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Reports: US cooperates secretly with Assad against IS

Conflicting reports have emerged claiming the United States is secretly cooperating with the Syrian regime of President Bashar Al-Assad to strike Islamic State (IS)'s sites in the country, Al-Araby news website reported.

The reports emerged after President Barack Obama ordered "air strikes against the militant group in Iraq that could be expanded to include Syria" and the US announcement on Monday that it will launch reconnaissance flights over the Syrian territory in preparation for possible strikes against IS militants.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest ruled out today any coordination with the Assad regime in the fight against IS, despite Al-Assad expressing his willingness to cooperate with Washington on the matter. Damascus warned the US against carrying out airstrikes without its consent, saying any such attack would be considered an aggression.

However, an official source familiar with Syria said: "The United States began to provide Damascus with information about IS' sites on the Syrian territory through Baghdad and Moscow."

The source, who asked not to be named, said: "Coordination has already begun between the United States and Damascus."

The Head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdulrahman said that non-Syrian airplanes flew yesterday over the area of ​​Deir Ez-Zor, in the east of Syria, and collected information about IS locations and conveyed it to Damascus through the Russian and Iraqi governments, before the Syrian warplanes today performed a series of focused and intense raids targeting IS' sites in Deir Ez-Zor.

US President Barack Obama vowed yesterday to prosecute the IS militants who beheaded US photojournalist James Foley stressing that "rooting out a cancer like IS won't be easy and it won't be quick".

Speaking during the American Legion National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, Obama said: "America does not forget, our reach is long, we are patient, justice will be done."


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