Feb. 28 - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Syrian National Coalition leader Moaz al-Khatib arrive at the Friends of Syria conference in Rome, Italy. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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(ROUGH CUT ONLY - NO REPORTER NARRATION)
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and the head of the opposition Syrian National Coalition Moaz al-Khatib arrived at the Friends of Syria conference in Rome on Thursday (February 28) to meet with other members of European and Arab nations supporting the Syrian opposition.
The United States is expected to provide medical supplies and food aid to Syrian fighters, a policy shift to directly help those opposing Assad's forces on the ground, sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.
The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the United States continues to oppose providing lethal assistance and said it also will not provide such items as bullet-proof vests, armored-personnel vehicles and military training for now.
The planned steps reflect a U.S. desire to be seen to be doing more to help the opposition in the conflict, in which the United Nations estimates that some 70,000 people have died since it erupted nearly two years ago.