Putin generally right in approach to Syria, says Ukip leadership candidate

Updated: 

Vladimir Putin is "generally getting it right" in the Syrian conflict where Russia has been widely accused of helping Syrian forces carry out atrocities against civilians, a Ukip leadership candidate has said.

Paul Nuttall praised the Russian president's approach, claiming it is the quickest way to end the conflict.

It comes after Theresa May warned last week of further economic sanctions on Russia.

Vladimir Putin (Alexei Druzhinin/AP)
(Alexei Druzhinin/AP)

The Prime Minister said leaders of the US, Germany, France, Italy and Spain were united in condemnation of the atrocities in Aleppo, where Bashar Assad's Syrian forces are being aided by Moscow in bombardments of rebel-held areas.

International Development Secretary Priti Patel yesterday accused Russia and the Syrian regime of "inhumanity" and causing a "deliberate humanitarian crisis" in east Aleppo, where tens of thousands of civilians are under siege.

The area has now reportedly been left without a single functioning hospital, although the claim has been disputed.

(Hassan Ammar/AP)
(Hassan Ammar/AP)

But Nuttall praised Putin and appeared to back his assertion that Russia is only targeting extremists, despite widespread reports to the contrary.

The Ukip MEP told BBC One's Sunday Politics: "I think that Putin is pretty much a nasty man but beyond that I believe that in, for example, the Middle East, I think he is generally getting it right in many areas.

"We need to bring the conflict in Syria to an end as fast as possible.

"The British line and the American line before Trump has been let's arm these rebels, these rebels include the Al-Nusra Front, which is affiliated to al Qaida, the Syrian mujahideen which is linked to the Taliban.

"We need to clear these people out and ensure that Syria becomes a stable state."