Obama vows effort to eliminate ISIS as G20 seeks common Syria strategy

Obama Reflects on Paris Attacks at G20 Summit

BELEK, Turkey (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama vowed on Sunday to step up efforts to eliminate Islamic State in Syria and prevent it from carrying out attacks like those in Paris, while European leaders urged Russia to focus its military efforts on the radical Islamists.

Speaking at a G20 leaders summit in Turkey, Obama described the killings in Paris claimed by Islamic State as an attack on the civilized world and said the United States would work with France to hunt down those responsible.

The two-day summit brings Obama and fellow world leaders just 500 km (310 miles) from Syria, where a 4-1/2-year conflict has transformed Islamic State into a global security threat and spawned Europe's largest migration flows since World War Two.

"Traditionally the G20 has been a forum primarily to discuss economic issues facing the globe ... (but) the sky has been darkened by the horrific attacks that took place in Paris just a day and a half ago," Obama said in a statement after meeting Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan.

For more on the reactions to the attack, scroll through the gallery below:

12 PHOTOS
Monuments red, white, blue, in solidarity for Paris
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Obama vows effort to eliminate ISIS as G20 seeks common Syria strategy
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 14: Pedestrians walk in front of the Sydney Opera House as its sails are illuminated in the colours of the French flag on November 14, 2015 in Sydney, Australia. At least 120 people have been killed and over 200 are injured in Paris following a series of terrorist acts in the French capital on Friday. (Photo by Daniel Munoz/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 14: The London Eye is lit up in the colours of the French flag on November 14, 2015 in London, England. Various landmarks around the globe have been lit in their colours in the wake of the Paris attacks. (Photo by Chris Ratcliffe/Getty Images)
The Oriental Pearl TV Tower (C), in the Lujiazui Financial District in Pudong, is lit in red, white and blue, resembling the colours of the French flag, in Shanghai on November 14, 2015, as the Chinese expressed their solidarity with France following a spate of coordinated attacks that left 128 dead and 180 injured in Paris late on November 13. The Oriental Pearl tower was bathed in the French flag colours for one hour. AFP PHOTO / JOHANNES EISELE (Photo credit should read JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images)
Rome's city hall (Campidoglio) is lighted with France's colors, blue, white and red, on January 8, 2015 in Rome in remembrance of the victims of an attack against Charlie Hebdo satirical weekly which killed 12 people in Paris yesterday. AFP PHOTO / ALBERTO PIZZOLI (Photo credit should read ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images)
The Washington Square Park arch is lit with the French national colors in solidarity with the citizens of France on November 14, 2015 in New York, a day after the Paris terrorist attacks. Islamic State jihadists claimed a series of coordinated attacks by gunmen and suicide bombers in Paris on November 13 that killed at least 129 people in scenes of carnage at a concert hall, restaurants and the national stadium. AFP PHOTO/JEWEL SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
London's National Gallery and the fountains in Trafalgar Square are illuminated in blue, white and red lights, resembling the colours of the French national flag, in London on November 14, 2015, as Britons express their solidarity with France following a spate of coordinated attacks that left 129 dead in Paris on November 13. Islamic State jihadists claimed responsibility for a series of coordinated attacks by suicide bombers and gunmen in Paris that killed at least 128 people at a concert hall, restaurants and the national sports stadium. At least eight militants, all wearing suicide vests, brought unprecedented violence to the streets of the French capital in the worst attacks in Europe since the 2004 Madrid train bombings. The assault also left at least 250 wounded, 100 of them seriously. AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLIS (Photo credit should read JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
The facade of the Cibeles Palace, Madrid's town hall, is illuminated red, white and blue to represent the French national standard in Madrid on November 14, 2015 in support for victims and families following a series of terror attacks in the French city of Paris and its surroundings that has left at least 120 people dead and some 200 wounded. A spate of co-ordinated attacks left 128 dead and 200 injured in Paris last night, a day after twin bombings in Beirut left 44 dead, and nearly two weeks after IS claimed it downed a Russian jet leaving Egypt, killing 224 on board. in Madrid on November 14, 2015.AFP PHOTO / GERARD JULIEN (Photo credit should read GERARD JULIEN/AFP/Getty Images)
Bratislava Castle is lit in red, white and blue, the colors of the French flag, in Bratislava on November 14, 2015, as Slovakians express their solidarity with France following the coordinated terrorist attacks that left at least 128 dead and 180 injured in Paris late on November 13. AFP PHOTO / VLADIMIR SIMICEK (Photo credit should read VLADIMIR SIMICEK/AFP/Getty Images)
A man shelters from the rain beneath a Union flag-themed umbrella as he photographs London's iconic Tower Bridge, illuminated in blue, white and red lights, resembling the colours of the French national flag, in London on November 14, 2015, as Britons express their solidarity with France following a spate of coordinated attacks that left 128 dead in Paris on November 13. Islamic State jihadists claimed responsibility for a series of coordinated attacks by suicide bombers and gunmen in Paris that killed at least 128 people at a concert hall, restaurants and the national sports stadium. At least eight militants, all wearing suicide vests, brought unprecedented violence to the streets of the French capital in the worst attacks in Europe since the 2004 Madrid train bombings. The assault also left at least 250 wounded, 100 of them seriously. AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLIS (Photo credit should read JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 11: The National Gallery is lit in the blue, white and red colours of the national flag of France in tribute to the victims of the terrorist attacks in Paris on January 11, 2015 in London, England. The terrorist atrocities started on Wednesday with the attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, killing 12, and ended on Friday with sieges at a printing company in Dammartin en Goele and a Kosher supermarket in Paris with four hostages and three suspects being killed. A fourth suspect, Hayat Boumeddiene, 26, escaped and is wanted in connection with the murder of a policewoman. (Photo by Rob Stothard/Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 14: The Brandenburg Gate is illuminated in the French national colors in tribute for the victims of the 13 November Paris attacks in Berlin, Germany, on November 14, 2015. At least 128 people have been killed and 250 others injured in a series of attacks in Paris on 13 November. (Photo by Erbil Basay/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
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"The United States and its allies will redouble efforts to find a peaceful solution in Syria and prevent Islamic State militants from perpetrating attacks like those in Paris."

