New allegations that the Syrian government is using chemical weapons on rebels and innocent civilians has some wondering how the White House will respond.
The use of chemical weapons is a so-called "red line" President Barack Obama warned earlier this year that would force the United States to act.
Syrian regime forces fired intense artillery and rocket barrages Wednesday into the eastern suburbs of Damascus in what some claim was a "poisonous gas" attack that killed at least 100 people, including many children.
Human Rights Watch spokesperson Lama Fakih said,
"Human Rights Watch has spoken today to 10 residents from eastern Ghouta, including two physicians," Human Rights Watch spokesperson Lama Fakih said. "The residents consistently told us about field hospitals in the area being overwhelmed with civilians that were suffering from a range of symptoms including nausea, suffocation, foaming at mouth, and dilated pupils.
"They believe that there has been a chemical weapons attack in this area," Fakih said.
The Syrian regime called claims of a chemical attack "absolutely baseless."
Is there an end in sight to the Syrian War? Walid Phares, author of The Coming Revolution, Struggle for Freedom in the Middle East, answers this and more on CBN Newswatch, April 16.
In March this year, President Obama suggested that the use of chemical weapons might force the United States to intervene in the Syrian civil war.
"To use potential weapons of mass destruction on civilian populations crosses another line, and that is going to be a game-changer," he told reporters then.
A reporter later pressed White House Spokesman Jay Carney on what the president meant by "game-changer."
"The president made clear that the use of or the transfer to terrorist groups of chemical weapons by the Assad regime would be a crossing a red line, and he retains all options to respond to that," Carney said.
But America's Middle East policy is already in tatters after it has found itself supporting the extremist Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt against that nation's popularly backed military.
The attack near Damascus comes as U.N. inspectors begin investigating allegations of chemical weapon use at various sites around the country. Syria is thought to have one of the world's largest stockpiles of chemical weapons, which includes sarin and mustard gas.