However, the war has gotten bloodier since it began in 2011.
Both sides — especially the jihadis — are killing unarmed people and prisoners.
The high stakes ensure that Syria’s minority ethnic groups — especially the Christians — are debating wether to flee towards safer zones.
The ruling Alawite community can flee to its home region on Syria’s Mediterranean coast, or it can escalate by counter-attacking the jihadi and rebel groups with chemical weapons, such as nerve gases.
Those weapons kill on contact with skin, and even very small doses can paralyze or sicken people for long periods of time. The areas where nerve gases are used can become inhabitable for years.
The nerve-gas weapons are so deadly that Adolf Hitler refused to use them in World War II, even though they were developed by German scientists in secret. As a German soldier in World War 1, Hitler was temporary incapacitated by simpler, and less deadly, chemical weapons.
Obama ended his statement about the chemical weapons by declaring, “We simply cannot allow the 21st century to be darkened by the works the weapons of the 20th century.”