The United States needs to work with Syrian President Bashar Assad and the Russians to defeat the Islamic State, said a former top CIA official.

Former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell, appearing Sunday on CBS' "Face the Nation," said while Assad is clearly a part of the problem, he "may also be part of the solution."

"An agreement where he stays around for a while and the Syrian army, supported by the coalition, takes on ISIS may be the best result here, may give us the best result," he said. "I think we need to have that discussion again."

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"Face the Nation" host John Dickerson asked if that meant the U.S., Syria and Russia all working together. "Exactly," Morell replied.

Morell said he does not think the current U.S. strategy, which includes and sending special operations forces to support rebel groups in Syria, is doing an adequate job to combat the Islamic State.

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