Civilian casualties are mounting in the region abutting the Syrian capital Damascus as airstrikes and mortar bombardments intensify, and the Syrian army prepares for a ground offensive in a built-up area of 400,000 people.
The difference between life and death may just be an arm's length in Ghouta, an eastern district of the Syrian capital Damascus that has been under intense aerial bombardment since the end of the weekend.
Several reports say civilian casualties have been mounting, and that 13 hospitals or medical installations have been bombed in the last 48 hours.
One source put the civilian death toll in the same period at at least 250.
The Assad regime is said to be readying a ground offensive into Ghouta, population around 400,000,to end its resistance. That meant 127 airstrikes on Tuesday alone.
Wednesday has continued in a similar fashion, with barrel bombs and mortar fire adding to the destruction.