Syria opposition tells UN envoy Damascus must halt bombing before talks

BEIRUT - Syrian opposition leaders told a UN envoy on Tuesday Damascus must take confidence-building steps including a prisoner release and a halt to attacks on civilian areas before they will go to negotiations set for this month, opposition officials said.
The United Nations said last month it aimed to bring together the warring parties on Jan. 25 in Geneva to begin talks aimed at ending nearly five years of conflict that has killed an estimated 250,000 people.