DAY 439 - MAY 28, 2012
The Assad regime massacres over 100 people in the Al Houla area of Homs, 49 of those killed are children. The world is stunned and horrified, drawing outrage from human rights groups. In addition, after continuing protests, the Syrian Army raids Aleppo University, using tear gas and live ammunition in dormitories. Despite a UN ceasefire that was brokered by Kofi Annan, fighting continues to intensify in all major cities in Syria. In Damascus, shopkeepers have closed their stores in regime areas in ardent protests against government actions.
The government raids at Aleppo University are the last straw for Sheikh Yousef and the rest of Al Nusra. He tells you that the Syrian National Council and the FSA are moving resources into the eastern block of your city and, imminently, there will be an assault. You can already feel the surging discontent among the majority of citizens in Aleppo. The city is long overdue for a reprisal against Assad's security forces. From your computer, you have also noticed a small influx of foreign journalists into neighborhoods near Sakhour, meaning you are obviously not the only one who knows Aleppo is a tinderbox waiting to go up in flames. Two journalists in particular, an American named Jeremy and his ghostly friend, are beginning to rub you the wrong way with the articles they are producing. You do not trust the way in which they retell the events that take place in Aleppo. They are not locals and they are not part of the movement. You will take weapons from the West, but little else. This is your fight, not theirs. You believe journalists like Jeremy only seek to perpetuate a cycle of foreign intervention that always ends in disaster. Syrians and Syrians alone will defeat Assad, and justly, you and the rest of Syria will take credit for it.