As shelling rains down in Syria, blasting into buildings, the Arab League convenes an emergency meeting in Cairo.

Leaders from the 22-nation group moved up their scheduled meeting two days to address the escalating situation in Syria.

In a press conference prior to the meeting, Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal said Saudi Arabia would back a U. S. strike if the Syrian people did.

(SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SAUDI ARABIAN FOREIGN MINISTER, SAUD AL-FAISAL, SAYING:

"Our stance is that we support the will of the Syrian people. They know their best interests and know what is needed with regards to their internal situations, so whatever they accept, we accept. And whatever they refuse. We refuse."

Al-Faisal blames the Syrian government for the alleged chemical weapons attack that has sparked international outrage.

In Damascus, a top national security official from Syrian ally, Iran, met with President Bashar al-Assad, who says his country is ready to confront any external attack.

In a written statement broadcast on Syrian state television, Assad said, quote, "the American threats about military intervention in Syria will not stop Syria from adherence to its principles and fight against terrorism..."

Assad has denied allegations that his forces used chemical weapons against Syrians.

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