Tillerson, world leaders hold urgent meeting on Syria crisis

LUCCA, Italy (AP) _ U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and world leaders are holding an urgent meeting in Italy to discuss the crisis in Syria.

The meeting of the “likeminded” countries is taking place on the sidelines of the Group of 7 industrialized economies. In addition to G-7 countries, diplomats are attending from Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and others.

The diplomats made no remarks during a brief photo opportunity at the start of the meeting.

The inclusion of Mideast countries is important because the U.S. strategy for Syria involves enlisting help from those nations to ensure security and stability in Syria after the Islamic State group is defeated.

The meeting was hastily organized after a chemical weapons attack that prompted the U.S. to launch airstrikes against Syria’s military.