DAY 365 - MARCH 15, 2012


Protests in Daraa, Idlib, and Homs mark the one-year anniversary of the Syrian revolution. Government crackdowns ensue, staying in line with an unrelenting wave of brutality. Assad supporters stage their own rallies in Damascus, Latakia, and the Druze city of Sweida. The international community, floundering for a plan, appoints former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to head a special envoy tasked with diffusing the Syrian crisis. With the fear of arming terrorist rebels in the background, the US is hesitant to supply the Syrian opposition.

You meet with Sheikh Yousef for coffee in the neighborhood of Karm Al Jabal, just north of where you were staying in Aleppo. There, the good Sheikh commends you on your good work so far with Al Nusra Front and says that you have earned a certain level of responsibility because of your devotion and effort towards the brigade's plight. He tells you that Qatar and Saudi Arabia have decided, in secret, to arm different rebel factions in order to fight Assad's regime. Al Nusra is one of those factions. He also tells you that a large shipment of munition crates left over from the war in Libya will be transported into Aleppo any day now. He takes out a small digital camera and flicks the on switch where he points to a black triangle stenciled onto the sides of four honey-brown wooden boxes stacked on top of each other. He tells you the triangle is the indicator that the arms were, at one point, sent to Gaddafi and then pillaged after his death. Sheikh Yousef tells you this is of significance because there is going to be a truck carrying the weapons along the southeastern ring road into Aleppo. It will be on its way to the Liwa Al Tawhid Brigade in the next few days and he wants you to make sure some of the crates are put in the hands of Al Nusra fighters. He asks if you can do that for him and when you nod he thanks you and then lets you know that the rebels are going to besiege Aleppo very soon. He stipulates what a key role you will need to play in the assault and for the first time, in a long time, you feel very important. The last thing he tells you is to watch out for CIA because "they have been hovering around these new guns."