Crisis in Iraq: On the Frontlines of the Iraq Fight

US Marines and Special Forces landed on Mt. Sinjar in Northern Iraq.
2:50 | 08/13/14

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Transcript for Crisis in Iraq: On the Frontlines of the Iraq Fight
driving treacherous To breaking news in Iraq, a combination of U.S. Marines and special forces landed for a time on the mountain in northern Iraq, Mt. Sinjar. A lot of questions about what they were there for, and what is coming next. That's the mountain region we have seen heart wrenching helicopter scenes emerge. A chopper unable to handle the weight of desperate refugees, holding on to the chopper, it crashed. The pilot was killed. Tonight here, Martha Raddatz standing by live. What is the plan for U.S. Troops in Iraq? First, the images right there, ABC is on the ground in northern Iraq. Reporter: American troops off that mountain, after assessing the dire situation, refugees trapped, militants below. The same militants facing off with troops. Here we go. Reporter: We drove with them on a rusty pickup truck through the sun baked sand of northern Iraq right into no man's land. The brutal Isis fighters a few minutes away. This is the front line in the war against Isis, on the other side of the trench is a village occupied by Isis fighters. How often are they shooting at you. Every night. Reporter: Here at this fly infested outpost soldiers say American strikes have slowed down religious militants in their push to take over. They have missiles, rockets, tanks. We don't care. We fight by hand. Reporter: At this rate, they might have to. As we saw firsthand. Can I see this? So this is all you have? Yes. Reporter: No body armor. No. Reporter: America tonight signaling it may be ready to do more. Preparing a rescue mission to help those thousands of starving refugees fearing for their lives trapped by the militants, up high on that mountain. The white house today saying it hasn't ruled out deploying troops to help them get down to safety. With thousands of Isis fighters here on the ground, make no mistake, getting the refugees off the mounten and to safety is going to be a dangerous mission. David. Our team in Iraq, our thanks. Bring in chief global affairs correspondent Martha rad atsz. You reported earlier U.S. Forces and Marines landed on that mountain for a time today. The big question for people at home tonight. What comes next? Officials I'm in touch with today say they are just waiting for the approval, and they would be ready to go with a rescue mission. So far, of course, our contribution has been through air power. The U.S. Launching more fighter jets off of a carrier today. But in order to rescue thousands of people, you would almost certainly need boots on the ground. And while the white house has insisted over and over, that U.S. Troops would not be put back into a combat role in Iraq, this rescue mission would put them in enemy territory, and they certainly could be sucked into combat, if they came under fire, David. Martha Raddatz live in our Washington bureau, thanks. We move on now to the new

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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