21/09/2016 World News Today


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I'm Lyse Doucet at the United Nations in New York.


The US Secretary of State calls for all planes to be grounded


in key areas of Syria to try to save the truce there.


There's been dozens more air raids around the city of Aleppo


and amid continued recriminations against Russia


over the destruction of an aid convoy on Monday.


He said the damage to the convoy was as a direct result


Trucks of food and medicine, just spontaneously combusting.


We report on how Kurdish Peshmerga forces are getting close


to pushing so-called Islamic State out of Iraq once and for all.


And I'll also be talking to the Iraqi Prime Minister


about the Iraqi armies battle to retake Mosul from IS.


I hope we can do it, and we are intending on doing it.


I'm not giving any information - I want to surprise Daesh on this.


The outside the headquarters of the United Nations. Again, Syria is


dominating the headlines with them not just that, retention and


recrimination after Monday's attack on the UN, Terry and convoy heading


towards the besieged city of Aleppo. Today, more reports of an attack on


a clinic that has left 20 civilians dead.


John Kerry said that the peace in Syria was hanging by a thread, and


they were tense moments with Sergey Lavrov over who is responsible for


the attacks on the aid convoy in how to move Syria forward.


Monday night's attack on the aid convoy was a shocking part of the


violent end to the Syrian ceasefire. American led accusations that a


Russian air strike was responsible for this, and Russian denials of any


involvement now threaten to derail the entire search for a Syria peace.


At the United Nations, the Security Council met to see if any sort of


peace process can be saved. Passions were running extraordinarily high,


but Russia's Foreign Minister said nobody should drum to conclusions.


-- jump to conclusions. TRANSLATION: Many said it could have


been a rocket or artillery shelling, that was what the initial reports


were, then helicopters or warplanes were mentioned. I think we need to


refrain from emotional reactions and make comments immediately, but first


we must investigate and be professional. That appeal to avoid


feelings and Russian denials were simply too much for the Americans. I


listened to my colleague from Russia, and I sort of felt a little


bit like we were in a parallel universe here. Then a John Kerry let


rip in a sustained assault on their credibility, dismissing their


accounts, including one that it might have been a simple fire on the


ground. They just spontaneously combusted. Anybody here believe


that? I mean, this is not a joke. So what do we know about the attack on


the aid convoy? It took place on Monday night. The convoy was


intending to head on to rebel held areas in Aleppo province. Russia has


admitted tracking the convoy with a drone. They showed their footage


shows it was accompanied by a rebel convoy. Those at the scene insisted


was struck from the air. TRANSLATION: They dropped barrel


bombs and then Russian jets bombed us, there was lots of strafing. The


United states so they were jets above the convoy at the moment it


was hit. Russia denies involvement. It says there are no craters at the


scene, and suggests that somehow the cargo caught fire. The Foreign


Secretary, Boris Johnson, does not buy that. He is convinced the attack


was from the air, and that only the Russians had the capability. There


are only two possible culprits, only two forces capable of powering


carried out that strike, flying in that area. They are the Syrians and


the Russians. We have our doubts about the Syrian capability to fly


at night. So you're left with a pretty strong conclusion, as you


will have been hearing. The destruction of the convoy and


killing of aid workers has sparked the worst crisis so far in


international efforts to end Syria's agony.


At the moment here at the United Nations, where the international


committee had been looking to end the violence, their argument about


who reignited it. You must be disappointed. Is there


any hope of moving beyond this now? We cannot give up. There is no


alternative. What is the alternative? Going back to a war


which will be ongoing without limit. We almost had a ceasefire. We almost


had he Medmerry and eight. Foremost is not good enough in Syria. --


almost had humanitarian aid. There are some who do not want it. Today


was a tense meeting. But I have a strong feeling that both Russia and


America, who have been putting a lot of capital into it, will not give up


before Friday. Then we perhaps might get something moving. You know who


carried out the attack on the convoy? The United States say it was


Russian planes. It was a UN convoy. It was. It was full of food, and


fully authorised. Everyone knew where they were going. There was no


east is forcing them, there were 31 tracks. I cannot tell you at this


stage who did it, but I can tell you one thing, you need a highly


sophisticated machine to kill 18 trunks out of 31, and there was no


excuse. You have a -- you have relied on Russia and America to move


on. If there is hostility between them, how can you move on? In


fairness to both of them, they both work hard. I work with both of them,


and they worked overnight. They got quite a good deal. I want to believe


that over what -- those who are trying to spoil this... Who are


those? You have two identify them to stop them. We have identified them.


Are they the main parties? They are not. They are people on both sides,


and the Government and opposition who do not feel that this is


actually fitting into their picture. They have been spoiling both the


American and Russian tactics. Russia and America have responsibilities,


they have two brain in and convince their own partners that this is


serious. The alternative is chaos, it is war. I am still optimistic.


You will have heard of John Kerry calling for the grading of all


planes. They have been trying to achieve that for so long. Any sense


that that is possible? It is possible and doable. It was part of


the original plan. Which did not work. It did not reach that point.


