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Syria 'informed' about US-led strikes on IS: Assad

AFP , Tuesday 10 Feb 2015
Al-Assad
Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad (Photo: Reuters)
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Damascus receives "information" about air strikes by the US-led coalition against the Islamic State group in Syria, President Bashar al-Assad said in an interview published on Tuesday.

"Sometimes, they convey a message, a general message," he said in an interview with the BBC in Damascus.

"There is no dialogue. There's, let's say, information, but not dialogue."

Damascus has grudgingly accepted the strikes against IS on its territory that began on September 23 last year, but has repeatedly criticised the coalition for failing to coordinate with it.

It says the raids cannot defeat IS unless the international community starts cooperating with Syrian troops on the ground.

In the interview, Assad ruled out joining the coalition against IS.

"No, definitely we cannot and we don't have the will and we don't want, for one simple reason -- because we cannot be in an alliance with countries which support terrorism."

The comment appeared to be a reference to coalition support for other rebels groups fighting to overthrow him, all of which his government derides as "terrorists".

Assad said US officials "easily trample over international law, which is about our sovereignty now, so they don't talk to us, we don't talk to them."

More than 210,000 people have been killed in Syria since the conflict began with anti-government protests in March 2011.

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