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Arab League Summit Slams Iran, Chemical Weapons Use In Syria

Arab League summit in Egypt in February 2018

A summit of the Arab League has called for an international probe into the "criminal" use of chemical weapons in Syria and condemned what it said was Iran's interference in the affairs of Arab countries.

The summit in Saudi Arabia came a day after the United States, along with allies France and Britain, launched air strikes on Syria in response to a suspected chemical attack that killed dozens of people last week.

"We demand an independent international investigation to guarantee the application of international law against anyone proven to have used chemical weapons," said a final statement issued by the Arab League after the summit.

The statement also called for more international sanctions on Iran and urged it to withdraw "its militias" from Syria and Yemen.

Iran has been a key backer of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, sending Shi’ite militias to fight alongside government forces. In Yemen, Iranian-backed Huthi rebels have seized large parts of the country, including the capital, Sanaa.

Iranian state media quoted Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi as saying the Arab League's condemnation was the result of pressure from Saudi Arabia, Tehran’s regional rival.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP