Middle East

Syria crisis: BBC's Jeremy Bowen reports from Syria

Jeremy Bowen

In the early hours of 21 August, graphic footage emerged showing victims of an alleged chemical weapons attack on civilians in and around Damascus.

Since then, the international focus on the crisis has intensified.

The BBC's Middle East Editor Jeremy Bowen is one of the few international broadcasters in the Syrian capital. Here is a selection of his reports.

Syrians 'no longer trust neighbours'

The BBC's Jeremy Bowen meets Syrians who say they can never trust their neighbours again, as the "religious mosaic of different sects breaks up".

Media captionThe BBC's Jeremy Bowen: "Syrians no longer trust their neighbours"

Syria's 'lost generation' of students

Jeremy Bowen visits a school in Damascus on the first day of the school year as the UN says almost two million children will not receive any education this year.

Media captionJeremy Bowen: "They talk about a lost generation of school kids"

Inside Syrian town where battle rages

Government troops are fighting to regain control of the ancient town of Maaloula - with the help of volunteers from Christian areas in Damascus.

Media captionThe BBC's Jeremy Bowen was in the town of Maaloula

Cautious relief as threat of strikes recedes

Regulars at a Damascus cafe are relieved by the news that international diplomacy could reduce the threat of airstrikes - but for the rebels the news is a bitter blow.

Media captionJeremy Bowen reports from a central Damascus cafe

Christians flee to Damascus cathedral

Rebel forces have taken control of the historic Christian town of Maaloula, north of Damascus, with Christians fleeing to the Greek Catholic Cathedral in Damascus for help.

Media captionChristians from Maaloula take refuge in a Greek Catholic cathedral

'Rebels stole everything from us'

There are reports that rebel forces have taken control of the historic Christian town of Maaloula, north of Damascus. Our correspondent heard one woman's story.

Media captionFormer Maaloula resident Antoinette Nassrallah said she didn't know if she would return to her home

'Illusion of normality'

A look at how life continues on the streets of Damascus, while the threat of a potential military strike from the US forces hangs over Syria.

Media captionThe BBC's Jeremy Bowen: "Sometimes Damascus doesn't look like a wartime city. But all this is an illusion of normality"

Red Cross plea for access

The head of the ICRC's delegation in Syria, Magne Barth, makes a plea for access to many areas where "there is great suffering".

Media captionMagne Barth, ICRC: "We are not simply getting the the permission the way we want it from the authorities to go in"

'Human shields of Assad'

As expectation grows of a US-led strike against President Assad's forces, so has tension in the capital.

Our correspondent reports from a district staunchly behind the president, where both soldiers and civilians say they are prepared to die for him.

Media captionThe BBC's Jeremy Bowen meets Damascus residents forming a 'human shield' to protect key military sites

'Words don't matter'

The UN says the number of Syrian refugees - and displaced people inside Syria itself - make the refugee crisis the worst since the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

The organisation's humanitarian chief, Valerie Amos, told our correspondent $3.3bn must be found to deal with the crisis.

Media captionBaroness Amos: 'Extra $3.3bn needed to help Syrians'

Where bad dreams are real

There are two million displaced people in Damascus, and 42 of them are sheltering in one over-crowded flat.

Media captionJeremy Bowen reports from one flat in Damascus where 42 people are sheltering

'Region on fire'

When Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad spoke to the BBC, he denied claims the government had used chemical weapons against its own people.

Media captionSpeaking to the BBC's Jeremy Bowen, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad said terrorism would flourish everywhere if the US attacked Syria

Mortar bombs during mass

Five per cent of Syrians are Christians, though many have already fled. Services are still being held in one church dangerously near the front line.

Media captionThe BBC's Jeremy Bowen visits a church dangerously near the frontline

Meet Syria's better-off

Jeremy Bowen visited an affluent part of Damascus where people were continuing with their daily lives, despite living in the shadow of fighting.

Media captionThe BBC's Jeremy Bowen meets people in an affluent part of Damascus amid ongoing tension

Driving into Damascus

Syria's neighbours are braced for a new crisis. Jeremy Bowen saw the impact on Syria's borders first-hand, before driving into Damascus itself.

Media captionJeremy Bowen drives into Damascus for the first time since the alleged chemical attack