Aleppo province is locked in ongoing fighting between a mix of hardline Islamists with so-called moderate opposition, and Syrian govt forces. Yet, RT’s Maria Finoshina found that combatants are still making profit off Syria’s former industrial center.
Dozens of vehicles carrying oil leave Syria’s petroleum capital, Raqqa, currently under IS control, every hour, earning the extremist group a million dollars daily, according to an oil refinery employee in the occupied city, who has spoken to RT.
More than six months since jihadists left the ancient village of Maaloula, the historic site is still ruined and deserted. Its churches and monasteries lie in ruins, and no peace or tranquility has returned to this once-thriving spiritual center.
Members of the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS), notorious for publicizing executions of innocent civilians, including at least two Western journalists, told RT they are in fact "peaceful people" fighting against injustice.
The threat of Islamic State has crossed the borders of Syria to neighboring Lebanon, making Christians there arm themselves to defend their land and families from the extremists. RT goes to the Syrian-Lebanese border, to meet the militias.
Not only is Syria’s future at stake as the civil war rages on, but now also its past. The black market flourishing in the conflict now sees relics - some as ancient as 1,200 years - traded by rebels for AK-47s.
Ukraine has been flooded with violence this year: snipers in Kiev, the Odessa massacre, the discovery of mass graves in E. Ukraine - and all this on top of the MH17 crash. However, proper investigation even into these cases have been stumbling.
RT's Paula Slier, Irina Galushko, Murad Gazdiev and Maria Finoshina are on the front line on Syria's borders, witnessing the Peshmerga Kurds fight against Islamic State. We follow the live updates from our correspondents on the scene.
Lugansk and Donetsk residents are now used to gunfire. RT’s Maria Finoshina crossed Ukraine’s southeast to see the aftermath of war there - and how it is the civilians who have carried the heaviest burden: relatives lost, homes destroyed, and hope gone.
As the first 30 trucks in the humanitarian convoy headed for war-torn eastern Ukraine, the residents of Lugansk - struggling daily without regular food supplies, water, electricity and under constant shelling - are looking forward to the aid relief.
The Red Cross has sent a formal request to Kiev to allow the Russian humanitarian aid to enter eastern Ukraine but has so far received no answer and the convoy has remained stuck on the border of the war-torn zone since August 14.