There’s one silver lining to Europe’s worsening migrant crisis: it ensures that the human toll from Syria’s protracted civil war doesn’t get lost in the fog of Russian battlefield glory.
Regardless of your stance on whether the EU should be receptive to the millions of asylum seekers fleeing the war-torn Mid-East, the simple fact is that if you remain in Syria, you are risking your life on a daily basis, caught in the crossfire between a bewildering array of state actors, rebel groups, and proxy armies, all with competing agendas.
Now that Russia and Iran have taken control of the situation (and that’s not an effort to parrot some pro-Kremlin propaganda line, it’s just a realistic assessment of the facts), it’s tempting to focus squarely on the near daily videos of Moscow’s warplanes decimating targets and on the various social media depictions of Iranian generals rallying Shiite fighters ahead of what’s been billed as the “promised” battle for Aleppo.
In other words, one could be forgiven for being swept up in the glory of the battle while forgetting that the entire debacle (which the US and its regional allies facilitated) has cost the country both its population and its cultural heritage as both have been destroyed by nearly five years of war.
With that in mind, we bring you two haunting videos produced by frontline journalists from Rossiya 24 news channel.
They are at once breathtaking and tragic (they’re set to music, but you can always mute that) and serve to underscore just how devastating this conflict has ultimately been.
In the same vein, we close with a few searing images from Aleppo ca. 2012: