Exclusive: U.S. told Iran of intent to strike IS militants in Syria - source

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 23, 2014 4:47 PM

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United States informed Iran in advance of its intention to strike Islamic State militants in Syria and told Tehran that it would not target the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a senior Iranian official told Reuters.

"This issue was first discussed in Geneva and then was discussed thoroughly in New York where Iran was assured that Assad and his government will not be targeted in case of any military action against Daesh (Islamic State) in Syria," the official said on condition of anonymity. He added that Iran was informed separately in advance of the airstrike.

Asked about the assurance that Syrian government forces would not be targeted, a senior U.S. State Department official told Reuters: "We communicated our intentions, but not specific timing or targets, to the Iranians. As we've said, we won't be coordinating military action with Iran. And of course we won't be sharing intelligence with Iran either."

(Reporting by Parisa Hafezi, Louis Charbonneau and Arshad Mohammed)