Kerry to push for coordinated aid to Syrian rebels

Secretary of State John Kerry waves as he boards his plane at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Friday, June 21, 2013, en route to Doha, Qatar. Kerry began an overseas trip plunging into two thorny foreign policy problems facing the Obama administration: unrelenting bloodshed in Syria and efforts to talk to the Taliban and find a political resolution to the war in Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, Pool)

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in Qatar (GUH'-tur) to meet officials from nearly a dozen nations to firm up and coordinate military and humanitarian aid going to the Syrian opposition trying to oust President Bashar Assad.

Kerry flew to Doha, the capital of Qatar, Saturday. It's the first stop on his seven-nation trip through the Mideast and Asia.

U.S. officials hope the meeting will re-energize a newly expanded Syrian opposition group, which is to elect new leadership in coming days.

Kerry is a strong proponent of international intervention to stop the civil war in Syria, which has claimed 93,000 lives.

President Barack Obama recently announced the U.S. will send weapons to the rebels, despite concern the arms could end up in the hands of Islamic extremists.