(CNN) — The international effort to respond to a suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria begs the question: Why intervene now, and not earlier in the civil war?
More than 100,000 people have died in the conflict, which has raged for more than two years.
There have been massacres. Populated areas have been bombed. Blasts have targeted people lining up for food at bakeries. People have been decapitated.
Millions of Syrians are displaced.
But a single, horrifying attack has crossed what U.S. President Barack Obama called a “red line.” Rebel officials say more than 1,300 people, including many women and children, died recently as a result of chemical weapons.
The United States believes Syria was behind it; rebels blame the Syrian government as well. The Syrian regime denies it, and some Syrians have told CNN they doubt their government used chemical weapons.
Given the massive human toll of attacks with conventional weapons, what makes this a potential turning point for the world to act?
Franklin & Marshall College American Studies Professor David Kieran shared his insight on the topic on the set of Fox News First at 4.