Donald Trump on Friday accused his GOP rivals of seeking to “start World War III over Syria” and suggested the U.S. let Russia take up the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)
"They want to start World War III over Syria. Give me a break," Trump said at the State Fairgrounds in Oklahoma City.
ADVERTISEMENT"You know Russia wants to get ISIS right. We want to get ISIS. Russia’s in Syria. Maybe we should let them do it?," he continued. "Let them do it. What the hell are we crazy?"
Trump's statements come as Russia builds up its forces in Syria to help embattled leader Bashar Assad take on ISIS. The U.S. is also leading a coalition against the terror group, but also opposes Assad's regime and has urged him to relinguish power.
President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet Monday at the UN General Assembly, with Syria a likely topic of discussion.
Foreign policy has appeared to be a stumbling block for GOP front-runner Trump at times.
In a radio interview with Hugh Hewitt earlier this month, Trump appeared to mix-up the names of top terrorists and confused the Kurds with the Iranian "Quds" force – a special military unit.
Trump initially slammed Hewitt for asking "gotcha" questions, but during the second GOP debate suggested he had just been confused by Hewitt's pronunciation of foreign names.
Trump has touted his foreign policy, noting that he was opposed to the Iraq war, pledging to do more for America's veterans and blasting President Obama's nuclear deal with Iran. He has said he would pick top experts for his administration and rely on their advice.
On Friday, he said that the U.S. had only empowered Iran by invading Iraq.
"I said don’t go into Iraq. I’m the most militant person here, the most militaristic person you’ll ever meet. I believe in the military strongly but I didn’t want to see us invade Iraq," he said.
"We spend $2 trillion dollars, thousands of lives, wounded warriors all over the place that I love by the way… we got nothing. We can’t even go over there."
Trump also said Iraq and Iran were growing closer.
"And right now as you are standing here, Iraq is negotiating with Iran . They’re going to merge and Iran is going to get the oil… and the one that gets the rest of it is going to be ISIS."