The US State Department responded to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s remarks that US Secretary of State John Kerry “lied” about the influence of Al-Qaeda in Syria, saying that it is “preposterous” and a mischaracterization of what America’s top diplomat actually said.
Kerry is “not losing sleep after such a preposterous comment that was based on an inaccurate quote and was completely mischaracterized,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters in Washington.
Putin made his remarks on Wednesday, reportedly referring to the Secretary of State’s testimony before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee a day earlier, where Kerry said that Al-Qaeda’s presence within the Syrian opposition has not been increasing.
02:00 GMT: US Navy destroyers in the Mediterranean are “fully ready” to launch cruise missiles into Syria as part of a US military campaign that would not involve “extraordinary” monetary costs, a top admiral said Thursday.
Greenert, a chief naval operations officer who focuses on preparedness of Navy forces, also seemed to confirm the rough estimate made by US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Wednesday in front of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, when he told Congress that a US campaign in Syria would likely cost "tens of millions" of dollars.
"The numbers are nagging but they're not extraordinary at this point," Greenert said at an event held by the conservative think-tank American Enterprise Institute, though defense budget analysts say Hagel's figure is a low estimate.