How Russia is expanding its influence in the Middle East | DW News

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The news agency AFP says Russia has carried out airstrikes on a Syrian rebel base in Idlib province. The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that at least eight fighters from the jihadist militant group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham were killed in the attack. The group controls swathes of Idlib province – one of the last areas still holding out against President Bashar al-Assad's rule.

The strikes are just the latest intervention by Russia – Moscow has spent almost a decade helping Assad's regime fight a civil war that has killed more than 350,000 people. In July, the Kremlin blocked humanitarian aid to rebel-held Idlib province in the country's northwest – home to hundreds of thousands of internally displaced Syrians.

For more, we talk to Omar Alshogre. He is a Syrian public speaker and human rights activist and currently the Director for Detainee Affairs at the Syrian Emergency Task Force, an US-based organisation supporting the Syrian opposition.

And we speak to Middle East analyst Simon Mabon and Kristin Helberg, a journalist who has written extensively on Syria.

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