DOHA, Qatar, June 22 (UPI) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with his Western and Mideast counterparts in Qatar about how aid to Syrian rebels, officials said.
Saturday's gathering of representatives from 11 nations seeks to find ways through a diplomatic maze complicated by the support of Russia, China and Iran for embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad, CNN reported.
Assad, who is utilizing air power and heavy artillery against the rebels, is believed to be getting heavy weapons from Russia. The rebels mostly have small arms, although they recently said they had received anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles from "brotherly nations."
There is no indication the weapons came from the United States, which is providing more than $815 million in humanitarian assistance to the conflict's victims and has pledged $250 million in nonlethal aid to the rebels.
Senior U.S. officials say the CIA is training a small number of rebels in Jordan.
Some 5,000 Shiite Hezbollah fighters from Lebanon are engaged in the conflict in support of Assad. Sunni fighters from neighboring countries have joined the rebel forces, including a group from Iraq affiliated with al-Qaida.