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Syria ‘informed’ about US-led strikes on IS: Prez

Syria ‘informed’ about  US-led strikes on IS: Prez
“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.

Washington has ruled out working with Assad’s government against IS, and the Syrian leader said Damascus had no interest in joining the coalition.

“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.

Human rights groups accuse Damascus of indiscriminately killing civilians in air strikes on rebel-held areas, using unguided munitions such as barrel bombs.

But Assad denied that the army was using the makeshift bombs crude barrels packed with explosives and shrapnel that are generally dropped by helicopter.

“I haven’t heard of (the) army using barrels, or maybe cooking pots,” he said, laughing.

“We have bombs, missiles and bullets,” he added, dismissing claims that his forces were using indiscriminate weapons.
Agencies

Agencies

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