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Assad Says Iraq, Others Inform Syria On U.S.-Led Air Strikes

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says there is no direct cooperation with Washington on U.S.-led air strikes against Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria but that Iraq and others are providing information to Damascus.

Assad said in a BBC interview on February 10 that there is indirect cooperation, with Iraq and other countries sometimes "conveying a message," but said there is "nothing tactical."

The United States and a coalition of several European and Persian Gulf state countries have been bombing IS targets in Syria since September, sharing the skies with Syrian planes also fighting against the IS and other Islamic militant groups.

Islamic State militants seized large parts of Syria and Iraq last year and declared them part of a multicountry "caliphate."

Assad also denied the government has used barrel bombs against opposition forces in Syria, despite such bombings being widely documented by interational rights organizations.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP

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