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.

You have been squeezed into an underground prison in the desert with a single window that people in the dank cell fight over during daylight hours. You haven't seen your children in over a month. There are about twelve of you sharing the space, sharing the toilet, sharing the window. But sometimes the guards come and drop one off or take one out, so the number of your cellmates tends to change frequently. From what you can gather, you think you are near the Palmyra ruins perhaps 100 miles east of Damascus. That's just what you hear the other prisoners talking about. But really, their guess is as good as yours.