ISIS Advances On Strategic Syrian Town of Kobani Despite U.S. Airstrikes

Terror Group holds key areas of important border town even after the U.S. launched 21 airstrikes against militants.
14:11 | 10/14/14

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Transcript for ISIS Advances On Strategic Syrian Town of Kobani Despite U.S. Airstrikes
And and. Smoke rising over a strategic city in the fight against -- as the terror group taking over. Even more of an important border town despite US air strikes against them. Right now the international hot spot -- Syria hello everyone I'm Michelle Franzen in New York today President Obama is set to meet with the military commanders. From twenty countries over how to combat the group the now calls itself the Islamic state. The focus of all the military efforts currently have been on the Syrian border town of -- Bonnie. Which ice this is gaining control of despite air strikes from the United States. The BBC's Gary -- Donoghue reports. And customs special features on it. -- truth accuracy -- the range of Britain has ruled out sending troops to fight Islamic state. But these soldiers from the Yorkshire regiment who lost as not to film their faces. Helping to train Kurdish troops and as the punishment got in an appeal for capital of the Kurdish region in Norton -- -- jets it's as simple as Britain has -- forty heavy machine guns so far to the Kurdish forces along with half a million rounds of ammunition. The government says it's open to the idea of supplying more. Foreign secretary Philip Hammond has been holding talks with Iraqi and Kurdish leaders who told reporters -- airstrikes alone would not defeat -- You can't rollback the ISO presence on the ground you can't destroy the organizer nation with that power lines that will take time and it will take. The local. Forces boots on the ground Iraqi Kurdish. To do the job. Meanwhile the battle for the northern Syrian town of for -- shows no sign of abating. With Kurdish forces under siege on three sides by fighters from exotic state. These pictures shot -- -- forces over the weekend. -- -- -- the furious building by building street by street come fight being conducted through the town. As the -- pulled out in this area firepower but clients can call upon. Reports on the ground suggests that Islamic state has captured around 14% of the -- That Kurdish fighters a pushing up some stiff resistance. With some alliance elements being pushed back at least temporarily. In Washington president Obama's former Defense Secretary and head of the CIA. Suggested that things may have been different if the US -- left a residual force in Iraq to -- stability. -- groups -- pointed out. And this president himself -- if the United States doesn't need in these crises nobody else will. Few believe that today's meeting in Washington can affect the fate of -- bonding. But with the UN also warning of a humanitarian disaster in the Iraqi province of -- embarked. The pressure is on the coalition to show that it has something resembling a plan to defeat Islamic state Harry Donahue BBC news. And we are joined now by ABC's Alex Mark Clark from our bureau in Beirut. Alex you've spent a lot of time miracle Bonnie on the Turkey Syria border tell us about this area and what makes -- -- such an important city in this fight. Good afternoon Michelle I think you really have to look at it two ways first off. A strategically this town sits right on the Turkey Syria border. -- -- crisis were to take it that would be and you become an -- strong whole -- there right up against Turkey. It would also gives ice it's essentially a straight line from their de facto capital -- in Syria. Straight to the Turkish borders that would give them. Much easier. Way to maneuver -- the country supply lines that sort of they're also humanitarian concerns you have over 200000 residents of commodity. That have now fled all. Into Turkey refugees. The United Nations has warned that thousands could be massacred. If prices were to take over that numbers in dispute. Investments range from hundreds. But it -- -- and so that's of the strategic front but perhaps more importantly. -- it's highly symbolic and that US officials over the course the past week yet. And emphasized -- tried to get essentially immediate it to stop focusing on top. Tackle on -- look at that the bigger picture. One of the reasons frankly that we're so preoccupied with -- Is because we can see it's it's right on the border if you're in Turkey where I was just a few weeks ago. You can watch that the battle taking place you can watch crisis. Trying to go into the city of firing. Mortars and artillery into the city. You can watch this war will lay out. In real time it is incredibly visual and its Odyssey incredibly insisting for people on the ground for those of us watching on TV to watch this. Fight -- nicest play out before our eyes and -- quite frankly -- this town work. Inside Syria. Certainly we will be talking about it but far less because. -- it's it's not as visible. So it becomes. It has fueled this narratives that -- perhaps the in the US led coalition. Isn't as successful. As as expected. That despite all of the air strikes in the vast majority of the American airstrikes of the past week we can happen. Have been around -- It has fueled this narrative debt crisis continues to advance. Despite. -- all of these airstrikes we saw 21 yesterday alone and so it's incredibly important both for -- this. To be able to say well we took this we took this town despite American efforts and it's incredibly important for -- for the US and its allies stimulus say it. We were able to stop crisis because these airstrikes. And with that said there were also reports that Turkey might allow the US to use its bases to launch. More air strikes but what are we learning about that deal now. Well it's still pretty unclear. We heard from the from the Washington from the Pentagon that -- Turks had agreed to train Syrian rebels inside Turkey. -- heard that that they had allowed. The US to use a base in southern Turkey from which to launch attacks. On crisis in Syria. And that's incredibly healing because of the proximity to the border because approximates the targets that would -- Much cheaper but then the Turkish prime minister's office saying get that deal hadn't been solidified their area that negotiations were still ongoing. That the Turks wants. The Turks and also like to see. Offer sounded like to see a strip of land inside Syria where there were protected by no fly zone so -- be registered refugees. Could stay inside. Syria not have to come across the -- so there's still some conditions that Turkey's working towards some very fluid situation. There are these. Big discrepancies between Washington in the Turkish capital Ankara. Which -- hopefully we'll find out more from prospectors in John Kerrey later