US to pursue ‘non-lethal’ aid for Syrian rebels



SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A White House official says the U.S., Turkey and other allies are looking into how to provide Syrian rebels with communications help and other “non-lethal” aid.

President Barack Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (RAY’-sep TIE’-yip ERR’-doh-wan) discussed the aid options in a lengthy private meeting Sunday in South Korea.

Ben Rhodes, a top White House national security official, says the U.S. will raise the issue during an April 1 meeting of the diplomatic “Friends of Syria” group. Turkey is hosting the meeting and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is representing the U.S.

The U.S. has been loath to arm the Syrian opposition or get involved militarily to halt the bloodshed in Syria, where the U.N. estimates 8,000 people have been killed.