DAY 741 - March 19, 2013
As the war in Syria thaws out of winter, countries in the surrounding region, as well as across the globe, feel a compulsion to get involved. Israel bombs a Syrian weapons convoy destined for Hezbollah in Lebanon. Russia and Iran both say they will continue to supply arms to Assad's soldiers. The United States commits to supplying "nonlethal aid" to moderate rebel forces. However, with the threat of arming radical Islamists looming, the European Union rejects a bid to give weapons to the Syrian opposition. Meanwhile, Assad's air force is unrelenting, bombing rebel bastions in Deir Ez Zor, Al Raqqa, Aleppo, and even over the western border and into Lebanon.
Twenty-six people have died today in the the Khan Al Assai district of Aleppo. There are many videos that surface of them choking, clawing desperately for air until they eventually fade away. You think this is the first chemical attack perpetrated Assad's regime. You knew that there were no longer rules in Aleppo but this seems to expertly prove your theory. Later you watch a video of a young boy in Aleppo holding a rifle to the head of the downed statue of Bashar Al Assad's father, Hafez Al Assad. One hundred and ten dead bodies wash up on the edges of the Queiq River, which separates the regime-controlled western bank of the city and the rebelled-held eastern swath of Aleppo. Their hands are bound behind their back, making you and everyone else think it was a massacre. It is just one more atrocity that eventually will be forgotten through the course of the conflict. Aleppo, your home, now seems to resemble a tangled mess of shattered stone more than anything else. Foreigners are arriving to try to witness the unimaginable here, to see for themselves how deeply into darkness humanity can plunge. You meet one of these war tourists in person, a 45-year-old Japanese man named Toshifumi Fujimoto. Your city is now so debased that it is an amusement park of irreverence. Aleppo took 5,000 years to build and only two years to destroy.