Wicker said while 1,500 Syrians had been killed by chemical weapons during the civil war, more than 200,000 had been killed by conventional weapons. But the international community has determined a legal distinction between the two. “We know Assad is a war criminal and my fondest wish is that someday Assad will be in life imprisonment somewhere for being a war criminal because he is. In the meantime, he is a client of Russia and Iran, and we wish Syria was led by somebody other than Bashar Assad,” Wicker said. Noting that the situation is “complicated” he urged patience as Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson work out a strategy.