Syria airstrikes
The opposition has rejected participating in peace talks until air strikes and government blockades ceaseReuters

The opposition will not participate in peace talks about Syria, even indirectly, until blockades and Russian air strikes on civilians stop, a party leader said on 22 January.

UN peace talks in Geneva, intended to bring the conflict to an end, were originally set to begin on 25 January, with Iran and Saudi Arabia both due to attend.

However, talks seem unlikely to start at the beginning of next week, and certainly not with opposition attendance, as deputy head of the opposition delegation George Sabra told Reuters: "There must be a halt to the bombardment of civilians by Russian planes, and sieges of blockaded areas must be lifted."

He also indicated to the news service that the conditions must be "appropriate" for talks to begin, suggesting he would not attend even indirect talks until Russian air strikes and government blockades came to an end.

The Syrian government had previously confirmed it would take part in the talks, but despite the UN suggesting talks would still begin in January, a number of other factors indicate they may not take place on their intended date of 25 January.

Along with the absence of Syrian opposition, the likelihood of talks beginning then is also being threatened by a variety of disagreements, including over what will be discussed.

However, participants have been keen to stress that talks will go ahead next week, despite the dates potentially moving from 25 January to later in the week.