UK & World News
Syria: Tragedy Befalls Country's War-Torn Towns
Driving round town two things are clear. Firstly, that the army has successfully repulsed the full-scale rebel push into the city centre and, secondly, that the rebels will be back.
We heard explosions and saw smoke coming from the districts of Deera, Dirya, Kfar Sousa and Jaramana. All are within three miles of the city centre.
In Jaramana, south Damascus, the explosions were coming every few minutes interspersed with small arms fire.
On a side street 100 yards from the road to the international airport we watched as an army unit in a sandbagged bunker exchanged fire with rebel fighters across a dual carriageway.
The few people still outside so close to the shooting ran down the street to get to their shops and houses, but they could go no further. Neither could we. Attempts to make it to the army unit were thwarted by state security who turned up and politely, but firmly, told us we had to leave.
In Jaramana, locals were also still clearing up the mess from last week's double car bombing which killed 68 people.
Most died as they ran to the scene of the first blast to help the wounded. The secondary explosion tactic is much-used by jihadists and this attack bore their hallmarks.
The Al Nusra front, a jihadist group comprising foreign and local fighters, appears to be increasingly involved in terror tactics.
We travelled around 18 miles out of the city into one of the poor, rundown towns which line the Damascus-to-Homs highway.
Tragedy has befallen Wafideen. On Tuesday a rocket hit a classroom in the town, killing a teacher and 14 children and wounding another 14.
We went to their mass funeral, where a sea of people dissolved into tears shed for the innocent.
The children were aged between 14 and 15, some girls, some boys, all killed by what most people we spoke to said was a missile fired by the rebel FSA forces.
Wafideen is a predominantly pro-government town, which had until this week been spared the worst of the Syria's civil war. With emotions running high, the sight of a foreign media team brought a mixed response.
Some people were pleased that someone had come to record what has to be the worst moment in the town's history. Not a single Syrian reporter was present.
They are being killed on a regular basis, and although this was a town still supporting the President, getting to it meant going through areas which could change hands at any time - leaving them on the wrong side of a horrible death.
But not everyone wanted us in Wafideen. A group of youths, several dozen strong, began to shout at us to get out. Stones were thrown towards us, before pro and anti-government chants broke out as two groups converged.
Fist fights began between the youths and we headed to our car and out of town. We heard later several people had been injured. The war has come to Wafideen and it will never be the same again.