TAMPA, Fla. - The Obama administration is mulling over it's plan of attack after a suspected large-scale chemical attack happened in Syria last week.
Secretary of State John Kerry indicated on Monday that the Obama administration intends to hold the Syrian regime accountable for a chemical attack that he called "undeniable."
"What we saw in Syria last week should shock the conscience of the world," said Kerry.
"It defies any code of morality. Let me be clear, the indiscriminate slaughter of civilians, the killing of women and children and innocent bystanders by chemical weapons is a moral obscenity."
Kerry said the judgment on who is responsible is "very clear to the world" pointing the finger at the regime of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.
"For five days the Syrian regime refused to allow the U.N. investigators access to the site of the attack that would allegedly exonerate them. Instead, it attacked the area further, shelling it and systematically destroying evidence.
That is not the behavior of a government that has nothing to hide.
That is not the action of a regime eager to prove to the world that it had not used chemical weapons. In fact, the regime's belated decision to allow access is too late and is too late to be credible," Kerry said.
But while Kerry called for accountability, Syrian-American students at the University of South Florida watched with mixed emotions.
"The joy was touched with cynicism," said USF student Khalid Shakfeh.
"I'm just sad that it took this long for the international community to wake up and to care," said Shakfeh's older sister Noor.
Over spring break, while most college students were soaking in the sunshine the Shakfeh siblings were soaking up Syria's devastation. It was worse, they say, than they ever could have imagined.
The two traveled to the war-torn country with a team from the Syrian American Council (SAC) and more than $100,000 in relief aid.
"You could hear constant gunfire. It was something else. I couldn't prepare for it," Khalid said.
With the memory of that trip still fresh in their minds, the siblings said they hope the U.S. government steps in soon, before it really becomes too late.
"I think there needs to be a strong humanitarian effort on behalf of the world, not just the United States," Noor said, "It is our moral duty to help them."
Assad has denied using chemical weapons and blames the attack on the rebels his soldiers are battling.
He recently told a Russian newspaper that any military campaign against his country was destined to fail.
As of Monday night, it was still unclear how the Obama administration plans to respond.