Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson said that if the U.S. establishes a no-fly zone over Syria and Russia violates it, those planes should be shot down.
Carson, who has come under scrutiny over his foreign policy acumen, made the remarks on an Iowa radio show in a clip first flagged by BuzzFeed.
Russian president Vladimir Putin recently launched an airstrike offensive in the region in an effort to prop up his ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The U.S. has not formally established a no-fly zone, but many Republicans have argued that one is necessary.
“If they do come into that area — after you have given them adequate warning, after we’ve talked to Putin — you shoot them down. Absolutely,” Carson told radio host Simon Conway, who pointed out to Carson that the Russians would likely respond forcefully.
“Whatever happens next, we deal with it,” Carson added. “But we can’t continue backing down because in the long run, that will hurt us.”
Asked if it would be better for the U.S. to ask Putin to agree to a no-fly zone over areas where refugees live, Carson said, “absolutely, I don’t disagree with that at all.”
Listen to the audio above, via The Simon Conway Show.
[Image via screengrab]
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