Jihadists put squeeze on Syria's Assad as Russia defends aid

Former Syrian army fighter jets at the Abu Duhur military airport, the last regime-held military base in northwestern Idlib province, after Al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate and its allies seized the base on September 9, 2015Jihadists advanced on a regime airbase in eastern Syria on Thursday after the fall of one in the north, as staunch ally Russia defended its military aid to embattled President Bashar al-Assad. Moscow dismissed criticism of its intervention by Western states, which are carrying out air strikes on jihadists in both Syria and neighbouring Iraq but also seek Assad’s ouster. “We helped, are continuing to help and will help the Syrian government when it comes to supplying the Syrian army with everything it needs,” said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

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