12/03/2021 04:54:34 pm

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U.S. Denies Coordinating Airstrikes with Syria's Assad

ISIS in Kobani

(Photo : REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach) Smoke and dust rise over Syrian town of Kobani after an airstrike, as seen from the Mursitpinar crossing on the Turkish-Syrian border in the southeastern town of Suruc in Sanliurfa province October 23, 2014.

The United States has denied it is coordinating with the Syrian government in launching air strikes against Islamic militants. 

The U.S. is also reiterating its calls for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down. 

In an interview with BBC, Assad said messages about the U.S. led coalition airstrikes against ISIS are being sent through a third party.

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Assad claimed, third parties include its neighbor Iraq, where the US and its allies are also conducting airstrikes against the ISIS.

In a statement, State Department spokeswoman Jan Psaki pointed out, before airstrikes were launched in September, Washington informed the Syrian government of its intent to take action.  This was done through the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.

But Psaki clarified Washington did not request for Syria's permission nor coordinated its actions with the Syrian government. 

"We did not provide advance notifications to the Syrians at a military level, nor give any indication of our timing on specific targets,"  Psaki said.

The Islamic State has taken over wide areas of Syria and Iraq, declaring them part of a "caliphate". But the United States had repeatedly said Assad cannot be a partner in the battle against the Islamic militants, going as far as saying, Assad is part of the problem.

The U.S. stands by its earlier calls for Assad to resign.  Washington had said, Assad has lost his legitimacy and must step down.  Psaki adds, a stable inclusive Syria cannot be attained under Assad's regime.

Washington also warned Damascus to stay away and not to engage U.S. aircraft.

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