Once one of the world’s oldest continually inhabited cities, parts of Damascus are now a city in desolation where death can strike at any time from above.
A man filming in the city earlier this month showed how terror is the new normal in the Syrian capital, as fighter jets dropped a series of bombs onto a building only a few hundred metres away.
The bombs explode instantly, sending debris and smoke into the air, covering the destroyed building, located in the suburb of Darayya, entirely.
“Allah Akbar (God is great)”, says the man filming.
The suburb of Darayya has changed hands multiple times between government forces and militants opposed to President Bashar Al-Assad since civil war broke out in 2011.
The suburb has become so devastated by bombing it has been referred to as “Syria’s Stalingrad”, according to RT.news, in reference to the Soviet city destroyed by German bombing during WWII.
Civil war has raged in Syria since March 2011, killing more than 200,000 and forcing more than three million to flee the country, according to the United Nations.
The fighter jets most likely belong to forces loyal to Assad, and are possibly Russian.
Russia began an intervention to support Assad on September 30, launching bombing raids and air strikes against rebels and Islamic State.
Moscow is co-ordinating the strikes with the Syrian government, unlike the US-led bombing campaign against IS, which France has recently stepped up in response to the Paris attacks.
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights estimates Russian strikes have killed more than 1300 people since they began, a third of them civilians.
Syrian government troops are gaining ground thanks to Russia, al-Assad said in an interview yesterday.
“Now I can say that the army is making advancement in nearly every front… in many different directions and areas on the Syrian ground,” he told Hong Kong-based Phoenix Television.
US President Barack Obama has also signalled US special forces will soon be sent to Syria “to suffocate and strangle” ISIL.
“This will be focused on isolating the capital of ISIL in Raqqa,” special envoy Brett McGurk told CBS yesterday.
McGurk said the operation will back an Arab-Kurdish coalition headed by the main Syrian Kurdish militia, which is opposed to Assad.
The coalition has retaken about 1100 square km from IS in the last two weeks and killed about 300 IS fighters, McGurk said.