More than 70 people, many of whom were women and children, were killed Tuesday in a reported act of chemical warfare by the regime of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.

The incident, occurring in the city of Idlib, spurred an emergency UN Security Council Meeting.

"A few weeks ago, this council attempted to hold Assad accountable for suffocating his people to death - with toxic chemicals," said Nikki Haley, the US Ambassador to the UN.

As the violence in the region has increased, so has the difficulty for world leaders to act.

Emily Hawthorne, a Middle East Analyst with the Austin-based global intelligence firm Statfor, explained the United States' focus has not been on regime change, but on defeating ISIS.

"When there's attacks like this, there is renewed interest on the topic of regime change and the question of where does Assad go because of the human cost of the conflict," Hawthorne explained.

As for the human cost, it's been felt in both lives lost and displaced.

"It has become increasingly difficult for civilians to move around even loyalist territory in Syria," Hawthorne added.

Pew Research reports about 12,500 Syrian refugees settled in the US last fiscal year, the second-highest number of refugees from any country.

This isn't the first reported use of chemical warfare in the region, nor the first condemnation from many in the global community.

"There is a certain degree of boldness coming from the Syrian government that they would dare to commit such an attack. And I think a lot of it comes from an absence of a fear of reprisal," said Hawthorne.

Even if the Assad regime emerges victorious from their battle with rebel forces, Hawthorne noted they still face serious issues, ranging from a floundering economy to attempting to regain the trust of the Syrian public.

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