Syria states Kerry sent letter about air strikes hours before they began

BEIRUT - The Syrian government said on Tuesday it had received a letter from US Secretary of State John Kerry delivered by the Iraqi foreign minister telling it the United States and its allies planned to attack Islamic State in Syria.

"The foreign minister received a letter from his American counterpart via the Iraqi foreign minister, in which he informed him that the United States and some of its allies would target (Islamic State) in Syria," the foreign ministry said in a statement. "That was hours before the raids started."

In the statement read out on state TV, the Syrian government said it would continue to attack Islamic State in Raqqa and Deir al-Zor - areas of eastern and northern Syria that were hit in the U.S.-led air strikes on Tuesday.

The Syrian government said coordination with the Shi'ite-led government in Baghdad was continuing at its "highest levels".
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