WASHINGTON ― GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump argued in the presidential debate Sunday night that the only groups he could see as allies in Syria against the Islamic State are the regime of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad and his patrons, Russia and Iran.
Blasting Democratic rival Hillary Clinton for her support for nationalist Syrian rebels and her repeated reminders that there’s more to Syria than Assad and ISIS, Trump said arming rebels had proven to be a problem for the U.S. in the past.
But he offered no specific evidence about Syrian rebels to back up his point.
“You don’t even know who the rebels are,” Trump said.
Only Assad’s coalition, he alleged, is fighting ISIS.
In fact, Assad and his allies have focused on targeting civilians opposed to his rule and rebels who remain embedded among them ― enabling the rise of extremist militants and permitting them to control much of Syria for years.
Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.
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