(Adds comment, details, background)
PARIS, June 19 Countries opposed to Syrian
President Bashar al-Assad should boost support for groups
fighting jihadists in light of the spiralling crisis in Iraq,
France said on Thursday, offering to contribute to the effort.
France has so far agreed to provide non-lethal aid to the
Syrian opposition but has ruled out providing heavy weapons that
could change the balance of power on the ground.
President Francois Hollande's office accused Assad in a
statement of maintaining murky relations with terrorist groups,
using them against the Syrian opposition instead of fighting
"The war he is waging against his own people has helped
create a free range for terrorists between Syria and Iraq," the
"France therefore wants the Friends of Syria to reinforce
and coordinate their support for the opposition fighting
jihadist groups. It is ready to contribute."
(Reporting by John Irish; Writing by Leigh Thomas; Editing by