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Trump: Clinton's Syria policy would lead to 'World War Three


"What we should do is focus on ISIS."

FILE - In this Friday, Jan. 11, 2013 file citizen journalism image provided by Edlib News Network, ENN, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, rebels from al-Qaida affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra waving their brigade flag as they step on the top of a Syrian air force helicopter, at Taftanaz air base that was captured by the rebels, in Idlib province, northern Syria. President Barack Obama said early on in the 2 1/2-year-old conflict that Assad lost the right to lead because of the brutal oppression of his people, most chillingly displayed in what Washington contends was an Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack on rebel-held areas that killed hundreds of civilians. But it s not clear who would replace Assad if he were to be driven from power, either as a result of U.S. punitive strikes for the suspected poison gas attacks or in eventual political transition talks with the Western-backed opposition. The Arabic words on the flag reads, "There is no God only God and Mohamad his prophet, Jabhat al-Nusra." Credit: AP

Hillary Clinton's foreign policy stances increase the threat of a conflict with Russia over how to intervene in Syria, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said in an exclusive interview with Reuters.

The Manhattan billionaire said the U.S. should focus more on defeating the Islamic State than trying to force Syrian President Bashar Assad to step down.

"What we should do is focus on ISIS. We should not be focusing on Syria," Trump said during the interview at his Trump National Doral golf resort. "You’re going to end up in World War Three over Syria if we listen to Hillary Clinton."

In this file photo taken Feb. 17, a volunteer fighter with the Syrian government forces sits atop a tank in the province of Raqqa, Syria. (Alexander Kots/Komsomolskaya Pravda via AP, File)

Many foreign policy watchers have warned of the U.S. and Russia becoming embroiled in a proxy war in Syria — a concern Trump said he shares, especially given Russia's nuclear capability.

"You’re not fighting Syria any more, 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 said.

More from Reuters:

On Russia, Trump again knocked Clinton's handling of U.S.-Russian relations while secretary of state and said her harsh criticism of Putin raised questions about "how she is going to go back and negotiate with this man who she has made to be so evil," if she wins the presidency.

Trump also blamed the Republican establishment's resistance to his candidacy for Clinton's lead in polls.

“If we had party unity, we couldn’t lose this election to Hillary Clinton,” he said.

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