"When a loose coalition of rebels invaded Aleppo’s eastern suburbs, in July, 2012, I joined one of the factions at a schoolhouse, which the rebels had turned into a forward base. It was a disquieting experience. Instead of an atmosphere of heady triumph, I found the air rife with fear and suspicion. In one of the classrooms, a couple of dozen cowed-looking men were being held prisoner; when I asked about them, a taciturn fighter shooed me away. A little while later, a commotion erupted when several rebel fighters surrounded one of their comrades and accused him of being a spy. As they grabbed at him, he screamed furiously and tried, unsuccessfully, to get away. He was overpowered and hustled down a corridor by the men; I didn’t learn his fate."