PARIS: French President Francois Hollande, said yesterday opposition forces fighting Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq should get more Western support but ruled out seeing Syrian President Bashar Al Assad as an ally.
Calling Assad an ally of the jihadists, he said: “There is no choice to be made between two barbarisms.” “A large alliance is needed, but let’s be clear. Assad is not a partner in the struggle against terrorism,” Hollande said in a speech to an annual conference of French ambassadors.
Syrian rebel forces have been fighting Assad for more than three years with political backing from the West in a war that has cost 190,000 lives. But hardline Islamist groups have increasingly dominated the anti-Assad struggle, posing a dilemma for Western countries. “Today, we are seeing the consequences (of inaction last year). The (Assad) regime continues without holding back its policy of repression, refugees are amassing in neighboring countries and terrorist groups are gaining ground.”
“The danger is immense,” Hollande added.reuters