Finally we reach a fork in the road -- to the left lies Aleppo, to the right Raqqa, the self-declared capital of ISIS. In this barren place we are escorted to a large military base, where artillery cannons are firing intermittently. We're taken to see the commanding general.
The general did not want to appear on camera and did not allow us to use his name, but he did speak openly about the Syrian army's operations here -- combating ISIS but also al Qaeda's wing in Syria, Jabhat al-Nusra.
"The Russian intervention has been a blessing," he said.
"The have helped us a great deal and in two ways -- first of all there are the airstrikes themselves. But they also give us aerial intelligence, which allows us to conduct pre-emptive strikes as well." Read more on edition.cnn.