Middle East

Russia's Putin calls John Kerry a liar on Syria

Secretary of State John Kerry listens as he testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013, before the House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing to advance President Barack Obama's request for congressional authorization for military intervention in Syria, a response to last month's alleged sarin gas attack in the Syrian civil war. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin has called U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry a liar for denying that al-Qaida was fighting with the Syrian opposition in that country's civil war.

Speaking Wednesday to his human rights council, Putin recalled watching a congressional debate where Kerry was asked about al-Qaida and denied that it was operating in Syria, even though he was aware of the al-Qaida-linked Jabhat al-Nusra group.

Putin said: "This was very unpleasant and surprising for me. We talk to them (the Americans) and we assume they are decent people, but he is lying and he knows that he is lying. This is sad."

Putin repeated Russia's position that any use of military force against Syria without the approval of the U.N. Security Council would be an act of aggression.

 

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