UK & World News
Damascus: Syria's Urban Warfare At Its Worst
Damascus is a surreal place. Life in the centre of the city continues with a semblance of normality, but just a few miles away battles rage in the suburbs.
It is only a short drive to get there and doesn't take long before you run out of safe road.
On the streets, children play and skip happily, while in the distance you can hear the intermittent crackle of small arms fire.
We were taken to the frontline in Tadaman, in the south of the city, by government troops.
After a short walk, the buildings soon look broken. They have been shot to pieces by months of gunfire - where there were once shops, they now only trade bullets.
Opposing fighters can see each others' positions through holes in the wall.
The men we speak to don't want to be identified. They fear reprisals against their families who still live in the contested communities.
Many of the rebels, who they are trying to kill, used to be neighbours.
One soldier tells me President Barack Obama's red line does not make sense - it's not chemical weapons destroying Syria, but old fashioned AK-47s.
"The reality is conventional weapons killed hundreds of thousands and made many millions of refugees. Nobody talks about that - only the use of chemicals," he says.
Inside the apartment blocks where families used to live, President Bashar al Assad's soldiers take up new positions.
This is urban warfare at its worst.
The men say they are well supplied. And they will die for their president, if victory doesn't come first.
As we leave the battered neighbourhood, we are shown a man who it is claimed is a captured opposition fighter.
He'll shortly be taken to a military prison and could face years in prison, or execution, we are told.
Abdullah tells me he is 25 and was told to fight for Islam by his Imam. He says both sides are to blame for the disintegration of the country.
As he finishes talking, his eyes fill with tears.