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The new header image shows the destruction of the Syrian city of Homs. Aleppo and many cities like it in today’s Syria have entire neighbourhoods devastated like this.

The Syrian uprising that started in 2011 had little to do with religion, it was an uprising against autocracy, corruption and lack of opportunity. Now, almost 6 years later, the corrupt autocrats are winning and have made abundantly clear what they are willing to do in order to prevail. And that is Groznification: the destruction of all civilian and urban infrastructure in order to entirely annihilate an enemy and in order to cower their civilian support base into obedience. It is named after the capital city of Chechnya, Grozny, which was obliterated by Russia during the 2nd Chechen war (and umpteenth Russian pogrom in the Caucasus against local people).

And no, the war in Syria is not a war against radical Islam, radical Islam is a fruit of the wars and mayhem that seem endemic to the Middle East. It offers a justification for the violence. ISIS can be destroyed but something worse will take its place.