AMMAN: Senior military officers from Western and Muslim countries were gathering in Jordan Monday to discuss the regional impact of the war in Syria, Jordanian officials said.
State-run Petra news agency quoted a Jordanian military spokesman as saying that the meeting comes at the invitation of Jordan's chief of staff Meshaal Mohamed al-Zaban and General Lloyd Austin, head of Centcom, the US command responsible for 20 countries in the Middle East and Central Asia.
US army chief General Martin Dempsey would take part, as would chiefs of staff from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Canada, said the official, cited by Petra.
A Jordanian government official confirmed the meeting, saying it would be held on Monday and Tuesday.
"The participants are still arriving in Amman. An official statement will be issued once the meeting starts," he said.
Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh said on Sunday the meeting "has been scheduled for months".
The meeting "will discuss the situation and scenarios on the ground, especially after the recent dangerous developments. The army chiefs have to have comprehensive talks and examine the impact on the region," Judeh said.
It comes as the United States and its Western allies pointed the finger of blame at President Bashar al-Assad's regime for a suspected chemical weapons attack near Damascus last week.
Syria's opposition says more than 1,300 people died when toxic gases were unleashed last Wednesday as regime forces bombarded rebel zones east and southwest of Damascus before dawn.
Doctors Without Borders said 355 people had died of "neurotoxic" symptoms in the affected areas.
Syria's main opposition group, the National Coalition, says more than 1,300 people in chemical weapons attacks on Wednesday.
A US diplomatic offensive led by Secretary of State John Kerry, comments coming from the White House and signs the Pentagon is positioning ships closer to Syria fuelled an impression that President Barack Obama may be getting ready to jettison his antipathy to new Middle Eastern entanglements and to order limited military action.
Assad has dismissed the allegations as an "insult to common sense" and warned the U.S. that any attack it launches on Syria would end in failure.