No French ground troops to Syria: Hollande

US President Barack Obama (R) and French President Francois Hollande hold a joint news conference after their meeting at the White House in Washington, DC on November 24, 2015 (AFP Photo/Yuri Gripas) (AFP)

Washington (AFP) - France will not send ground troops to Syria, French President Francois Hollande said Tuesday at the White House in the wake of deadly attacks in Paris blamed on Islamic State extremists.

"France will not intervene militarily on the ground," Hollande said, standing alongside US President Barack Obama. "It is for the local forces to do so."

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad must step down at once in order to bring about an end to the country's brutal civil war, Hollande said.

"I cannot give you a date, but it should be as soon as possible," Hollande told reporters in the White House, adding that Assad "cannot be the future of Syria."