Bashar al-Assad the President of Syria seemed to suggest during a Tuesday interview that the Syrian government was being informed about the bombing campaign of the U.S. led coalition against the radical militant group Islamic State.
In comments made during the interview, Assad said that third parties, including Iraq had conveyed information about the continued airstrikes against IS, but that no coordination existed with allies or the U.S.
Assad said they do not talk to us and we do not talk to them. He added that sometimes they, the third parties, convey a general message or other message, but nothing is tactical.
Still, Assad’s admission is a possibly significant since it might indicate that Washington is ready in some way to soften its stance in which it says it will not coordinate with the Syrian government over the airstrikes against ISIS. The Pentagon on a number of instances has said it was not coordinating with the regime of Assad.
The coalition led by the U.S. against IS, which has 4 Arab countries as members, shares the skies with the air force from Assad, which is also targeting the militants. However, Assad is entangled as well in another conflict closer to where home is.
Over 100,000 people, which some claim is tens of thousands more, have died in the fighting between the government of Syria and the rebels that began in March of 2011 as a peaceful uprising. Millions of Syrians have had to flee their homes due to the continued fighting.
However, the spotlight internationally shifted dramatically away from the internal fight in Syria, as IS rose to prominence over the past few months with several brutal killings of foreigners they captured.
During his interview, Assad denied that the government of Syria forces dropped barrel bombs in Syria on areas held by rebels.
We have bullets, missiles and bombs but there are no barrel bombs. Barrel bombs are oil drums that are stuffed full of items like TNT, chunks of metal and Petrol.
Their use has been barred by the United Nations.