Damascus is quiet tonight — too quiet.

We arrived a few hours ago in this tense and troubled city — 5 million people hunkered down as the terrible war that is tearing this country apart has now arrived in major battles raging in the suburbs.

This war is far from over — and it is far from clear who will win — but we already know who the losers are: the people of this ancient land.

From Beirut, Lebanon, we drove into Syria along a heavily guarded route, passing checkpoint after checkpoint after checkpoint.

It is now a lifeline as Damascus — the stronghold of the government of President Bashar Assad — becomes a city under siege.