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.

The Salafist group with which you have been communicating orchestrates their attack in Damascus. Two simultaneous car bombs go off near government intelligence buildings, which kill 44 people and injure over 150. The group establishes itself to its members as Jabhat Al Nusra, meaning "the support front for the people of the Levant." Meanwhile Al Nusra has been asking you to establish an internet presence for Jihadists that will inspire more members to join. You try to create a batch of Twitter accounts that preach the radical word of God, however, in doing so, Khalil finally realizes that you have been communicating with Al Qaeda. You get into a verbal spat over each other's motivations behind joining the opposition. Khalil thinks you did it to gain notoriety and prominence and you tell him that his actions are bereft of holiness and that he might as well be fighting with Assad. Khalil says you have gone off the deep end, but you tell him the exact opposite has happened. This until you both realize that phantom Tweets are appearing from both of your accounts and that you have been hacked. In that instant you stop arguing and grasp at your computers. Your online identities and contacts are your lifeline to the rebel movement in Syria. Without them you are nothing. It takes you an hour to discover that it's the Syrian Electronic Army behind the hacks and then all you can think about is how you can return fire.