Russia accused of doing 'verbal backflips' to maintain idea of peace in Syria

Nearly 300 civilians have been killed in fighting in Aleppo over the last two weeks

syria, peace, accusations, aleppo, bombing, russia,

Protesters hold up placards during a protest in front of the United Nations Headquarters in Beirut, Lebanon. Image: Bilal Hussein / AP/Press Association Images

Russia has been accused of doing 'verbal backflips' to conceal breaking the Syrian ceasefire.

A truce in the city of Aleppo was supposed to have been introduced in February.

However, nearly 300 civilians have been killed in fighting in the last two weeks.

A hospital and a medical clinic were among the facilities hit by airstrikes.

30 people, including two doctors, were killed when the Al-Quds hospital and nearby flats were hit in rebel-held Sukkari neighbourhood.

Russia has been supporting its allies in the Syrian government with air strikes since September 2015.

Scott Lucas, Professor of Politics and International Relations at the University of Birmingham, says Russia has never taken part in a truce.

Talking to Pat Kenny, Prof Lucas said "when is a ceasefire not a ceasefire? I'll tell you when it isn't - when, for example, last week either Russian or regime aircraft bombed a hospital in east Aleppo.

"But to maintain the idea that it was a ceasefire, the Russians said 'oh we didn't have any aircraft flying over the place', the Syrian military said 'we didn't have any aircraft flying over the place'.

"The Russians eventually said the hospital was damaged last October, nothing happened to it last week - that's the type of verbal backflips that are being done to maintain the idea of peace," he added.

He argued that Aleppo is "taking on a sort of symbolic significance [...] in that this city has been divided since July 2012 between the Opposition and the Assad regime".