• Syrian foreign ministry spokesman defects: regional diplomatic source

    Syrian foreign ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi has defected from President Bashar al-Assad's government and has left the country, a regional diplomatic source said on Monday.

    "All I can say is that he is out of Syria," the source, who did not want to be named, told Reuters.

    Lebanon's al-Manar Television said earlier that Makdissi had been sacked for making statements which did not reflect official positions.

    (Reporting by Khaled Yacoub Oweis, Amman newsroom; Editing by Pravin Char)
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Hollande, Putin agree to work more closely to combat Islamic State in Syria

MOSCOW France and Russia will exchange intelligence on Islamic State and other rebel groups to improve the effectiveness of their aerial bombing campaigns in Syria, French President Francois Hollande said on Thursday after talks with Vladimir Putin. | Video