The Syrian refugee crisis has become a major point of political contention around the world. Donald Trump has called for the United States to not accept any refugees, and European leaders have debated how many the continent can keep taking. Amid all this underlies people questioning why some refugees who have property like iPhones are fleeing at all. New drone footage of the city of Homs answers that question. Before the Syrian War started, Homs was the third largest city and Syria and a major hub of commerce. But the new footage shows the extent of the damage. Homs has been reduced to a pile of rubble with almost no habitable areas remaining.
Alexander Pushin operated the drone and filmed the footage on behalf of Russian state television. Some have criticized the footage as propaganda designed to promote the argument that the Russian military should get involved in the conflict. But the footage still speaks for itself: the devastation of Homs is extensive and inarguable. The footage does not appear to be doctored and the scale of destruction is consistent with the destruction that has been reported by rights groups monitoring the situation.
Anti-refugee sentiment has remained high, especially throughout Europe. As more refugees arrive on the continent, European countries struggle to figure out how to distribute them between the different countries. A night of large crime in Germany that involved many migrants has not helped. In response, Chancellor Angela Merkel declared that Syrian refugees must go back after the war ends.
But the scale of the destruction shows why refugees have been fleeing. Anyone complaining about the refugee problem should view the footage to be fully informed on the problems. Almost no homes remain in the cities most heavily hit by fighting, and the violence shows no signs of stopping. Bashar al Assad continues to bomb civilian populations. Rebel groups commit atrocities as well. Even worse, ISIS keeps making inroads in Syria, subjugating and oppressing more and more of the population. Recent peace talks in Europe have been disbanded early with no useful results. The war will continue to rage, buildings will continue to be destroyed, and people will continue to die. The footage shows that refugees flee for one reason: they must.