In the very centre of Damascus life appeared a picture of normality on Wednesday, bustling streets, busy markets, no echoing gunfire of whiffs of gas in the air.
People who talked to news agencies said they were not frightened by threats of US and Western military intervention.
“If they hit us – and hopefully they will not – if they hit us I will remain firm with my family. With God’s will all Syrians will remain firm and we will come out stronger after the strike,” said one woman.
While some of the capital’s suburbs have been in rebel hands for months, the regime’s hold on the centre has never slipped, and it seems few there believe it ever will.