The Latest: Syrian opposition undecided over peace talks

MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on Syria’s conflict (all times local):

4.30 p.m.

The head of the main Syrian opposition coalition says they will decide later this week on whether to take part in indirect peace talks in Geneva scheduled to resume Wednesday.

Riad Hijab, head of the Higher Negotiations Committee, acknowledged on Monday that Russian bombardment has dropped following the partial cease-fire, which came into effect Feb. 27. Yet he added that President Bashar Assad’s government has not released any detainees and said the flow of aid to besieged rebel-held areas was too small.

He said that “unfortunately” all Russian airstrikes had been targeting moderate rebels.

U.N. Special Envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura has said talks will resume on Wednesday.

Hijab told a group of journalists working for Western media organizations by telephone that the opposition will not accept any role for Assad during the 18-month transitional period


12:30 p.m.

Russia says it is aiming to step up humanitarian aid to Syria’s war-battered people by opening up its military facilities in Syria for international aid cargos.

Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said Monday that Russia “is ready to provide all necessary help to international and foreign organizations in the delivery of humanitarian aid.”

He said this assistance will include allowing the unloading and temporary storage of aid cargos at the Russian naval base in Tartus, as well as receiving and storing aid at the air base in Hemeimeem.

Konashenkov said Russia is also ready to provide vehicles to help deliver cargos from Tartus and Hemeimeem to Syrian regions in need.