YouTube/AssociatedPress Russian President Vladimir Putin called John Kerry a liar.
The Russian president said that the U.S. Secretary of State lied about the Al-Qaida link in Syria. Mr Kerry gave a statement to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday that there had not been any involvement of Al-Qaida in boosting the opposition in Syria. He, on behalf of the government, took the responsibility of the truth of the statement, according to Mr Putin.
Mr Putin's comment was televised as he was talking in the presidential human rights council of Russia. Mr Putin claimed that he had watched the Congress debate. Mr Kerry is aware of the fact that Al-Nusra, the main combat unit of the rebels in Syria, is actually a unit of Al-Qaida, he said. Mr Putin found it sad to know that Mr Kerry told the lie despite being aware of the truth.
The president of Russia wondered how the U.S. Congress could sanction a military assault of Syria. He stated that Congress was actually sanctioning aggression. Anything that falls outside the UN Security Council framework is characterised as aggression unless it is done for self-defence. Since Syria is not attacking the U.S., it cannot be labelled as self-defence, he said.
It is interesting to know that the U.S. government did label Al-Nusra as an alias of Al-Qaida before. It has also called the leader of the organisation a terrorist, claiming that the leader is committed to Al-Qaida's ideologies.
Mr Putin did not hesitate to criticise Mr Obama's choice to ask Congress to approve the military assault on Syria. On the other hand, he said that the Foreign Ministry of Russia would work on initiating contacts between the American and the Russian civil society on this issue. Russia has already expressed its strong opposition against the military strike.
Mr Putin expressed complete disbelief in the trustworthiness of the evidence U.S. has claimed to possess against the Assad regime. The Russian president found it absurd to presume that Assad's government was responsible for the chemical attack on the Syrian civilians in August.