Qusair, a broken and empty town
A baby's stroller lies broken and empty on a street in Qusair as an army pick up drives by. The bell tower of a church is bullet riddled.
The stories behind these sad images are unknown but the brutality and violence is clear. Qusair was taken by the Syrian army with the help of Lebanese Hezbollah fighters after a three week battle with rebels.
The rebels have fled and so have most of the residents, to Lebanon or the Syrian countryside. Many are dead. The ones who remain are waving Syrian or Hezbollah flags. Some no doubt, out of a self-preservation instinct.
The Red Cross has no information yet on how many people have been killed, injured, or how many people remain there. The organization and the Red Crescent are trying to convince the Syrian authorities to give their staff access to the town so they can deliver aid, especially medical supplies. But on Twitter an activist inside gave a sense of the tragedy. Yesterday as the town was taken, Rifaie Tammas tweeted: "Qusair makeshift hospital which is packed with wounded civilians is under sniper fire."
Hamida Ghafour is a foreign affairs reporter at the Star. She has lived and worked in the Middle East and Asia for more than 10 years and is the author of a book on Afghanistan. Follow her on Twitter @HamidaGhafour