Putin calls on West to work with Syria's Assad to defeat ISIS

Russian president clashes with Obama at UN

Putin: 'Overthrowing Assad Will Lead to Failed State'

Vladimir Putin has called on the world to work with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as he urged the creation of an anti-terror coalition to defeat Islamic State.

The Russian President took to the stage at the United Nations General Assembly, saying it would be an "enormous mistake to refuse to cooperate" with the Syrian armed forces, who he claimed were "valiantly fighting terrorism face to face".

But US President Barack Obama dismissed Mr Putin's calls to back Assad's regime, reports the Daily Express.

Referring to the Syrian President as a "tyrant", Mr Obama described him as the chief culprit behind the four-year civil war in which at least 200,000 people have died and millions have been driven from their homes.

However, he later conceded that the US would work with both Russia and Iran to find a solution to the Syria crisis. He said: "The United States is prepared to work with any nation, including Russia and Iran, to resolve the conflict."

French airstrikes

Ealier, Putin told US network CBS, said that "Syrians and only Syrians" should be able to decide the fate of their country.

"There's no other solution to the Syrian crisis other than strengthening the effective government structures and rendering them help in fighting terrorism," he said.

His comments came as French President Francois Hollande confirmed that France had carried out its first air strikes against ISIS, but said that Syria's future could not include Assad.

Prime Minister David Cameron said it was not a case of choosing which enemy to fight first. "We want a Syria without ISIL or Assad ... both need to go," he said.

Putin: Huge Mistake not to Work with Assad's Forces