Aide to Germany's Merkel rules out working with Assad despite rise of Islamic State

BERLIN - Syrian President Bashar Assad is to blame for the civil war engulfing his country and the West should not talk to him just because Islamic State (IS) is "even worse", German Chancellor Angela Merkel's foreign policy adviser said on Tuesday.
IS militants have seized swathes of territory in both Syria and Iraq and a US-led coalition is targeting them in air strikes, providing some respite for Assad's forces and prompting some to suggest a possible rapprochement with the president.
"(Despite) the fact that maybe now there is an organization - ISIS - that with regard to humanitarian and human rights violations is even worse than Assad, we shouldn't consider Assad now somebody who can be an interlocutor and somebody whom we should work with," said Christoph Heusgen, Merkel's chief adviser on foreign and security policy.
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