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Ukip leadership candidate praises Russia's approach in Syria

Paul Nuttall said the war in Syria has to end as fast as possible. Credit: PA

Russian president Vladimir Putin is "generally getting it right" in the Syrian conflict, a Ukip leadership candidate has said.

Paul Nuttall praised Russia's approach in Syria despite claims that Moscow is helping Syrian forces carry out atrocities against civilians.

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."

His comments come a day after International Development Secretary Priti Patel 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.

Prime Minister Theresa May warned last week of further economic sanctions on Russia saying that leaders of the US, Germany, France, Italy and Spain were all united in condemnation of the atrocities in Aleppo.