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Chief of Russia's Islamic Committee: US Coordinated Anti-IS Attacks in Syria with Assad

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Syria was not only notified of the US airstrikes against the Islamic State (IS) group on its territory but also provided Washington with a list of targets, the chairman of the Islamic Committee of Russia Heydar Jemal said Thursday.

MOSCOW, September 25 (RIA Novosti) - Syria was not only notified of the US airstrikes against the Islamic State (IS) group on its territory but also provided Washington with a list of targets, the chairman of the Islamic Committee of Russia Heydar Jemal said Thursday.

"Let's be honest, it is known that there have been secret negotiations with [Syrian President Bashar] Asad; he has even handed [the United States] a list of targets," Jemal told reporters.

He also argued that the IS advance represents a true phenomenon of "political jihad", much more complex than Nusra Front, an al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria.

Jemal noted another particular feature of the Islamic State – its opposition to the whole international political system, which has made even political adversaries unite.

"Impossible sides have joined to fight against the IS – Tehran, Washington, [Bashar] Asad," he said.

The chairman of Russia's Islamic Committee underscored that the United States remained an enemy of the entire Middle East, as well as of Russia and Europe.

In August, the United States launched airstrikes against the IS in Iraq following the proclamation of an Islamic Caliphate by the group on the vast areas it controls across Iraq and Syria. US President Barack Obama also spearheaded the establishment of an international coalition against the IS and other terrorist groups in the Middle East.

Starting this week, US forces and its Arab allies started carrying out airstrikes against terrorists in Syria. Washington said it informed Syria about the upcoming attacks. Damascus has not given any official approval of the operation, but welcomed the anti-terrorist efforts in general.

Tags:
Bashar al-Assad, War on Terror, Islamic Committee, Heydar Jemal
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