BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said third parties including Iraq were conveying information to Damascus about a U.S.-led campaign of air strikes against the Islamic State militant group in Syria.
In an interview with the BBC broadcast on Tuesday, Assad said there was no direct cooperation with the United States, whose air force has been bombing Islamic State in Syria since September.
Asked if there was indirect cooperation, he said: “That’s true, through third parties, more than one party, Iraq and other countries, sometimes they convey message(s), general message(s), but there is nothing tactical.”
Assad said the Syrian government had known about the U.S.-led campaign before it started but didn’t have details. Asked if there was ongoing dialogue via third parties, he said: “There is no dialogue. There is, let’s say, information, but not dialogue.”
(Writing by Tom Perry; Editing by Jeremy Luarence)