A White House official says President Barack Obama is expected to meet this week with the head of Syria's opposition council.
Ahmad al-Jarba and other Syrian opposition officials will also meet with Secretary of State John Kerry. Their trip follows U.S. approval for the Syrian Opposition Council to open a formal diplomatic mission in Washington.
Jarba's visit to Washington comes at a critical time in the conflict as Syrian President Bashar Assad's government has made recent battlefield gains and announced that it would hold presidential elections in June. (AP)