Persian Gulf officials, tired of waiting for U.S., move to boost aid to Syrian rebels

Although the Saudis and others in the region have been supplying weapons to the rebels since the fighting in Syria began more than two years ago and have cooperated with a slow-starting CIA operation to train and arm the opposition, officials said they have largely given up on the United States as the leader and coordinator of their efforts.

Instead, the Saudis plan to expand training facilities they operate in Jordan and increase the firepower of arms sent to rebel groups that are fighting extremist elements among them even as they battle the Syrian government, according to gulf officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to preserve comity with the United States.

What officials described as a parallel operation independent of U.S. efforts is being discussed by the Saudis with other countries in the region, according to officials from several governments that have been involved in the talks.

Unhappiness over Syria is only one element of what officials said are varying degrees of disenchantment in the region with much of the administration’s Middle East policy, including its nuclear negotiations with Iran and criticism of Egypt’s new government.