‘For the Record’: Russia’s Role in the Middle East

During the Republican debate in South Carolina, presidential candidate Donald Trump created a stir when he suggested that the United States should partner with Russia and Iran to eliminate the Islamic State.

“Right now you have Russia, you have Iran, you have them with Assad, and you have them with Syria. You have to knock out ISIS,” said Trump. “They’re chopping off heads. These are animals. You have to knock ’em out. You have to knock them off strong. You decide what to do after, you can’t fight two wars at one time.”

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush objected, saying, “The very basic fact is that Vladimir Putin is not going to be an ally of the United States. The whole world knows this. It’s a simple, basic fact.”

However, former Defense Intelligence Agency Director Michael Flynn believes the Russians have a role in stabilizing the Middle East. Flynn recently met with Russian President Vladimir Putin and told For the Record that he told the Russian president he needed demand action from his key allies in the region.

“Get Iran to back out of Syria. Get Iran to back out of Yemen. Get Iran to back out of these proxy wars that they’re in,” Flynn said was his message to Putin. “Tell the world that you are ready to put Assad on trial in the Hague once we’ve settled this situation down in Iraq and Syria. That’s an investment in stability.”

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