road has been open for people to travel back home. people are are moving on from dubai. >> tell us more about what you have been seeing particularly as you hit the stroke of midnight, and went into the new year, you aring looing at quite a remarkable image, smoke billowing out, while a vie brand colorful work display takes place at what looks. >> it was a real surreal experience.
the other half, the fire literally actual fire coming out, of a well known hotel right next to it. and it was quite the crazy experience, filled with mixed emotions here, and people were looking out for the fireworks, and the shadows by the fire. still you can aware of exactly how the fire started. i have heard reports and rumors that it was caused by a person. and that's -- the kind of fire went up from there what exactly it was we aren't are sure, whether it was electrical, but people are saying it was a person that caught the rest of the hotel on fire. >> so that's something you have been hearing but we have not official confirmation of
that we have been getting regular updates from the twitter feed, the official twitter feed of the media office of the government of dubai, and the last thing we heard from them about 40 minutes ago was that they are offering alternative accommodation to those who have been evacuated from the address hotel. and particularly at this time of year, a popular place and venn crew to bring in the new year with locals, with ex-and many tourists that would have been coming into the city to enjoy new year's eve, can you tell me what you have been seeing in the area surrounding the hotel? people having been evacuated are those crowds still there have they been moved away from the area completely? >> yeah, around the hotel area, and the whole area and the dubai area, it was heavily packed.
cueing up to watch the spectacular fireworks. people all around the i have vinty, just to get a glimpse it is the tallest building in the world. >> people started to evacuate and the hotel itself, evacuated whether they got absolutely everyone out, that's something i am not sure of. but what i could see is the emergency offense ises really struggling to actually get to the fire. the road was completely blocked with traffic, people traveling in and out of downtown dubai, and they are just trying to snake their way through the traffic, and it was really very very slow progress for them. to get to the actual fire, i believe personally, that had they get the different plans, that the traffic and the way
it was under control, they could have been there a lot quicker, and maybe a lot less injury, but we don't know the official number yet. they ares may have released a smaller number, or a number they swept off to the side, just to get people away it was a fantastic show, but i am sure the real figures will come out in time. yes, the official report suggests that 14 have been injured, they say no children were among those injured, but never the less, we know that the authorities there wasted no time in saying that the festivities would go ahead plans for fireworks and celebrations would go ahead despite the scale of the fire itself which now appears to be under control, and of course you are mentioning the traffic, and it is important to point out this is difficult even at the best of
times but during this season, which is popular with tourists because the climate cools down, but also on new year's eve, dubai is a city where people in the region, people from europe, congregate, enjoy the new years they go there to spend their christmas holidays so there would have been the roads would have been particularly congested and rasheed, i know you have been witnessing these events unfold over the past couple of hours, how long would you say it was between the time the fire broke out, and really emergency crews were able to significantly be have a significant presence. how long would you say? a rough time lapse would have been. there was plenty of emergency services down at the scene.
obviously i don't think they were expecting such an event to happen at such a large scale. therefore they have to call in a lot of back up, which really struggles to get there, and that is the big down fall in ensuring the fire was put out a lot earlier. so i would say a good hour for the bulk of the services to get to the scene. and to mutt the fire out, a lot of smoke still coming out now, and still reaching around 400 meters which is around half way off the building in the whole world, so still plenty of smoke around, probability the biggest worry along with people arriving from inside
the hotel. thank you for taking the time to tell us what is happening. you can see the fire, it has been largely distinguished still some flames burning there, but smoke billowing out uh and as our eyewitness was saying spoke smoke inhalation, and the thickness of the smoke itself, now smoke inhalation in the nearby areas. perhaps as health and safety hazard, for buildings in the surrounding area. the tallest building in the world, firework displays going off new year's eve celebrations continuing as
planned and this was what we saw as we retched midnight in dubai. we know the blaze starting on 20th floor, the authorities were telling us that they were working very hard to prevent the flames from penetrating the inside of the hotel, but certainly an expert we spoke to a little while ache said it would have been very difficult to prevent a fire of this scale, from reaching the inside walls of the hotel. just because of the fact that you have -- it would have been very difficult for fire brigades to reach the fire, which you can see is engulfing the fire. you would have had internal sprinkler systems on the inside to extinguish any flames but that doesn't do much good when you have a fire blowing up the outside. so far, 14 are injured, and we do not know the cause of the fire but we will continue
to stay across this story and bring you the latest. >> now to syria where a ballle is underway, that can have a significant impact on the course of the war. government forces have launched a major campaign to recapture a key city that coms the roots to the south of the country, from the capitol damascus. but rebel factions are fighting back as they report these fighters are on the counter offensive. they are launching an attack to repair the government troops an opposition strong hold in southern syria. they say that many turns were part of the government offensive.