It undermined the second chained of three points. A reduction of our


studies is phase one. He manner Terry and aid is phase two. Phase


three is around grabbing the Syrian air force. -- humanitarian aid is


phase one. Isn't this the brunt of the problem, that those on the


ground believe in the military solution? Yes, but they should know


by now that there is no military solution. One week, one believes


they can bring. The second week, the other one. This is still the best


chance. We must wish good luck and energy and responsibility to the


Russians and the Americans. They told us publicly that they had a


deal. They must make it work. We understand that the suspension of


aid deliveries has been lifted. Are they now rolling? They are.


Humanitarian aid must always prevail. You are not losing hope?


Losing hope would be betraying all of the Syrians that had been waiting


for some good things. You have seen the mood inside the Security


Council, it is hard to see how it can be picked up, despite the


necessity of it. I have seen the difficult meetings. It was not the


most difficult one. I could detect that both the Russians and American,


while they were being quite tense towards each other, they were still


saying that when they looked at each other, they had a chance. They need


both of them to make it work. Thank you.


Still chance, he says, to try to save this embattled truce across


Syria. has been causing growing


despair here at the UN, in Iraq, the army is pushing up


from the south towards Mosul, the Islamic State group's last major


stonghold in the country. At the same time,


Kurdish Peshmerga forces are closing in on IS


from the East. Our correspondent, Orla Guerin,


joined them on the frontline, On the front line, a tense moment


for Kurdish Peshmerga fighters. They spot a car in the


territory controlled They think could be


carrying explosives. The commander tells me


that IS just a comment ahead. They've tried to attack us 30 or 40


times, says the general. They've tried to attack us 30 or 40


times, says the general. And we will defeat them


in Mosul, God willing. We drive over rough terrain,


along the front line, which stretches


for 1,000 kilometres. a fighter who has been


here on the mountain for 18 months. But his uniform


separates him from the rest. He's a former British soldier,


turned volunteer sniper. He says he has no hesitation


pulling the trigger on IS. It's like putting


your foot on an ant. For you, personally,


what was it that This isn't your country,


many would say. For people to say this


isn't the West's war, you've got your head


stuck in the sand. here, then the next step


for them would be Europe. Nice, Paris would be nothing


compared to what we would see. The fact of the matter


is that the Peshmerga held the line, This mortar landed


soon after we arrived. IS were responding to our


presence, the Kurds said. Their horizon stretches


beyond defeating the insurgents. The Peshmerga have been


expanding their territory, They want independence


for their autonomous region. But, for now, the focus


is on freeing Mosul. This IS defector surrendered


to the Kurds, and claims that the extremists have


dug in for a long fight. We're not revealing his identity


as he has relatives They are trying to convert a cannon


to fire mustard gas so that, when the army comes,


people use it against them. They have underground


tunnels around Mosul, They have bunkers equipped


with bathrooms, Back of the front line,


a distant glimpse of Mosul, the captive city, where


IS proclaimed its caliphate. The UN is warning


that if the militants they may want Mosul


to die with them. A difficult and dangerous battle for


ice lies ahead. -- for Mosul lies ahead.


