Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s plan for Syria could “lead to World War III,” her rival Donald Trump said Tuesday. Trump emphasized the importance of focusing on the Islamic State terrorist group, also called ISIS, and not the war-torn country.
“What we should do is focus on ISIS. We should not be focusing on Syria,” Trump told Reuters. “You’re going to end up in World War Three over Syria if we listen to Hillary Clinton.”
“You’re not fighting Syria anymore, you’re fighting Syria, Russia and Iran, all right? Russia is a nuclear country, but a country where the nukes work as opposed to other countries that talk,” he added.
Clinton in her foreign policy plan said she would help implement a no-fly zone over Syria — a marked shift from a longtime goal of the U.S., which focuses on persuading President Bashar Assad to step down. The multifaceted war has entered its sixth year, leaving thousands dead and sparking a massive refugee crisis.
However, analysts and top U.S. officials, including President Barack Obama, believe Clinton’s no-fly zone will put the U.S. directly in conflict with Russia whose fighter jets are working with the Syrian government in eliminating ISIS, other terrorist groups and rebel outfits in the country.
“I’m going to continue to push for a no-fly zone and safe havens within Syria. Not only to help protect the Iranians and prevent the constant outflow of refugees, but to frankly gain some leverage on both the Syrian government and the Russians so that perhaps we can have the kind of serious negotiation necessary to bring the conflict to an end and go forward on a political track,” Clinton said during the final presidential debate last week.
Trump had previously stated Clinton and Obama “gave us ISIS” after U.S. involvement in Iraq. “She gave us ISIS as sure as you are sitting there. And what happened is now ISIS is in 32 countries. And now I listen how she is going to get rid of ISIS. She is going to get rid of nobody,” he said at the final debate.
The real estate mogul told Reuters that Clinton would be unable to negotiate with Russia after demonizing President Vladimir Putin during her campaign. “How she is going to go back and negotiate with this man who she has made to be so evil?” he asked.
Trump is currently trailing behind Clinton in the polls as both candidates continue to campaign to persuade undecided voters as election day draws near. The Republican nominee has had to face a lot of bad press lately primarily due to his treatment of women. Trump has also said several times that the election is rigged in favor of his rival and added that he may not accept the results of the election disrupting the peaceful transfer of power.
But Clinton is not far from controversy, with the transparency group WikiLeaks publishing hacked emails regarding the workings of her campaign for weeks. Her campaign accused Trump of “playing to Americans’ fears” with his World War III comments.
“Once again, he is parroting Putin’s talking points and playing to Americans' fears, all while refusing to lay out any plans of his own for defeating ISIS or alleviating humanitarian suffering in Syria,” Clinton campaign spokesman Jesse Lehrich said.