McCain: Trump doesn’t understand the situation in Syria

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Sen. John McCainJohn McCainState officials under pressure to OK ObamaCare premium hikes McCain's primary opponent takes shot at his age McCain, allies cheer watchdog report defending A-10 MORE (R-Ariz.) says Donald TrumpDonald TrumpBaton Rouge paper to Clinton: If you want to be president, visit Louisiana Giuliani: Trump's immigration shift propelled by Christie Trump must expose Hillary's dark side MORE doesn’t understand what’s going on in Syria, taking a shot at his party’s front-runner in the 2016 GOP presidential primary.

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McCain, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and a leading Republican authority on national security issues, was responding to Trump’s statement in a recent interview that the United States should not intervene the war-torn country.

“Let Syria and ISIS fight. Why can’t we let ISIS and Syria fight? Let Russia, they’re in Syria already, let them fight ISIS. Let Russia take care of ISIS. How many places can we be?” Trump said.

McCain dismissed Trump’s stance as uninformed.

“I don’t think he understands very well the situation. He’s entitled to his opinion,” McCain said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Russia launched airstrikes in Syria last week, but U.S. officials say they have targeted U.S.-backed rebels, not the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, as Russia had originally claimed.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is a political ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad, whom President Obama is trying to push out of power. Obama has called for a “managed transition” to new leadership in Syria.