President Bashar al-Assad has said U.S.-led air strikes against Islamic State militants in Syria should be subject to an agreement with Damascus and Syrian troops should be involved on the ground. Assad was speaking in an interview with the U.S.-based Foreign Affairs Magazine published on Monday. "With any country that is serious about fighting terrorism, we are ready to make cooperation, if they're serious," Assad said, when asked if he would be willing to take steps to make cooperation easier with Washington. Washington supports opposition forces fighting for the past four years to topple Assad, but its position has become complicated since Islamic State and other hardline groups emerged as the most powerful rebel factions.
The sons of deposed Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak were released from prison on Monday, prison officials said, a day after the violent anniversary of the 2011 uprising that toppled the autocrat. An Egyptian court last week ordered the release of Alaa and Gamal Mubarak pending their retrial in a corruption case. Their release could further fuel tensions in Egypt. Mubarak is still in detention in a military hospital, but judicial sources said he could soon walk free as he currently has no convictions against him.