U.S. says too soon to know impact of Palmyra shift on Syrian talks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States said on Monday it welcomed the expelling of Islamic State militants from the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra, but that it was too early to know what effect this would have on Syria’s peace talks.

“It’s too soon to know the degree to which the Palmyra operation is going to affect (the peace talks) one way or the other,” State Department spokesman John Kirby told reporters at a daily briefing, adding that the shift in the city does not change U.S. opposition to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Syrian government forces, backed by Russia, have taken back control of Palmyra, where some ancient monuments were destroyed by the ultra-radical militants.

Reporting by Lesley Wroughton and Susan Heavey; Editing by Bernadette Baum