We're on a tour of Syria, organized by the Russian military. And as we drive through the country, you can see the level of destruction here, seven years of civil war. But the Russians also want us to see that life is gradually returning to normal. So, first stop. Our Russian guides have brought us to this transformer and cable factory, a short drive north of Damascus. And we've been told here that Syrian rebels had seized the factory a few years ago. The rebels have been pushed out and the factory is working again. Now we've been brought to a peach farm near Hama, in central Syria. We're told that this farm gives employment to a lot of people in the area and people from other parts of Syria. We're told, too, that it's another example of this country returning to peaceful life.

Just look at what war can do to a city. This is Homs. And here in the centre there isn't a single building which hasn't been bombed to a shell. And yet, amid all this destruction, just over there, there is a brass band playing to mark the opening of a new market. Now we've been brought to the town of Al-Rastan, just in time to see the Russian military handing out humanitarian aid. It's clear Moscow wants to show us that Russian is playing an important humanitarian role in Syria, as well as the important military role that Moscow has played in putting President Assad on the road to victory. None of this means that the war in Syria is over. Attention is focusing now on Idlib in the north of the country, which is the last major rebel stronghold. As for Moscow, well, Russian diplomacy will be the key now to what happens next in Syria, because Russia has become the big powerbroker in this region.



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