The Foreign Secretary hosted the High Negotiations Committee of the Syrian Opposition (HNC) on Wednesday and backed its proposals for a “gradual transition” of power in Syria. As part of the “Vision For Syria” plan, Mr Assad would depart within six months, paving the way for a shift to constitutional rule and free elections.
In a statement, Syria’s foreign ministry said Mr Johnson’s support for the proposal demonstrated the British government’s part in “aggression” against Syria.
It said: “Statements of British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson reveal his complete separation from reality and his lack of realisation that the time of the British colonial mandate will not come back.”
The five-year Syrian civil war has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and displaced an estimated 11 million people.
During an address at the Foreign Office, HNC chief Riyad Farid Hijab said that under the committee’s plans Mr Assad’s departure would be followed by an 18-month period of transition.
This would see a mix of opposition figures and current government representatives running the country prior to UN-supervised elections, he said.
Mr Hijab added: “Syria wants to see Bashar leave. If Bashar leaves will the fighting go on? No.”
Prior to the briefing, Mr Johnson claimed Mr Assad bore an “overwhelming responsibility” for the humanitarian crisis in Syria.
The Foreign Secretary also called on Russia to end its “seemingly indefensible” support for Mr Assad’s “killing machine”.
Syria’s criticism of Mr Johnson comes after the world’s chemical weapons watchdog announced that it would investigate suspected use of chlorine gas in Aleppo, north Syria.
The Syrian Civil Defence, a rescue workers’ group, said government forces dropped barrel bombs containing chlorine from helicopters on Tuesday.
One person is reported to have died in the attack.
News Source SkyNews