What the world had been dreading for long finally happened - the chemical attack in Syria, which claimed lives of hundreds of innocent people including men, women and children alike. The pictures of small children wrapped in white sheets lying lifeless on the ground amidst the pile of bodies that continues to rise after the nerve gas attack sent shockwaves across the globe.
Fearing that the Syrian crisis would take such an inhumane turn, the United States had issued warnings in the past that if chemical weapons were ever used in the ongoing battle between the Syrian regime and rebels, then "there will be consequences".
Despite warnings, the chemical attack did take place.
As the major powers of the world continue to debate their next plan of action for Syria post chemical attack, the fate of Syrians is hardly expected to change anytime soon.
It is not the first time that the Bashar al-Assad regime has committed a crime against humanity. The world has been witnessing the horror that the Syrians have been facing for the past two years - shelling, bomb attacks, indiscriminate firing from both ends be it the rebels or Assad`s government - with the death toll climbing.
To be subjected to such brutality in a country which several called their home and refused to leave even at a time when it is being shredded to pieces by its own people, is nothing short of monstrosity.
Over a million people have since then taken refuge in other countries, while those who remain in the country continue to fight for their lives every day.
No one knows when the next bullet or a bomb will be aimed at them with reports of children being killed in a bomb attack at a school or someone being shot dead while walking down the road continuing to make headlines.
According to the recent estimates, around 100,000 people have already been killed in the ongoing war in the past two years.
So, why was the US waiting for the "red line" to be crossed to decide what will be their next course of action in Syria even as innocents continued to be killed every day?
One of the major concerns in the Syrian crisis is what will happen after the exit of Assad regime? If the rebels succeed in overthrowing the present government, there is no surety that the struggle to build a stable and people-friendly government will end and not meet the same fate as that of Egypt where mayhem continues despite election and subsequent ouster of deposed president Mohamed Morsi.
After the recent chemical attack, the world powers continue to brainstorm behind closed doors and struggle to come to a consensus over the fate of Syria and its people.
While the US is in favour of military action in the strife-torn country after alleging that the Assad regime was the one behind the inhumane attack, it clearly knows that it will not just be standing up against Syria but its strong allies Russia and Iran too.
Just as the US blames Assad government for the chemical attack, Russia and Iran have blamed rebels for the heinous act and strongly stood in support of the Syrian government discouraging any intervention in the country`s internal strife.
Whatever be the outcome of the talks, the country which is in ruins presently, will take a long time to recover from the war that has reduced it to shambles.
However, whatever step is to be taken next, one must not forget at this crucial juncture that there are no actions without consequences and it would end up affecting the fate of the innocent civilians in Syria.