Syrian President Bashar al-Assad continues his trip outside of Syria's capital to a Russian air base. Rough cut (no reporter narration)
ROUGH CUT. NO REPORTER NARRATION. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad visited a Russian air base at Hmeymim in western Syria on Tuesday (June 27), his first visit to the base from which Russian jets have supported his war effort. Video and photos showed the Syrian leader in the cockpit of a Russian Sukhoi SU-35 warplane, and inspecting weapons, personnel and armoured vehicles at the base near Latakia. The base has been at the heart of Moscow's military effort in support of Assad since 2015, when the Russian air force began bombing insurgents who were threatening his grip on power. Assad has been touring areas north of Damascus in recent days, a rare trip out of his seat of power in the capital. On Sunday (June 25) he performed Eid prayers in the city of Hama, the first time he has visited the city since the start of the conflict.