The decision is a political one to be taken by Iraq's Prime Minister. I


sat down with him here in New York to ask whether he believed the


battle will be next month. Well, yes, I hope we can do it,


and we are intending on doing it. I'm not going to give


any information, I want to surprise


Daesh on this. Usually, we give many messages,


and one of the messages is that we start our offensive today


to liberate all of the villages on the River Tigris so that Daesh


will not be able to threaten any supply routes


to and from Baghdad, to Mosul, I want to make sure


that the international coalition is ready to provide help


for us when we need it. it is going to be ready


in the next couple of days. But most of the things


are settled at the moment. And we hope that it will be ready


sometime in the next few weeks. What do you fear about the attack


on so-called Islamic State, where it is most entrenched


amongst civilians? We've been told before that Falluja


was more difficult than Mosul. Some advised us at the time to leave


Falluja until the end. it took us only three weeks


to liberate the city. It was quite a huge


casualty for Daesh. President Obama said the battle


for Mosul will be hard, challenging, Well, I mean, this is


a psychological war. So you're pretending


it's going to be easy where, in fact,


in your heart hearts, you know this could be the biggest


battle, the bloodiest battle but, in preparation, I have


to assume it is very difficult. So I'm preparing things


for a very difficult fight in Mosul. But, in actual fact,


from the messages we are getting from inside the city, from people


who are cooperating with us, people are ready to


do things in there. So I think people are ready,


Daesh morale is very low. There are many foreign


fighters in Mosul. It's not just a military battle


for your forces, it is a very political,


sectarian battle. As you know, the arguments


are very public about whether the Shia militia will go in,


where will the Kurdish forces go? Are you worried


that you will not be able to get everyone moving


in the same direction? The plan which I have authorised


in probably the last two weeks is... I mean, it's very much explained


the role of everyone. There will be Sunnis,


there will be Kurds, there will be Shia, there will be


the other minor Christians, I cannot stop them or prevent


them from taking part in liberating their own


homes, their own cities. My role is to enable them to do that


in a very established way so that their efforts are added up


rather than negating each other. At the moment, it looks like it's


going in the right direction. The Kurds have said they are worried


they're not going be given the role Probably some people think


they are not getting a role, Because if one party believe


they have taken all of the roles, It's said that President Obama


would like to leave the White House with so-called Islamic State


no longer holding territory I don't know whether


the rest of the world I'm very alarmed by


the situation in Syria. The eastern side of Syria


is still in the hands of Daesh, We are moving towards holding


the border with Syria. But what is next there,


on the other side of the border? We're talking to everybody,


please solve Syria. It's important to solve


the situation in Syria. Iraq's prime and stuff. During his


time here in New York, he had two macro meetings with the American


president, including a meeting where it was just the two leaders. They


were discussing this crucial battle on the city of Mosul. We do know


that the White House would like to end this administration by being


able to say that the territorial control of Iraq and Syria by the


so-called Islamic state has come to an end. So he was looking for


financial support here, military support, humanitarian support. One


of the things that was not in that interview was that he also asked for


President Obama's help in removing Turkish forces. There are many, many


issues which are pawns in the side. Let's return to Syria, which has


been dominating headlines this week. The two attacks, one on the


humanitarian and void the last -- convoy, and the one on the clinic.


John Kerry has asked for all of the planes to be grounded in Syria. Is


that possible? Our State Department correspondent has been speaking to a


member of the artist says government to find out if that would be


possible. The whole agreement is hanging by a


thread, and is doing so because of this big Regis attack on a convoy


that had been planned. There were coming to the aid of innocent


civilians. The question before us now is whether Russia has the intent


and the capacity to make good on its commitments under the agreement we


reached after a lot of hard work. If it does, and if it can, this would


be a permit is benefit by renewing a cessation of hostilities, by getting


the Syrian air force out of the skies to stop into skimmer at the


bombing innocent civilians. Ultimately, it is up to Russia to


decide. The deal is this, if this doesn't work, if Russia does not


make good on these commitments, then hard as it is to imagine, this will


get worse. Rush you will be left holding the bag, propping I that


will be under attack, and Russia will be alienating itself. It is up


to Russia. All of this is depending on Russia, and the Americans are


working closely on Russia. At the same time, you are saying that they


are accountable for this strike on the humanitarian convoy. How can you


keep that up question of if you believe that, the US will be


complicit with those actions. The best way, the best chance we have of


stopping the carnage in Syria is through this agreement. The


challenge is this. These things and, Sybil was like Syria and in three


ways. One side wins. Once one side starts to get power, the patrons of


the other side start to in more resources. Or outside powers come in


and try to end the violence. Russia has more at stake because if this


does not succeed, as I said, they will be left responsible for Syria.


Briefly, the military co-operation of it, that must be off the table?


Russia has said from the start that it is in Syria to go after Isis as


well as prop up the Assad regime. We know that, but the point of the


ceasefire was that the Russians and the US would co-operate monetarily.


Since you are accusing them of being committed in this air strike, that


must be off the table? What we have said is that if this agreement holds


for seven days, we get seven days of a cessation of hostilities, we can


look at establishing a mechanism to coordinate in doing what we want to


do, which is in the interests of the International committee, to go after


Daesh. That depends on whether Russia is ready to make good on its


commitments. It's as that you do not have much leverage. I think the


leverage is, what is the alternative? An acceleration of a


civil war that will harm Russia's interests were that anyone else's. I


want to ask you about Russia. Sorry, refugees. There has been a lot of


talk about refugees, a lot of money raised to help them, but no


commitment for countries to resettle them. How do you get around that at


the moment, in terms of doing something practical for refugees,


other than just giving them a question much we have put more


resources into the international systems to help refugees. We have


significantly increased the number of people resettled all around the


world, including by the United States was up they have to be in


fermented, but we make commitments and we have to make sure that we


stick to them. We have commitments to make sure that 1 million for


refugee children have access to school, and a million more have


access to jobs. Ultimately, it comes to Syria and that crisis, the best


way to end the crisis is to end the civil war. That is what we're


working hard to do. The depth the Secretary of State,


speaking to my colleague. ! The alternative to a negotiated end


to this war is just more war. It is hanging by a thread, John Kerry


said. We had from the special envoy to Syria, saying that both John


Kerry and Sergey Lavrov will go back to the negotiating table to get


something back on track. If not, look at Aleppo. It has become a


symbol of the suffering of Syria. Everyone knows the suffering, the


question is what to do to end it? But from me and the rest


of the team, goodbye. Plenty of contrast


across the country We got over the front crossing


the country - it's bringing


some outbreaks of rain. It's a pretty wet and to the day,


actually, across parts of Northern


Ireland and Scotland. It continues to track its way


slowly eastwards,


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