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This chilling footage shows the Iraqi city of Ramadi after being conquered by ISIS

Zack Beauchamp is a senior correspondent at Vox, where he covers ideology and challenges to democracy, both at home and abroad. Before coming to Vox in 2014, he edited TP Ideas, a section of Think Progress devoted to the ideas shaping our political world.

On Sunday, ISIS conquered Ramadi, the provincial capital of Iraq's western Anbar province. This chilling footage from the city, uploaded on Monday, shows just how devastating the ISIS war is for Iraq.

The overwhelming feeling you get from watching the video is total emptiness. There's hardly anyone on the streets; ABC's Jon Williams calls it a "ghost town," and it's aptly put.

The background destruction makes the absence of people even more chilling. Some of Ramadi's buildings and infrastructure are visibly damaged; its streets are strewn with detritus, and smoke billows on the horizon. The black ISIS flag flies over traffic circles and street signs.

The damage and depopulation of a once-vibrant city is stunning. But it also shows just how difficult it is to keep normal life together during a war. ISIS, a group that's famously terrible at governing, won't repair this damage. Even if the Iraqi government pushes them out, it'll be tough to fix quickly given the scale of devastation around the country.

And the people who suffer, of course, are Iraq's ordinary citizens.

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