DAY 622 - NOVEMBER 22, 2012
American journalist James Foley is just the latest in a string of non-combatant kidnappings, including Austin Tice and Mohamed Al Saeed, that have occurred in Syria within the last six months. Both rebel and regime soldiers are guilty of the abductions. The Syrian opposition has cut off many supply routes for government forces. Furthermore, the FSA starts receiving anti-aircraft weapons from anonymous sources. Though unchecked, many think Qatar is supplying the rebels with the heavy weapons. In addition Syrian opposition leaders meet in Doha to unite different anti-government militias under a moderate cleric, Mouaz Al Khatib, from Damascus. The violence in Syria is beginning to spill into Lebanon, Turkey, and Jordan as random spats of gunfire proliferate many of the border crossings surrounding the conflicted nation.
Your father hardly recognizes you with your beard and camouflage. He tells you that your mother and two brothers were killed by a stray rocket propelled grenade that hit their house in Salaheddine about a month ago when the rebels made another push for the neighborhood. He blames the Salafists for ravaging his home. He asks you what is so important about Salaheddine anyway? And you can't come up with an answer, although it is true, your former neighborhood has been the most embattled area of Aleppo. Your father tells you he is leaving the city, that there will be no winners if the fighting continues. No one is in the right he says. He tells you he will go north into Turkey and hopefully find work there. He tells you that you are doomed if you stay in Aleppo. And with that he turns and starts walking in the opposite direction, to wherever he is going, away from you. In many ways he is right. Aleppo is slowly slipping into lawlessness and it seems like there is no solution other than fighting your way to the top. If not, you and everyone else around you may die.