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Russian envoy: Syria needs 'free elections' after Islamic State defeat

  • Khaled Khoja, president of the Syrian National Coalition, speaks to reporters during a news conference at United Nations headquarters on Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2015 as a video monitor in the background displays Russian Ambassador to the U.N. Vitaly Churkin presiding over a Security Council meeting. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

    Khaled Khoja, president of the Syrian National Coalition, speaks to reporters during a news conference at United Nations headquarters on Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2015 as a video monitor in the background displays Russian Ambassador to the U.N. Vitaly Churkin presiding over a Security Council meeting. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)  (The Associated Press)

  • UPDATES; Map locates Homs in Syria.; 1c x 3 inches; 46.5 mm x 76 mm;

    UPDATES; Map locates Homs in Syria.; 1c x 3 inches; 46.5 mm x 76 mm;  (The Associated Press)

  • In this image made from video provided by Hadi Al-Abdallah, which has been verified and is consistent with other AP reporting, smoke rises after airstrikes in Kafr Nabel of the Idlib province, western Syria, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015. Russian jets carried out a second day of airstrikes in Syria Thursday, but there were conflicting claims about whether they were targeting Islamic State and al-Qaeda militants or trying to shore up the defenses of President Bashar Assad. (Hadi Al-Abdallah via AP)

    In this image made from video provided by Hadi Al-Abdallah, which has been verified and is consistent with other AP reporting, smoke rises after airstrikes in Kafr Nabel of the Idlib province, western Syria, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015. Russian jets carried out a second day of airstrikes in Syria Thursday, but there were conflicting claims about whether they were targeting Islamic State and al-Qaeda militants or trying to shore up the defenses of President Bashar Assad. (Hadi Al-Abdallah via AP)  (The Associated Press)

The Russian ambassador to France says Syria needs free elections under international supervision after the defeat of Islamic State group.

Alexander Orlov, speaking Thursday to France Info radio, said Russian warplanes targeted Islamic State and al-Nusra and that the Russian military had coordinated with American counterparts via "confidential channels." His comments contradicted U.S. criticism that there was no formal coordination and that targets that did not appear to include Islamic State.

Orlov said Russia intervened only after the repeated failure of the U.S.-led coalition to dislodge the Islamic extremist group, and that he hoped for "free elections" in Syria within a year.

The U.S. and Russia agree on the need to fight the Islamic State group but not about what to do with Syrian President Bashar Assad.