PARIS - Associating moderate rebels from the Free Syrian Army and government forces to fight Islamic State was not a French idea, a source close to French President Francois Hollande said on Wednesday.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a joint television appearance on Wednesday that Hollande had voiced the idea of uniting forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the so-called Free Syrian Army to fight Islamic State.
"The president spoke of the necessary presence of the Syrian opposition around the negotiating table." a source close to Hollande said. "The rest is not a French idea."
France has repeatedly said that once a political transition has occurred and Assad has gone, government troops and moderate rebels would need to join forces to defeat Islamic State.