General Philip Breedlove, the commander of NATO, accused Russia and Syria of deliberately using refugees in an attempt to destabilize Europe. The military officer said that through Russia's bombing operations on the Islamic State, it is creating weaponized waves of migrants.
According to Deutsche Welle, Gen. Breedlove made the accusations during his testimony at the U.S. Senate. He noted that in Russia's six-month campaign against the Islamic State, the country targeted civilian areas, which then contributed to the influx of refugees looking to flee the country.
The commander also said that Syria does the same by allowing the use of barrel bombs against civilian populations.
"These indiscriminate weapons used by both [Syrian President] Bashad al-Assad and the non-precision use of weapons by the Russian forces - I can't find any other reason for them other than to cause refugees to be on the move and make them someone else's problem," Breedlove said according to UPI.
"Together, Russia and the Assad regime are deliberately weaponizing migration in an attempt to overwhelm European structures and break European resolve," he added.
As noted by the BBC, in 2016 alone, almost 130,000 migrants entered Europe. At this rate, the continent could end up facing up to a million refugees by the end of this year.
Aside from the huge volume of migrants, another problem plaguing host nations is the inclusion of criminals and members of extremist groups among the refugees.
Breedlove is not the only one who believes that Russia and Syria are working in cohorts to worsen the migration crisis. Back in September of 2015, shortly after Russia carried out military operations in Syria, the Atlantic Sentinel reported that Adam Garfinkle, editor for The American Interest, believes that the former only joined in the campaign against the Islamic State to see the European Union Fall.
As noted by the site, the spike in migrants entering the member states of the EU could eventually cause a rift in the union. This actually has already begun since some states including Germany, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria and Denmark have already begun enforcing policies and border control methods to prevent refugees from entering.
If the migration crisis worsens, this could lead to civil unrest which could threaten the stability of Europe.