Vehicles in a convoy of Iraqi security forces is seen during a patrol for ISIS militants on the outskirts of Ramadi September 14, 2014. (REUTERS/Osama al-Dulaimi)
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Iraq's national security adviser briefed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on efforts to counter Islamic State on Tuesday, in the first such meeting since the United States launched air strikes on the radical group in Iraq.The United States and other Western governments have dismissed the idea of cooperating with Syria in the fight against Islamic State, which has seized large areas of Iraq and Syria. The meeting between Faleh al-Fayad, the Iraqi national security adviser, and Assad indicated that the Iraqi government aims to maintain those ties.U.S. President Barack Obama said last week he would not hesitate to strike Islamic State in Syria.The United States, which backs the more moderate rebels fighting Assad, is leading efforts to forge an international coalition against Islamic State.A Lebanese official with close ties to the Syrian government said Fayad had expressed Baghdad's displeasure at Syria's exclusion from international efforts against Islamic State, echoing sentiments from Assad's allies Russia and Iran.
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