Syrian rebel commander rejects idea of working with Damascus against Islamic State
A fighter from the Free Syrian Army's Al Rahman legion carries a weapon as he walks towards his position on the front line against the forces of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in Jobar, a suburb of Damascus, Syria, in this July 27, 2015 file photo. Only four or five U.S.-trained Syrian rebels were still fighting in Syria, a top general told Congress on September 16, 2015, a stark admission of setbacks to a fledgling military program that critics have already pronounced a failure. REUTERS/Bassam Khabieh/Files

BEIRUT:  A leading Syrian rebel commander said on Wednesday it was illogical to suggest the Free Syrian Army (FSA) could join forces with Damascus to fight Islamic State, after the Russian president said his French counterpart had tabled the idea.

Bashar al-Zoubi, who heads a group fighting under the banner of the FSA in southern Syria, told Reuters: “Before we fight Daesh alongside the Syrian army, the one who brought Daesh intoSyria – the Syrian regime – must be held to account.”

Daesh is an Arabic name for Islamic State typically used by the group’s opponents.

France has repeatedly said that once there is a political transition there will be the need for government forces and moderate rebels to join to fight Islamic State, but only once PresidentBashar al-Assad has gone from power.

Zoubi said that idea had never been suggested to him.

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