Suspected Islamic State targets are pounded by U.S.-led air strikes in the besieged Syrian border town of Kobani. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Two massive blasts shook the border area of the Syrian town of Kobani on Wednesday (November 5), as the United States-led coalition launched fresh air strikes against Islamic State fighters. Filmed from the Turkish side of the border, large dark plumes of smoke could be clearly seen rising high into the air following a number of strikes. Kobani has become a symbolic test of the coalition's ability to halt the advance of Islamic State, which has poured weapons and fighters into its assault of the town that has lasted more than a month. As U.S. warplanes bomb Islamic State forces in parts of Syria, President Bashar al-Assad's military has intensified its campaign against some rebel groups in the west and north that Washington sees as allies, including in and around Aleppo. Ankara has been pushing for the U.S.-led coalition to broaden its campaign to tackle Assad as well as Islamic State, arguing there can be no peace in Syria if he remains in power. Turkey, which already hosts more than 1.5 million refugees from Syria's civil war, has also been pushing the United States and its allies to create a safe haven for refugees on Syrian territory. Any such move on the southern fringe of its border would require a no-fly zone policed by foreign jets. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has criticised the U.S.-led coalition's focus in recent weeks on the predominantly Kurdish border town of Kobani, which has been besieged by Islamic State for more than a month and warned its attention needed to be turned to other parts of the conflict.