Diplomatic efforts to end the Syrian conflict have been plunged into a fresh crisis with the UN special envoy announcing a temporary suspension of talks in Geneva between the opposition and the government.
Following a meeting with the opposition's Higher Negotiations Committee (HNC) in the Swiss city on Wednesday, Staffan de Mistura fixed February 25 as the date for resuming talks.
"This is not the end and not the failure of the talks. They both came and they both stayed - and both sides insisted on a political process," he said, referring to the government and opposition delegations.
Earlier on Wednesday, quoting information from the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR), the opposition accused the Syrian government and Russia of killing at least 300 civilians since the launch of the so-called Geneva III conference on January 29.
Speaking after de Mistura's announcement, Riyad Hijab, the HNC head who joined the opposition team in Geneva just hours earlier, announced that the delegation would leave and not come back until there was a change on the ground and an end to ongoing air strikes.