DAY 285 - DECEMBER 30, 2011


Today 500,000 protesters have gathered around Syria, the largest in the history of the conflict. With the situation in Syria intensifying daily, Barbara Walters interviews Bashar Al Assad for US television station, ABC News. In the interview, Assad attests that he is neither responsible for the government crackdown nor guilty of human rights violations. More soldiers from the Syrian army continue to defect to FSA forces around the country and the UN formally announces that approximately 5,000 people have died during the uprising.

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 off or take out one, 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.