In the Syrian town of Azaz just 30km from the border with Turkey the people have been burying their dead.
More than 35 were killed in a brutal bombardment on Wednesday. A sharp reminder of the force that the regime of Bashar al-Assad is prepared to use to put down the rebellion.
In Aleppo too the fighting goes on. As ever it is almost impossible to verify video emerging, but the suffering is apparent amidst the claims and counter-claims.
The Syrian government is urging the UN observers not to go.
“We want to keep the presence of the UN”, said Foreign Minister Wallid al-Moallem, “and this shows our good intention towards the work of the UN, but I challenge them to bring forward a party from the opposition or the armed groups that would accept a halt to the violence”.
But the UN clearly thinks it can do no more in the present circumstances. It has decided to call a halt to the observers just days before its mandate expires.
The mission will officially end at midnight on Sunday.