Rubio: Russia making Middle East 'very messy'
© Greg Nash

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioOvernight Defense: Pentagon redirects pandemic funding to defense contractors | US planning for full Afghanistan withdrawal by May | Anti-Trump GOP group puts ads in military papers Democrats step up hardball tactics as Supreme Court fight heats up Press: Notorious RBG vs Notorious GOP MORE (R-Fla.) says Russia's military campaign in Syria will only bring more turmoil to the Middle East.

“This is very complicated [and] it gets real messy,” Rubio told host Mike Gallagher on his nationally syndicated radio broadcast.


“It’s the consequences of a president who has a foreign policy that’s turned into a disaster,” the 2016 GOP presidential candidate added.

Russia has begun launching airstrikes in Syria, claiming it is targeting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

But Rubio said Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinEx-Trump national security adviser says US leaders 'making it easy for Putin' to meddle The Hill's Campaign Report: GOP set to ask SCOTUS to limit mail-in voting Putin calls on UN to strengthen World Health Organization MORE is using the Syrian civil war for his own ends, propping up Syrian President Bashar al-Assad by eliminating opposing rebel groups.

“Putin is going to target all the non-ISIS rebels on the ground and try to wipe them out,” Rubio said. “Once he wipes them out, he turns to the world and says, ‘OK, now you have to help Assad. It’s either Assad or ISIS, there’s nobody else, because we killed everybody else.

“That’s very cunning of him and very cynical,” he added. "Imagine that Assad does hold on and goes back to being who he has always been — which is a supporter of terrorist groups, including those that target America.”

Rubio also predicted that Putin’s actions in Syria would eventually lead him into other Middle Eastern nations like Iraq.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw that happen soon,” he said. "I wouldn’t rule out them conducting airstrikes in Iraq as well.

“It’s not like the Iraqi government is pleased with the Obama strategy in that region either,” Rubio added.

Rubio also criticized GOP presidential front-runner Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpOmar fires back at Trump over rally remarks: 'This is my country' Pelosi: Trump hurrying to fill SCOTUS seat so he can repeal ObamaCare Trump mocks Biden appearance, mask use ahead of first debate MORE for vowing to send Syrian refugees back to their homeland.

“I don’t know how you’re going to get them to Syria,” he said. "It’s not like there’s an airport waiting for them. That’s not a real solution.

“It’s not that we don’t want to accept Syrian refugees, we just want background checks,” Rubio added, citing the threat of terrorism. "It’s hard to vet people coming from that part of the world today.”