TODAY | December 17, 2013
>>> this morning as the military once again squares off with anti-government activist groups. keir simmons has the latest. good morning.
>> reporter: good morning. damascus is a city of war. there are people in the streets, roads are busy, but overnight we heard frequent explosions and a record $6.5 billion is needed to help people trapped by this bitter conflict. armed rebels are turning on each other and innocent people. this morning reports that 18 civilians were executed by an islamist group last week. but the death toll on both sides climbs. the largest city, allepo la would he be he sa d weekend, trying to rescue those buried by a massive bomb. children clinging to parents. badly injured man is carried away . a boy trembles in shock. 26 children were killed opposition groups say. barrel bombs are packed with nails and explosives dropped from helicopters as seen in this cell phone video of an earlier attack. desperate to escape, millions have fled their homes. those who get out at camps now face a freezing winter in just tents. in a u.n. center, mothers crowd around me. help me get to the west, one begs. holding her 9 month old child. but the the west looks increasingly powerless as syria's fight over a country in ruins. we arrived in damascus last night. driving around this morning, it is almost surreal. many acting almost as if there isn't a war. yet just a short distance away, suburbs are under siege and parts of damascus have been reduced to rubble.
>> do take care of us there.