Syria

Putin Says Kerry Lied About Al Qaeda's Involvment in Syrian Opposition

Kerry told Senate terrorist group was not taking over. Putin disagrees.

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In remarks that could raise tension further before he hosts President Barack Obama and other G20 leaders on Thursday, Putin also said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry lied to Congress about the militant group 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."