Obama and his Western allies now face the question of how the West should respond after Islamic State again demonstrated it posed a threat far beyond its strongholds in Syria and Iraq.

Washington already expects France to retaliate by taking on a larger role in the U.S.-led coalition's bombing campaign against Islamic State.

But European Council President Donald Tusk said Russia too should focus its military operations on Islamic State, rather than on the Syrian opposition battling President Bashar al-Assad, urging cooperation between Washington and Moscow.

"It should be our common aim to coordinate our actions against Daesh (IS) and for sure the cooperation between the United States and Russia is a crucial one," he said.

Watch more coverage here:

White House Advisor: 'Intensification of Our Efforts' Against ISIS

OBAMA-PUTIN HANDSHAKE

Russia joined the conflict a month and a half ago with air strikes in Syria, but has been targeting mainly areas controlled by the moderate Syrian opposition fighting Assad, its ally, rather than Islamic State, its critics say.

Turkey and Western allies, by contrast, want Assad out.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he welcomed the renewed sense of urgency to find a solution to the war in Syria after the Paris attacks, adding the world had a "rare moment" of diplomatic opportunity to end the violence.

Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin have no formal bilateral meeting planned. As the leaders moved into place for a group photo on Sunday, Putin approached Obama and they shook hands, exchanging words for only a few brief moments.

Obama is also seeking to coax other European and Middle Eastern countries into more tangible steps to show their military commitment and will hold a bilateral meeting with Saudi Arabia's King Salman, U.S. officials said. In a call late last month, the two leaders affirmed the need to cooperate in fighting Islamic State.

Obama said he had also discussed in his meeting with Erdogan the progress made by foreign ministers in Vienna, who on Saturday outlined a plan for a political process in Syria leading to elections within two years, although differences over Assad's fate still remained.

MIGRATION CONCERNS

The coordinated attacks by gunmen and suicide bombers in Paris on Friday puts Obama and other leaders of the world's major economies under increased pressure to find common cause.

It remains to be seen, however, whether Washington itself has an appetite for much deeper involvement after already stepping up air strikes and committing small numbers of special operations troops to northern Syria to advise opposition forces in the fight against Islamic State.

The Paris carnage, in which 129 people were killed in attacks on a concert hall, restaurants, bars and a sports stadium, also poses a major challenge for Europe, with populist leaders rushing to demand an end to an influx of refugees and migrants from the Middle East and Africa.

Watch more coverage here:

Learning More About the American Student Killed in Paris Attacks

In a diplomatic coup for Europe and for Turkey, the G20 leaders will agree that migration is a global problem that must be addressed in a coordinated way, according to a draft communique seen by Reuters, although it has yet to be accepted by all and is due to be published only on Monday.

Europe and Turkey, the most heavily hit by the crisis, had been pushing for the G20 to recognize the issue as a global problem and help to deal with it financially, despite opposition from China, India and Russia. A million migrants from the Middle East and Africa are expected to come to Europe this year alone.

According to a separate statement due to be released later on Sunday, a draft of which was also seen by Reuters, they also agreed to step up border controls and aviation security in the wake of the Paris attacks, which they condemned as "heinous."

The summit follows not only the Paris attacks but also comes two weeks after a suspected bomb attack on a Russian airliner killed 224 people in the Sinai Peninsula.

It also comes just over a month after two suspected Islamic State suicide bombers blew themselves up in Ankara, killing more than 100 people in Turkey's worst such attack.

