A man uses a video camera to film destroyed buildings in the in the northern city of Aleppo on August 29, 2014 following a reported barrel bomb attack in the area by Syrian government forces
A man uses a video camera to film destroyed buildings in the in the northern city of Aleppo on August 29, 2014 following a reported barrel bomb attack in the area by Syrian government forces © Zein al-Rifai - AMC/AFP/File
A man uses a video camera to film destroyed buildings in the in the northern city of Aleppo on August 29, 2014 following a reported barrel bomb attack in the area by Syrian government forces
AFP
Last updated: August 31, 2014

Syria slams France for not cooperating over jihadists

Syria on Sunday criticised France's President Francois Hollande for his refusal to cooperate with Damascus against jihadists from the extremist Islamic State group.

"The French president's insistence on pursuing his campaign of lies since the beginning of the crisis in Syria... has made his country one of those most responsible for the bloodshed in Syria," state news agency SANA quoted the foreign ministry as saying.

"Regional and international support for takfiri (extremist) terrorist groups... is the main reason for the prolongation of the crisis and the rise and spread of armed terrorist groups to countries in the region and beyond," the ministry said.

The comments come after Hollande on Thursday rejected any cooperation with President Bashar al-Assad's regime, which said this week it was willing to work with the international community to tackle the threat posed by the Islamic State.

"A big alliance is necessary but let's be clear -- Bashar al-Assad cannot be a partner in the fight against terrorism, he is the de facto ally of jihadists," Hollande said.

France and other backers of the Syrian uprising against Assad have accused the government in Damascus of effectively backing the Islamic State by failing to target it.

Damascus says it is fighting a war against "terror" and deems all those seeking to overthrow Assad "terrorists".

Its offer to work with other nations to target jihadists comes amid rising international concern over advances by the Islamic State, which has seized territory in both Syria and Iraq.

The group has become notorious for abuses including beheading and crucifixions, and has declared an Islamic "caliphate" in the territory under its control.

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