Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad says his government is receiving messages from the US-led coalition battling the jihadist group, Islamic State. Mr Assad that there had been no direct co-operation since air strikes began in Syria in September. But third parties – among them Iraq – were conveying “information”.
He also denied that Syrian government forces had been dropping barrel bombs indiscriminately on rebel-held areas, killing thousands of civilians. Mr Assad dismissed the allegation as a “childish story”, in a wide-ranging interview with BBC Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen in Damascus. “We have bombs, missiles and bullets. There are no barrel bombs, we don’t have barrels.” Said Mr Assad (BBC News).