‘Britain will not work with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the battle against Islamic State (IS) extremists, the foreign secretary has told the BBC.
Philip Hammond said to do so would not be “practical, sensible or helpful”.
Former head of the Army Lord Dannatt and ex-Foreign Secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind called for the move following the beheading of US journalist James Foley by IS militants.
Mr Hammond also defended the monitoring of suspected extremists in the UK.
The UK government has called for President Assad to be removed as Syrian leader as a result of his actions during the country’s civil war.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s The World at One, the foreign secretary said to co-operate with the Syrian regime would “poison” what the UK was trying to achieve.
He said: “We may very well find that we are fighting, on some occasions, the same people that he is but that doesn’t make us his ally.”‘
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