Palkot: One Round of Airstrikes in 5 Days as ISIS Moves Closer to Taking Syrian City
Palkot said the city's Kurdish defenders are facing a "desperate" situation, with the Turkish military reluctant so far to cross the border and take on ISIS.
He said that in the five days he has been there, he can only confirm one round of airstrikes targeting ISIS.
Palkot said he can see ISIS tanks and vehicles moving around and the muzzle fire of ISIS gunmen.
Meantime, a Wall Street Journal article called into question how effective the U.S.-led air campaign has been against ISIS in Syria. One ISIS fighter called the strikes "lamer than expected."
Read more below, and watch Palkot's report above.
U.S.-led airstrikes designed to serve notice on Islamist extremists in Iraq and Syria have also delivered a sobering message to Washington and its allies: Breaking the militants’ grip will be every bit as difficult as they feared.
As the U.S. prepares to launch a ground war by proxy forces in Syria and Iraq, there are signs that the air campaign is disrupting militant group Islamic State. Fighters are fleeing their bases, they travel at night and in smaller units and are cutting back on cellphone and radio communications to evade detection, according to U.S. officials and opponents of the group on the ground.
However, Islamic State appears to have largely withstood the airstrikes so far and with scant pressure on the ground in Iraq and Syria, the militants have given up little of the territory they captured before the campaign began. (Opinion: The Next Front Line in the Islamic State Onslaught)
“The strikes are useless so far,” said Mohammad Hassan, an activist in eastern Syria battling the regime of Bashar al-Assad. “Most of the training camps and the bases were empty when the coalition hit them.”
Islamic State fighters have reacted swiftly to the threat of airstrikes over the past weeks, moving out of captured military bases and government buildings in Syria, relocating weapons and hostages, and abandoning training camps, according to residents and rebels in the areas the militants control. In Syria and Iraq, they took down many of their trademark black flags, and camouflaged armed pickup trucks. They also took cover among civilians.
They also have maintained much of their financing and recruiting capability and continued to crack down on local populations, anti-regime activists and rebels in Syria said. At the same time, they publicized a series of beheadings of Western hostages.
In addition to holding territory after they came under attack, they pressed on with an ambitious offensive on the Syrian city of Ayn al-Arab, also known as Kobani, close to the border with Turkey.
Analysts said the U.S. is having a hard time getting intelligence to act on, and, as a result, a fraction of sorties flown have resulted in bombings. However, U.S. officials disputed that notion.