DAY 908 - SEPTEMBER 2, 2013
Hundreds are killed in a chemical attack in the East Ghouta region of Damascus, most of them civilians. Scores of videos surface showing women and children suffering from respiratory failure, thereby corroborating the belief that Sarin gas was most likely the agent released. John Kerry and David Cameron bang the war drums, citing Assad crossed US Pres. Barack Obama's "red line" with the biological attack. But it has little effect as both US and UK governing bodies ultimately reject intervention proposals. Syrian rebels make a push towards Latakia, Assad's hometown and government stronghold, causing hundreds of Alawites to flee to the south. In Beirut a powerful car bomb kills 21 people in a densely populated, Hezbollah-controlled, shopping area. It is the deadliest attack Beirut has seen in more than eight years. In Al Raqqa, a liberated city in northeastern Syria, jihadist rebels fully expel Free Syrian Army soldiers from the region.
The chemical attacks in Damascus just seem to support your sentiments about the necessity to evacuate Syria immediately. The amateur armchair analyst, Brown Moses, whose blog informed you about rebel MANPADs, does a significant amount of research about the chemical attacks in Ghouta. The accessibility of verifying events via open source information, Youtube videos and the like, becomes widespread knowledge. Because of this you feel like perhaps your job of reporting the conflict, in a way, seems less important. It's impossible for you to be everywhere at once, but when you think about the Captagon article you wrote--the immersion and investigation--you feel a modicum of pride. But then again, you're only as good as your next story. You try not to focus on that as you call Abu Aarif, in order to coordinate a trip north, to the Turkish border, and finally out of here.