June 21, 2013
US Secretary of State John Kerry will confront concerns Saturday from Mideast and European allies that a US plan to send small arms won’t do enough to bolster Syrian rebels battling Bashar Assad’s regime.
The top US diplomat is to meet in Doha, Qatar, with foreign ministers from 10 other countries backing the Syrian opposition. Some, such as Saudi Arabia and France, have pushed to provide greater firepower to rebels who say they need anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons.
“The administration has a big challenge,” said Michael O’Hanlon, a defense analyst at the Brookings Institution in Washington. “It’s not clear that a few arms can make much of a difference. I see little evidence to back up that hope.”