'The British government can't admit Russia was right about Syria' - David Coburn, UKIP MEP
The scene across a large swath of eastern Aleppo is one of intense emotion.
Syrian troops have retaken more than two-thirds of the city from rebel forces; battles are now raging for control of the historic Old City. People who have been held hostage for months are now pouring out from the south-east of Aleppo.
Meanwhile, government forces are trying to retake the remainder of the strategically important city. An RT crew was the first to gain access to the Old City districts - people we spoke to there said they hope to be reunited with their families.
Despite the optimism of Aleppo's residents, Western media outlets aren't so upbeat about the breakthrough in the city. Western politicians also seem unhappy. The UK has issued a joint statement along with the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, and the United States - condemning the situation in Aleppo and slamming the Syrian government and its supporters, especially Russia.
RT: The Syrian government and Russia are accused of obstructing humanitarian aid. Russia say it's been calling for the UN to deliver supplies to Aleppo, while also providing aid for Syrians - so where are the West's accusations coming from?
David Coburn: Well, it is the fog of war. What goes on in war – nothing is very clear. But I am sure that is a very important that we get it through. I hope the Russians are doing likewise. The Syrian government is just trying got remove an appalling bunch of people – these so-called rebels are really fundamentalists, Islamic fighters, ISIS And they are holding people, the population of Aleppo, as human shields, and that is wrong.
Look what happened in Palmyra. Once Palmyra was liberated, it was much better for the people, when these mad theocrats were shooting people in the old Roman stadium, this was a horrible thing that was going on. People don’t want to live under this sort of theocratic dictatorship. At least the Syrian army, backed by the Russians, is getting rid of these people. I don’t think President Assad is the most fabulous man in the world, but at least he is bringing stability, and the fact that he protected religious minorities, his rule was not theocratic; he was a secular ruler... And that is much better than the monsters that currently ruling Aleppo.
RT: The statement also says the Syrian army's offensive ruins civilian lives there's no doubt a lot of suffering there, but we've seen evidence that many civilians are happy to finally be liberated. Why does the West think life under militant rule is any better than liberation?
DC: They are not being positive about it, because they have been backing the wrong side for too long. The ridiculous business in the EU where Catherine Ashton, the previous foreign Minister for Europe, was attacking Russia over the Ukraine, [Federica] Mogherini and all the rest have been attacking Russia constantly.
Well, President [Donald] Trump wants to deal with the Russians, wants to do business with the Russians. He sees, and I think the most sensible people see, that we have a common enemy in the theocratic medieval regime, which is ISIS. That is the real enemy, it is our enemy, it is enemy of Russia, and it is enemy of the Syrian people. So those are the people we’ve got to get rid of.
The trouble is, when the West removes regimes, they leave a vacuum - and nature abhors a vacuum - and that vacuum has been filled with ISIS, and that is not good for anybody. These people are much worse than President Assad could ever be.
‘Twisting facts’ – Russian govt blasts EU foreign policy chief for Syrian aid comments https://t.co/czTDRVWRQY— RT (@RT_com) 8 декабря 2016 г.
RT: Retaking Aleppo could play a major hand in ending Syria's civil war, and the Western media has continually called for an end to the conflict, but when it appears to grow nearer, it still complains. Why isn’t it more positive?
DC: Well, because we simply haven’t got the guts to go ahead and do things, but the Russians have. They have backed the right side. They’ve decided that stability is better than having terrorists from a medieval religious organization running the country; they think it’s better to have a secular, albeit flawed, Assad government running it, until something better is organized.
I think the Russians are right on this, and a lot of people, including UKIP and a lot of very sensible people in the West are saying the same thing. But the British government and, I think various other governments, who have been on the wrong side for too long, don’t think this is a good idea – they can’t admit that the Russians are right.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.