Representatives of the Syrian opposition who rely on the support of Saudi Arabia have called on western allies to supply surface-to-air missiles to defend against Russian military aircraft, Reuters reported. As stated by the Press Secretary of High Negotiations Committee (HNC) of the Syrian opposition, Salem al-Muslat, air defense systems "would solve the Syrian problem" and would protect the civilian population "from any kind of air strikes, including Russian." He also stressed that such missiles would not end up in the hands of the so-called Islamic State.
The opposition collective has stated that Russian airstrikes need to cease in order for peace talks to continue in Geneva. The oppositionists have also demand that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad allow humanitarian aid into areas besieged by government forces.
Inter-Syrian peace talks in Geneva were suspended on February 3rd. According to the UN Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, the negotiations are set to resume on February 25th. The meetings in Geneva are part of a peace process outlined in a UN resolution adopted last month that set forth an 18 month timetable for a political transition in Syria, which is meant to bring about elections and a new constitution in the country.