Hollande: Assad cannot be ally against Islamic State

Paris - French President Francois Hollande said on Thursday that opposition forces fighting Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq should have more Western support, but Syrian President Bashar Assad could not be an ally against jihadists.

"A large alliance is needed, but let's be clear. Assad is not a partner in the struggle against terrorism", he said in a speech.

Calling Assad an ally of the jihadists, he said. "There is no choice to be made between two barbarisms."

In a text provided before a speech to an annual conference of French ambassadors, Hollande also said: "To fight Islamic State, the international community must also arm opposition forces that are fighting it."

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.

However, the rise of hard-line Islamist groups to the forefront of the struggle and their advances into neighbouring Iraq has have posed a dilemma for Western policy.

France last week said it had provided weapons to the "moderate" Syrian opposition but diplomats have said there are differences of opinions between Paris and Washington on whether there should be more support in the future as efforts to fight Islamic State in Syria increase.

Hollande reiterated his plans for an international conference to help coordinate international action against Islamic State.

France would also increase it’s for Iraq, Hollande said.

"To fight Islamic State, the first condition is for Iraqis to unite", he said.

French diplomats have said they are hoping to hold the meeting, which include Iran, Arab states and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, between 15 to 20 September.

Hollande also said there would be talks at the UN Security Council later this month to see how states across the world could prevent "young fanatics" from joining the ranks of the Islamic State.

- Reuters
VoxPopuli 2014-08-28 02:25:32 PM
So the enemy of my enemy is my enemy..... Let's see how this one turns out
Verbeterings Sikelela 2014-08-28 02:50:00 PM
Meanwhile his government has fallen apart.I guess a statement like that should be expected from him.
Tavengwa Chivirira Muchini 2014-08-28 02:54:53 PM
Take Assad out mission 101.
Henderson 2014-08-28 02:59:13 PM
This is why i hate politics eauropeans are being beheaded by the same boons you armed,your greed and your bulliness will cost lives of your people mr president
Theuns G Strydom 2014-08-28 03:00:52 PM
Assad, aside, Mr Hollande has no room to talk he is single handedly responsible for allowing France to become the biggest joke in Europe as well as a near muslim state...This guy could not run a barbershop nevermind a country
Kobus Hattingh 2014-08-28 03:03:32 PM
He is speaking from his Hollande again :(
Yaj Chetty 2014-08-28 04:09:25 PM
What a goofy idiot this clown Hollande is . Imbecile ! Merde ! US and NATo together with Qatar and the Saudis have been arming and supporting these mad jihadist IS terrorists against Assad, destroying Syria and murdering 200 000 civilians. Someone put a sock or a boot inthis idiot Hollande's mouth. God help us all.
James Smythe 2014-08-28 04:14:25 PM
There are no 'moderates' in this fight - all are cultists and fanatics of one sort or another.
Motofogo Mulilo 2014-08-29 01:44:08 PM
Without Germany Europe has become a big pussy cat.