DAY 683 - JANUARY 22, 2013


Syrian Rebels capture Mayadin, a regime army base outside of Deir Ez Zor, which confirms that most of the city is now under opposition control. In an attempt to lure FSA forces out of hiding, cellphone and internet reception across Syria becomes spotty, pressuring rebels to communicate via landline, a method that is traceable by the Assad's government. Islamist faction Jabhat Al Nusra is declared a terrorist organization by the United States and embattled Syrian President Bashar Al Assad begins deploying Scud missiles, thereby continuing to escalate the conflict. On average more than 100 people are dying everyday in Syria and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports that over 45,000 people have been killed in the country since the start of the conflict in March 2011.

Deir Ez Zor, for the time being, is a rebel stronghold. Opposition forces are maintaining control from the Iraqi border westward past the city. You are finally able to put your children back in school. Even though the threat of attack still remains, it doesn't worry you like it did a year ago. You are the most settled you have been since before Ali left for the FSA. Rebel fighters are flooding across the Iraqi border, allowing Deir Ez Zor to remain heavily fortified. For you, that means more work at the factory. You are making much more high-tech explosives and sentries now. One clever teenager even modifies his PlayStation controller so he can aim his rifle around corners, all while laying on his bed on the other side of the house. As the war continues, there is talk of breaking Syria into two or more countries. If Deir Ez Zor continues to be stable you wouldn't necessarily be against that idea. Even though you want Assad dead, the safety of your children always comes first. And for right now, it's the best it's been in a long, long time.