(LONDON GUARDIAN) A diplomatic breakthrough on the Syrian civil war at the G8 summit in Northern Ireland appeared unlikely when the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, chastised the west for considering arming Syrian rebels, saying they ate human organs. He said Russia by contrast was arming the legitimate government of Syria.

Speaking after a difficult meeting with Putin in Downing Street, David Cameron claimed both men were in agreement on the need to end the human catastrophe of the civil war. But there was little to suggest the two men made progress on how to convene a fresh Syrian peace conference in Geneva, let alone who should attend, or its agenda.

In icy exchanges at a press conference, Putin said: “You will not deny that one does not really need to support the people who not only kill their enemies, but open up their bodies, eat their intestines in front of the public and cameras. Are these the people you want to support? Is it them who you want to supply with weapons? Then this probably has little relation to humanitarian values that have been preached in Europe for hundreds of years.”

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