Assad forces joining moderates to fight IS not French idea

By REUTERS
October 7, 2015 15:30

 
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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.

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