To see more on the attacks, scroll through the gallery below:

18 PHOTOS
Paris terror attack memorials, aftermath, world reaction
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Obama vows effort to eliminate ISIS as G20 seeks common Syria strategy
PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 27: President of France Francois Hollande attends The National Tribute to The Victims of The Paris Terrorist Attacks at Les Invalides on November 27, 2015 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 15: People gather and sing songs at Place de la Republique on November 15, 2015 in Paris, France. As France observes three days of national mourning members of the public continue to pay tribute to the victims of Friday's deadly attacks. A special service for the families of the victims and survivors is to be held at Paris's Notre Dame Cathedral. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 15: Members of the public gather to lay flowers and light candles at La Belle Equipe restaraunt on Rue de Charonne following Fridays terrorist attack on November 15, 2015 in Paris, France. As France observes three days of national mourning members of the public continue to pay tribute to the victims of Friday's deadly attacks. A special service for the families of the victims and survivors is to be held at Paris's Notre Dame Cathedral later on Sunday. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 14: People finish arranging candles into the word 'Paris' next to flowers and messages left at the gate of the French Embassy following the recent terror attacks in Paris on November 14, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. Hundreds of people came throughout the day to lay flowers, candles and messages of condolence to mourn the victims of attacks last night in Paris that left at least 120 people dead across the French capital. The Islamic State (IS) has claimed responsibility for the attacks that were carried out by at least eight terrorists.. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 14: Bono and band members from the band U2 place flowers on the pavement near the scene of yesterday's Bataclan Theatre terrorist attack on November 14, 2015 in Paris, France. At least 120 people have been killed and over 200 injured, 80 of which seriously, following a series of terrorist attacks in the French capital. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 14: A woman cries near Le Petit Cambodge restaurant, the day after a deadly attack on November 14, 2015 in Paris, France. At least 120 people have been killed and over 200 injured, 80 of which seriously, following a series of terrorist attacks in the French capital. (Photo by Antoine Antoniol/Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 14: People arrive to lay candles and flowers at the gate of the French Embassy as the Brandenburg Gate stands behind illuminated in the colors of the French flag following the recent terror attacks in Paris on November 14, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. Hundreds of people came throughout the day to lay flowers, candles and messages of condolence to mourn the victims of attacks last night in Paris that left at least 120 people dead across the French capital. The Islamic State (IS) has claimed responsibility for the attacks that were carried out by at least eight terrorists. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
JERUSALEM, ISRAEL - NOVEMBER 15: Ultra Orthodox Jewish men pass as Jerusalem's Old City wall is illuminated with the colours of the French national flag to show solidarity for the victims of the Paris attacks on November 15, 2015 in Jerusalem, Israel. At least 129 people have been killed and over 300 are injured in Paris following a series of terrorist acts in the French capital on Friday. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 14: A woman cries outside of the Consulate General of France in New York the day after an attack on civilians in Paris on November 14, 2015 in New York City. At least 100 people were killed in a popular Paris concert hall, one of at least 6 terror attacks in the French capital. The French president Francois Hollande closed French borders following the attacks. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
French soldiers patrol the area at the foot of the Eiffel Tower in Paris on November 14, 2015 following a series of coordinated attacks in and around Paris late Friday which left more than 120 people dead. French President Francois Hollande blamed the Islamic State group for the attacks in Paris that left at least 128 dead, calling them an 'act of war'. The multiple attacks across the city late Friday were 'an act of war... committed by a terrorist army, the Islamic State, against France, against... what we are, a free country,' Hollande said. AFP PHOTO / FRANCOIS GUILLOT (Photo credit should read FRANCOIS GUILLOT/AFP/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 15: A rose is placed beside a bullet hole at La Belle Equipe restaraunt on Rue de Charonne following Fridays terrorist attack on November 15, 2015 in Paris, France. As France observes three days of national mourning members of the public continue to pay tribute to the victims of Friday's deadly attacks. A special service for the families of the victims and survivors is to be held at Paris's Notre Dame Cathedral later on Sunday.(Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 14: Pedestrians walk in front of the Sydney Opera House as its sails are illuminated in the colours of the French flag on November 14, 2015 in Sydney, Australia. At least 120 people have been killed and over 200 are injured in Paris following a series of terrorist acts in the French capital on Friday. (Photo by Daniel Munoz/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 14: A woman with a French flag painted in her face cries during a vigil for victims of the Paris terror attacks at Martin Place on November 14, 2015 in Sydney, Australia. At least 120 people have been killed and over 200 injured, 80 of which seriously, following a series of terrorist attacks in the French capital. (Photo by Daniel Munoz/Getty Images)
SHANGHAI, CHINA - NOVEMBER 14: Benjamin Hebert of France with a message for Paris on his golf cap during the third round of the BMW Masters at Lake Malaren Golf Club on November 14, 2015 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
People lay flowers and light candles in front of French Embassy in Warsaw on November 14, 2015 following a series of terror attacks in the French city of Paris and its surroundings that has left at least 120 people dead and some 200 wounded. AFP PHOTO / JANEK SKARZYNSKI (Photo credit should read JANEK SKARZYNSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 14: A man hold a French flag and a sign during a vigil for victims of the Paris terror attacks at Martin Place on November 14, 2015 in Sydney, Australia. At least 120 people have been killed and over 200 injured, 80 of which seriously, following a series of terrorist attacks in the French capital. (Photo by Daniel Munoz/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 14: A man reads a French newspaper after a terrorist attack on November 14, 2015 in Paris, France. At least 120 people have been killed and over 200 injured, 80 of which seriously, following a series of terrorist attacks in the French capital. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
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