There is human and satellite evidence to prove the Syrian government used a chemical nerve agent in attacks on its people, the Obama administration announced Friday.
Secretary of State John Kerry said at least 1,429 were killed in the attacks, including 426 children.
"The American people are tired of war," Kerry acknowledged. "But fatigue does not absolve us of our responsibility. History would judge us all extraordinarily harshly."
But despite the numbers and evidence, the nation is divided on what the U.S. should do.
What are the implications for Americans if the United States were to strike Syria? Brad Jacob, a constitutional law professor with Regent University, explains that and more, on CBN Newswatch, Aug. 30.
An NBC poll shows 50 percent of Americans oppose an attack, and 79 percent want congressional approval.
Meanwhile, the President Obama said he was still considering his options regarding what action the United States would take against the Assad regime.
"We're not considering any open ended commitment," he said in a press conference Friday. "We're not considering any boots on the ground approach."
The White House has already begun courting members of Congress, hoping to make the case that the Syrian government was behind the attacks and that it must be punished.
The administration briefed members by phone Thursday night but did not convince everyone.
"There is no policy, there is no strategy here, there is no end game here," Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., charged.
"I'm really disappointed in our commander in chief," Rep. Buck McKeon, R-Calif., said. "He's put the nation, and he's put himself, in a very tough situation."
Overnight the United States lost the support of its closest ally. The British parliament voted against taking any military action against Syria.
"It is clear to me that the British Parliament, reflecting the views of the British people, does not want to see British military action," Prime Minister David Cameron said. "I get that and the government will act accordingly."
The U.S. may be able to act in coordination with France, whose president says that Syria must be punished.
If the U.S. strikes, it will not have any formal support from the U.N. That's because Russia blocked efforts to pass a resolution authorizing the use of force.
Meanwhile, U.N. chemical weapons experts are on the ground in Syria, hoping to determine whether or not chemical weapons were used. Experts believe their evidence could also help to discover just who deployed the gases.