Kerry lied about al-Qaeda in Syria: Putin
06 September 2013, 08:14
Washington - Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused the US secretary of State John Kerry of lying about al-Qaeda's role in the Syrian conflict.
"They lie beautifully, of course. I saw debates in Congress. A
congressman asks Mr Kerry: 'Is al Qaeda there?' He says: 'No, I am
telling you responsibly that it is not,'" Putin said at a meeting of
his human rights council in the Kremlin.
"Al-Qaeda units are the
main military echelon, and they know this," he said, referring to the
United States. "It was unpleasant and surprising for me - we talk to
them, we proceed from the assumption that they are decent people. But
he is lying and knows he is lying. It's sad."
Putin did not give any more details.
an exchange with a senator, Kerry was asked whether it was "basically
true" that the Syrian opposition had "become more infiltrated by al-Qaeda over time. Kerry said: "No, that is actually basically not true.
It's basically incorrect."
The US State Department dismissed as "preposterous" Russian President Vladimir Putin's statement that Secretary of State John Kerry lied to Congress about al-Qaeda's role in Syria.
"Secretary Kerry is, as you all know, a decorated combat veteran," State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said, referring to Kerry's service during the Vietnam War. "He's had ... more than words aimed at him.
"So he's not losing sleep after such a preposterous comment that was based on an inaccurate quote and was completely mischaracterised," she added.