that. And so much going on in that region in Iraq now -- this has apparently taken over large sections. Of the on bar province including another Iraqi Army base. It seems when ever the US focuses airstrikes on one particular region -- this makes a move somewhere else. How is this group able to adapt so quickly. We'll keep. Keep in mind -- control -- huge swath of territory between Iraq and Syria around 35000 square miles stretching from. Northern Syria down to zone in Iraq right in the the Columbia. Publicity -- doorstep of Baghdad. I think if you were to ask the US air force they would not say that -- overstretched. But to some extent this is a game likable and he can hit them in one place -- keep pushing forwards and another. And this goes to what military strategist notes of a military analysts even the Pentagon. Has said. In the past few days that you cannot simply just -- airstrikes airstrikes can be extremely effective in terms of taking out. Ices -- their weapons there command and control centers. But short it's happening. A ground force on the grounds ago and until that back -- to secure that area. It's can be scary -- poor. -- that the coalition. -- anti crisis movement if you will to take over those areas. And so whether it's ground troops US ground troops into which the US has ruled out war are -- Syrian rebels better trained which we don't have right now or Kurdish fighters -- better trained Iraqi Army. The US and its partners have said that short of having real brown horse on the ground. It's going to be very -- to -- she -- -- -- once those targets have been. Is that because the group is able to embed themselves into these villages and communities as well. Well that's part of it days and in general Martins and CEO of individuals and as much to -- -- Martha Raddatz the other day. They are leaving. There at their main structures army command and control centers there are melting away away from stating their their capital -- Even and in Iraq are going more into the villages but. They can resupply they had frankly you know even -- -- the US is hitting supply lines -- that in the US is hitting. -- tanks -- or armored vehicles or artillery. They are still able to resupply those supply lines are still open they control major -- to control major roads in Syria and Iraq and and so until you have some sort of brown -- that can -- in. And and take those areas back now. After the air strikes chances are they're gonna continue to -- -- resupply themselves for quite some time. And you mentioned President Obama is set to meet with an army chiefs army -- for twenty countries to discuss this fight against diocese including the Turkish army chief. And the pressure is mounting of course for Turkey to do more with that will this country get more involved in the war. In short yes I -- Turkey has said as mark stated it said -- you know when it comes to protecting their stability. They will do whatever it takes politically or militarily. But it's clear that they wanted to -- under terms. They haven't joined the coalition despite immense US pressure. Haven't lifted a finger -- -- take part in the fight against crisis their forces are sitting on the other side of the border watching this. Quite unfold and go -- essentially watching -- this. I'll take over large parts of the body and and and possibly all of -- and they haven't really done anything in in the case of the money remember -- its Kurdish. The Kurds have been fighting against the Turks for experts for three decades and so it's not necessarily in the interest of -- -- Nights ago and in an NC the Kurds -- -- so I I would imagine that at some point the Turks will get involved as I say they will do it probably on their own terms mayfield. That their interests are threatened. And of course Turkey also accused of not having that proper border security. Which is how so many western -- -- fighters got into Syria in the first place was that deliberate. That a deliberate move by Turkey to let the fighters. Go across the borders. They certainly facilitated the movements of these foreign fighters -- early on in this war which has been dragging on for over three and a half years now Turkey made it very clear that they wanted to see. -- it's fall he's still in power. So Turkey has facilitated or. -- -- -- a blind -- turned a blind died soon. During the crossing of the border by these militants. They've allowed weapons ago and I mean -- Travel down to that border countless times. And you know if I'd been deputized as Turkish border guard I could have told you. Who who you know who these guys were probably shouldn't be allowed him to Syria or at least who should -- you -- come under greater scrutiny so. They're they're not very hard to spot. And early on -- -- didn't exist that these were foreign fighters are going in to join the cause to bring down a side which -- the same. -- to Turkey wanted to do and then gradually didn't -- that -- the fighters and certainly in the western fighters. In Syria became more more radicalized we saw the rise of al-Qaeda and Syria in the form of job on the struck. The al-Qaeda offshoot to an end and and the -- -- prices. And that's sort of when it started to scare Turkey and that's when they started getting a lot of the western pressure and so they happens in recent months and now. Secure that border which remember -- 500 miles long it's extremely. Porous. A before this working about people would go back and forth all the time. And large sections that part of southern Turkey or historical Syria you've got. -- on both sides of the border so. It took a huge amount of effort for Turkey to secure that border they're doing a better job these days but to some extent it's like closing the barn doors after -- divorces. -- -- so with that said what can the US or UK or other coalition members due to put any pressure. On Turkey to change course to get more active against the fight or to close off -- seal -- those border areas. Well that's really be questioned and and it hasn't been answered yet and so that your. He. President aired on is coming under immense pressure from the White House from. Secretaries states that John -- secretary of defense Cagle clearly they -- Maybe -- strongly enough Turkey hasn't come around. Turkey will be doing this as I sail on their own terms when they feel like their interest or threatens. There's really only. A limited amount of pressure that that the US -- -- and then they are really applying it right now. ABC's Alex mark choir from our bureau in Beirut thank you for joining us. And you can keep up with this story in real time by downloading the ABC news that -- star in this story for exclusive updates on the go. You've been watching international hot spot I'm Michelle Franzen in New York.

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

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