Senior Syrian rebel officials have been meeting with representatives of the U.S. government over the past week in Washington to discuss possible arms shipments to opposition forces in Syria fighting the brutal regime of Bashar al-Assad.

According to a report in Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper, envoys from the Free Syrian Army, or FSA, met with both Robert Ford the U.S. ambassador to Syria, and Frederick Hoff, special coordinator for the Middle East. They also conferred with senior figures of the National Security Council to show rebel positions and other important military and security items.

The development comes as Western and some Arab nations have apparently lost hope that Russia, Syria’s strongest ally, will pressure Assad to give up power or end his crackdown on opponents.

Both Russia and China have strongly warned the United States and other Western powers to refrain from conducting any kind of military intervention in Syria, as they did with Libya.