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Sep 21, 6:52 AM EDT

Syria blasts coalition against Islamic State

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DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) -- Syria's parliament speaker says the U.S. should work with Damascus in assembling a coalition to battle the Islamic State extremist group rather than allying with nations that support terrorism.

Mohammad Jihad Lahham was apparently referring to Saudi Arabia and other countries that back rebels trying to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Lahham said during a parliament session Sunday that nations that "want to fight terrorism should coordinated" with Damascus rather than Syrian rebel groups.

President Barack Obama is working to form a global coalition to confront the Islamic State group, which controls large parts of Syria and Iraq.

The U.S. has been conducting airstrikes against Islamic State fighters in Iraq since August. Obama has more recently authorized strikes against the group in Syria.

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