From the Front Lines: Attack on ISIS

ABC News' Martha Raddatz reports from U.S. Navy Fifth Fleet headquarters in Bahrain on coalition airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
5:52 | 09/28/14

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Transcript for From the Front Lines: Attack on ISIS
Announcer: Starting right now on ABC's "This week," attack on Isis. Martha Raddatz on a ship in the middle of the action with an extraordinary inside look at the round the clock U.S. W effort.cu And breaking details on the new fears about terrorist sympathizers here at home. Then on the road with house speaker John Boehner. Will he call for American ground troops to join the Isis fight? Plus, what he'll tell the president if republicans take over congress. And bill O'Reilly on his latest page turner. His stunning take on the death of a world war ii legend. Who does he think ordered a hit on an American war hero? From ABC news, "This week with George stephanopoulos" begins now. Good morning. I'm Martha Raddatz, and today we're coming to you from Bahrain on the persian gulf, site of the headquarters of the U.S. Navy's fifth fleet where we're tracking the very latest in the fight against Isis with the men and women carrying out the mission. This week we got a rare look on board a U.S. Aircraft carrier and we'll bring you much more from our journey a bit later. Plus, we'll have full analysis of the U.S. Strategy. Are we succeeding in this fight and how long will it last? But we begin with the latest developments here, the U.S. Now expanding air strikes into new portions of Syria in the battle against the jihadist army. Five days after strikes began in Syria, the U.S. And its coalition partners have opened a new front in the fight. Bombing Isis targets surrounding the kurdish town of kobani. Our terry Moran is near the syria/turkey border. Reporter: We are just a few yard as way from the Syrian border and this wind-swept hillside has become a front row seat to the front lines of this war. On these hills, kurdish fighters squaring off just a few hundred yards away with Isis. You can hear the crack of rifle fire, the thud of mortars, occasionally a jet overhead as these people bear witness to the desperate struggle for their town now in the crosshairs of Isis. A total of seven coalition air strikes made in Syria since Friday including on the Isis stronghold of raqqah, as well as three strikes in Iraq near the kurdish capital of erbil. Part of a week of bombardment of Isis training camps, command and control centers and mobile oil refineries, all targeted to degrade the ability of Isis to support operations in Iraq. The Pentagon saying Saturday the latest strikes included support from coalition forces from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and the uae. Commanders here telling me of the importance of the role of those majority Sunni nations. Their integration into it from my seat was seamless. Back in Washington, Obama national security adviser Susan rice met Friday with leaders of the moderate Syrian opposition forces, which the U.S. Has agreed to begin arming and training in an effort to provide ground support for the fight. But joint chiefs chairman martin Dempsey stressed that the training effort will take time and that air strikes alone will not be enough to defeat Isis. I am confident that we can establish their training it we do it right. We have to do it right, not fast. And now our ABC contributor, former Marine Corps fighter pilot and state department official, colonel Steve ganyard is here to break down these new developments, and, colonel ganyard, give us an idea what was hit in the last week and the significance of that. It's important, Martha, to differentiate between the two types of targets that we had in Syria this week. The first you see in the blue dots around aleppo was this new terrorist group called khorasan. This is totally separate from Isis. Khorasan is a traditional Al Qaeda group that was plotting to blow up targets in the west. But they are very separate from Isis, which has been the most of the focus of the fight in both Iraq and Syria for the past couple of weeks. In red you see some of the targets that we hit in Syria that were focused on Isis around raqqah, which is the headquarters essentially of Isis, but also down towards Al qaim and the crossing down there, it's very interesting because the lifeblood of any insurgency is cash. And Isis had been developing these modular oil refineries that allowed them to collect almost $2 million a day in oil revenues, and so all those things that you're seeing, all those red dots are command and control, they're refurbishment training areas that Isis had in this safe haven in Syria, and so the administration made a decision to go in and hit those targets to help the effort in Iraq. And you said to help the effort in Iraq. Obviously we want to protect the west. We want to protect Americans, but it is right now to look after Iraq. Right. The effect on Isis is to help the fight in Iraq, and what was happening in Syria, it was that the Isis had the ability to go back into safe havens and to rearm and regroup. But if you look at these strikes that were done later in the week and yesterday included, you can see they're focused around places like kirkuk and erbil and a bit worryingly you see all those strikes around Baghdad. You look at that, all that range that Isis is able to affect, that's almost 8 million people that now come under the 30,000 to 50,000 men that Isis has in uniform, and so you can see why the administration was concerned about taking away their safe area and degrading them in Syria so that they couldn't affect Iraq. Okay, thanks very much, colonel ganyard. Now an inside look at one of the

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