the russian arrival is like a game changer. it added more military assets, more air power, more intelligence, since we know earlier, when president asaad and his speech said we are -- i don't have enough personnel in order to fight. trying to limit the spin back of the regime. >> the birthplace of syria's uprising. while the capitol of the province is still under government control, the rebel ares have captured most of the towns. doha is crucial for both sides. if captures by government forces they will have to pull out, the fall is also going to be bad news for rebel factions based on the
outskirts of damascus. regrets in eastern doha. there are many armed groups operating in doha, mainly oven the front. free syrian army renegades and fighters. but the opposition rebels have been weakened by divisions and internal fighting. the division has called on the rebels to set their differences aside. at this particular moment, could undermine the chances of the rebels pushing for more confessions from the government, in h the upcoming talks that will be held in geneva. al jazeera, southern turkey. the iranian president has ordered aen expansion of the development program.
iran condemned the report, saying it has a right to develop missile as long as they are not designed to carry war heads. officials say the bat toll retake ramadi has destroyed 80% of that city. the local government is telling residents it is not safe to return straight away. isil is still fighting in other districts, many people remain trapped but thousands have managed to escape, and are living in camps nearby. at that time, everything was in disorder. the extremist groups just enslaughterred and bloodshed. >> still to come for you, lost in cam lie, why these
children are being called the forgotten victims of europe's refugee crisis. and singing in the new year, celebrations take place around the world. bring your family and friends together to discover the best shows and movies with xfinity's winter watchlist. later on, we'll conspire ♪ ♪ as we dream by the fire ♪ a beautiful sight, we're happy tonight ♪ ♪ watching in a winter watchlist land, ♪
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the battle for the key syrian town has entered it's second day, government forces launch add major offensive backed by russian air power, but rebel groups are fighting to hold the city. and the iranian president has ordered an expansion of the country's ballistic missile program in response to reports that the u.s. is planning new sanctions against teheran. now a pro government commander has been killed in a drive by shooting in the yemen city. was shot dead just hours after handing over control. it came under attack on wednesday. at the closing of the year, no let uhm in the fighting in yemen. houthis 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 reck are niced government medical staff are are struggling to cope. the hospital they plead for more oxygen supplies without them they say medical care will suffer. they arrive injured but we cannot help them. there is no oxygen and no surgery equipment. they are having to bring in their own oxygen bottles. >> i have to get it from outside the hospital. some of that sid is now being provided which has led a coalition fighting the rebels. both sides have been
criticized for the number of civilians killed and injuries in campaigns. >> other organization organizab matheson al jazeera. >> the u.s. stock markets have ended with loss. the s&p 500 posted their worst year end results since 2008. the dow lost 2.2% while the broader s&p fell .7%. a german chance lore has thanked the public for
helping refugees who have moved to the country this year, in her new years speech she looked back at the on going cries us and warned it would present a challenge in 2016. >> so many people will be demanding it will cost time effort and money. especially in the view of the task of those that will stay here permanently, we need to learn from mistakes of the past. a co existence in our country, that is good and shaped by mutual respect, this applies to anyone who wants to live here. they are observing this new year's eve as an an versery, one year after 36 people were crushed to death in a
stampede. out of respect, all the activities that usually take place were canceled. putin has praised soldiers fighting against what he called international terrorism, the russian president made a special new years address that was broadcast on state t.v. we are thankful to all those people, working days and holidays today i would like to congratulate those servicemen of our country. who fight international terrorism. stand for the national interest of rush are sha, and the distant frontiers commitment, decisiveness and firm character. they have closed off the red square to the public for the new years firework displace, as part of a wider security crack down put in place across the capitol as some fear a violent backlash over rush are sha's campaign in syria.
many people here say they are fearful, they face a violent backlash, because of russia's participation in the war in syria. the bombing has been going on since september, more than 5,000 have been flown, as rush are sha gradually drawn into an extended campaign. in moscow the security forces are in lock down, at railway stations they have been brought in 15,000 additional police and troops deployed. this is at the red square have been subject to body searches.
>> maybe the government will get starter and stop blocking everybody. >> now an opposition leader protests will grow. only a war can prevent that, what war, will it be a war in syria, a ground operation, will it be an extense of the conflict, will some other conflict come up in another part of the world, or god forbid in our borders, we can't say, any war con salt dates people around their leader. and syria, they haven't produced the results he was looking for. >> if they believe that his ambitious foreign policy initiative in syria would die verge international attention, away from his land
grab in ukraine, he will be disappointed. there's been no concession and foreign sanctions against russia, the price of oil, and the value of the rule continue their spectacular fall. and the people of russia may find themselves accompanying the president. a very rocky war over the next five months. >> the century's old tradition of seeing it in on red square has been scrapped. for the first time in it's history it will be closed off. gathered in one place regarded as an unacceptable risk in the time of esclipping threat levels. al jazeera, in moscow. >> coming into us now, police in germany saying there has been indications of a possible attack in munich, they have also ordered two train stations to be cleared so we will stay across that, and bring you any information
as it comes into us, but there are other cities around the world, also on high security alert, as they usher in 2016, usual fireworks displayed have been canceled in the french and belgium capitols but everywhere else, most other places so far -- other fears. the capitol sidney hosts to displays it was the biggest ever display, and includes a 100,000 pyrotechnic effects. taiwan launched it's new years in the tallest building the people of the display nature is the future. and while the news in 2015 has been dominated by the battle against isil as well as europes biggest crisis since world war ii. as the year draws to a close, is a reminder of some of 2015's most powerful moments.