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Call for no-bombing zone in Syria to end Assad killings

A Labour MP has called on the US and French military to enforce a no-bombing zone across Syria to stop President Bashar Assad "raining down barrel bombs on innocent civilians".

Jo Cox told ITV News Political Correspondent Libby Wiener the strategy to stop Assad - who she said was responsible for 75% of civilian deaths in Syria - did not require British troops on the ground.

She explained how the no-bombing zone could be achieved and why it would "force (Assad) to the negotiating table".

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IS expanded since start of air strikes, Assad claims

Islamic State has expanded since the start of US-led air strikes last September, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has said.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Credit: Reuters

Asked how effective the strikes had been in fighting the terror group, Assad told CBS: "Sometimes you could have local benefit but in general if you want to talk in terms of ISIS, actually ISIS has expanded since the beginning of the strikes."

Assad claimed that there were some estimates that IS was attracting 1,000 recruits a month in Syria.

He also warned the group were expanding into new territory in Iraq and Libya.

The Syrian president - who has been involved in a brutal civil war with rebels since 2011 - said he would leave power when he no longer retained public support, or felt he could not represent "the Syrian interests, and values."

Assad calls Syrian people 'honourable' and 'free'

President Bashar al-Assad called the people of Syria "honourable" and "free" during a speech after being sworn in for a new seven-year term.

President Bashar al-Assad Credit: Reuters

He reminded how, throughout the crisis in Syria, some have spoken on behalf of the Syrian people repeating the slogan 'The People Want'.

Yes, the people did want, the people did make their decision, the people did act...Years have passed since some chanted for freedom, but you, the Syrians, were the freemen at the time of subordination, and you were the masters at the time of acting.

– President Bashar al-Assad
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