GENEVA The Syrian opposition declined to congratulate Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on retaking historic Palmyra from Islamic State militants on Thursday and suggested the sight of the city changing hands again was risible.
“It is the second time that we see this handover and this is obviously being used for political reasons,” chief opposition negotiator Nasr al-Hariri told reporters in Geneva, adding that he considered both sides to be terrorists.
“If we want to follow the game of Assad and Palmyra, it will be like watching Tom and Jerry.”
Earlier, the Syrian government’s chief negotiator Bashar al-Ja’afari had hailed Assad for keeping his promise to retake the ancient city of Palmyra, and vowed that every last inch of Syria would be retaken from foreign terrorists.
(Reporting by Tom Miles, John Irish and Stephanie Nebehay)