The use of chemical weapons on civilians (non combatants) is a particularly heinous crime as would be the use of chemicals on any combatants. And anyone that would use those kinds of weapons should be tried for war crimes if possible. However, the issue always is who authorized the used of those weapons? I the most recent attach it is assumed that Assad in Syria directed this use but on face it doesn’t make sense that he would have directed this use for what was the upside and what was the down side? killing women and children doesn’t reduce the combat ability of your enemy who is also losing on the battle field. So there doesn’t appear to be any upside! There is however a major downside to the use of chemicals especially on women and children; so why would he direct something with no upside and a major downside?
Maybe we should look elsewhere and not at Assad or Russia but instead at those that want Assad and Syria destroyed. Who would that be well the most likely would be an ISIS related group for they have a significant upside if they can get Assad blamed and no downside if they can do so. This is especially true since they are being defeated on the battle field. So I would be very careful about who I blamed for this atrocity.
For example during World War I during the period prior to the US involvement President Wilson wasn’t sure which side was the aggressor and which was the victim but he was leaning toward supporting Briton and France. So the US was supplying arms to them and placing them on civilian ships. The Germans found out and warned American not to do that and they also placed an ad in the NYT not to take passage on the Lusitania which was making a trip to Europe. The warning wasn’t headed and the Germans sank the ship and that act propelled us into WW I against the Germans. Worse the aftermath was the cause of World war II then worst war ever fought on the planet.
Then more recently we had the Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964 which may or may not have been real but President Johnson assumed it was and that directly lead us into the Vietnam war which destroyed his presidency and cost 58,220 Americans their lives and another 153,303 wounded (I was one of them). That war changed America and not for the better.
The point to this discussion is not that action shouldn’t be taken but it should be based on facts not guess work.