It began as a peaceful protest against the president of Syria -- response. Brutal now after two years a civil war this nation with a population. Roughly the size of Texas is seen as many as 70000... See More
It began as a peaceful protest against the president of Syria -- response. Brutal now after two years a civil war this nation with a population. Roughly the size of Texas is seen as many as 70000 killed. And over a million refugees displaced. As the violence threatens to boil over to a region already destabilized by the Arab Spring. International concern is rapidly growing my co anchor Terry Moran is on the ground in the ancient and now embattled city of Damascus tonight to bring us this look. Inside Syria. -- we have come to Damascus at just about the same time this civil war has arrived here. And you can feel it in the fabric of life the fear in the anxiety for sure but most especially several times an hour day and night. The boom of the government's big artillery guns on the hills around town. Firing into rebel positions in the suburbs just a mile or two away and it is strange. To think. Every time you hear that sound that it's raining death on people not very far away and every once in awhile. And more and more. Death comes the other way. More time Damascus seems almost normal sometimes. Thank you. -- -- You can still stroll through the ancient market were -- bewildering variety of goods are sold and where the merchants still hawk their wares. With disarming and museums all. -- The war is never very far away as we saw today. So we've just gotten word that three mortar rounds have landed in the center of Damascus. Reports of casualties were on our way to check it out this is something that happens every day in this city. We arrive and find a place where visiting sports teams -- blood on the walls blood on the floors. A nineteen year old soccer player was killed his teammate was in the room and -- and he tells me his friend had just spoken to his wife on the phone with -- shell landed shattering windows scattering shrapnel. Slicing into the neck of his -- -- we are all just athletes he tells me we've got nothing to do with this violence. Okay. Damascus is one of the oldest cities in the world and it seemed countless wars in its 5000 year history now in the 21 century. The -- -- is here again. Today in the suburb of -- Maria at least twenty people were killed in an apparent airstrike -- Syrian government forces. The latest horror in the civil war that is tearing this country apart. We drove here three days ago from Beirut Lebanon. On a highway that has become a lifeline as rebel forces attacked in this -- it is -- fight. To the death so we've been brought to the military hospital here in Damascus were gonna meet a high ranking officer who was badly wounded. In a battle just south -- city. His name is general -- Donald. Yeah it -- me wants to get back to the fight and I ask him about the allegations. That his troops are massacring Syrian civilians. This is a false accusation he says. Had it come down to me I would have adopted a scorched earth policy with these armed men. This man lost his leg but he too says he will fight again and love. It is dirty -- and -- far away America can't ignore. The map shows why the chaos engulfing Syria threatens to spill over into Iraq on one side Israel in Lebanon on the other. And NATO ally Turkey in the north a nightmare scenario for the US. For Syrian civilians from nightmare -- here. Jihadist fighters funded by US allies Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf States. Are swarming into this country threatening to turn the conflict into a holy war. And Syria an incredibly diverse nation of Muslims Christians Kurds and many more could totally decision. We met the grand mufti of Syria today he's a leader of the Sunni Muslims and a staunch ally of Bashar Asad. Like many Syrians he blames his country suffering on American support for the -- -- -- Americans he tells me live up to your values. In some ways the values of the people of Damascus aren't that different they enjoy good food as we did with new friends at lunch downtown. The commuters fight salacious rush hour traffic to get home to their families look at. The merchants hostile to make a buck or Syrian pound -- argues that. And in the 12100 year old -- -- -- mosque. One of the grandest in the world the people come to find the peace and truth of prayer. They have so much to lose here this is an existential fight for the people of Damascus for the people of Syria and most of them just want someone to step forward. And make the peace. But after so much blood has been -- so much. Hatred and sectarianism loosed on the land. The real fear people have. Is that their country will never be the same.
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