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.
When you land in the Baghdad airport, it doesn't take long for the authorities to discover that you are not Aasfa. You try to play along--as if you are her--as best you can but they aren't buying it. The Iraqi Security Forces go red with rage. They cannot believe that the Syrian Government has duped them in such a dishonest way. You are not sure why, exactly, they wanted Aasfa so badly, but you have a hunch she knew something they didn't. All of this passes through your mind in a second before they take you, Emad, Yara, and Aazim, by car, first to Abu Ghraib and then into the basement, where you are forgotten about. They neglect to feed you for the next six weeks and the four of you watch each other wither away, in the darkness, until you no longer exist.
You have died.