Hell by Scooter: A Video Tour of Homs, Syria’s Most Devastated City
Somehow, no matter how many articles you’ve read or photos you’ve seen of the carnage in Homs, there is something uniquely chilling about watching this point-of-view video of one man’s journey into its war-torn neighborhood of Jouret Shiah.
Taken partly on foot and partly from the driver’s seat of a small red scooter, it portrays Homs as an apocalyptic wasteland. The streets are mostly empty and totally silent, save for a distant but steady stream of gunshots. At one point, the videographer finds a group of young men — the only people we see are young men, everyone else appears to have fled or hidden in the few still-habitable homes — evacuating, from the back of a sedan to the bed of a pick-up truck, a wounded and obviously terrified rebel fighter.
Somehow, it’s the scenes with no action at all that are the most unnerving: a long row of burned-out cars, streets blanketed with cinderblocks blown out of neighboring buildings, a complete dining room set perched in what remains of a third-floor apartment and totally exposed after the ceiling and wall have been destroyed, presumably by the Syrian government’s near-constant shelling of this city of 750,000 people.