Along the route south from Damascus we see deserted villages and towns – many of the buildings flattened by air strikes.
The next fight in the Syrian conflict may be in the rural agricultural provinces in the far South of the country.
A slither of land skirting the Israeli and Jordanian borders is still held by rebel groups, and its proximity to an old foe also makes it a potential geopolitical flashpoint.
Israel has carried out numerous air strikes throughout the Syrian war attacking what it claims are Iranian targets.
Syria, however, insists there are no Iranian forces in the country, only “advisers”.
Israel has now reportedly done a deal with Russia that will allow the Syrian Army to retake the border area, providing it does so without Iranian assistance.
The numerous checkpoints on the way show how the Syrian regime is consolidating its hold over the country. But this area is extremely sensitive and our government minders would only take us as far as the city of Daraa.
We were expecting access to the frontlines but what we got was a good view of the main high street.
We could film the shoppers buying food for when they break their fast – it is the holy month of Ramadan.
Daraa is also known as the ‘cradle of the revolution’.
It’s the city where the uprising started in 2011 – but everybody I spoke to told me the same thing.
There were no spontaneous protests, they claim… It was all fomented by outside powers – mainly Israel and the United States… The uprising against President Assad was nothing more than a gambit to achieve regime change and steal to Syria’s money and oil.
This is the Syrian government narrative and perhaps, unsurprisingly, it is the accepted version of events everywhere we go. People believe the regime is locked in a war against terrorists funded by the West.
There’s no doubt that the Syrian President is winning – this the latest area to be conquered, after Damascus was brought under full government control.
But much of the state Mr Assad now presides over is in bits. And many of his people are homeless, or refugees.
For now, however, he is secure, safe in the embrace of his strong friends – namely Russia.
He’s also confident, even threatening to retake the East of the country from US-backed Kurdish fighters, by force if he has to.
The main urban centres are now entirely under regime command.
In Aleppo it has already started rebuilding the city’s grand mosque. Each ancient stone has a number, the destroyed building is a giant jigsaw puzzle.
But piecing together the rest of this shattered country will be much more complicated.