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Smoke and explosions from the fighting between forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad and rebels in the Druze village of Khader in Syria, as seen from the Israeli controlled Golan Heights, Tuesday, June 16, 2015. As many as 20 members of the Druze minority sect were killed last week, the deadliest violence against the Druze since Syria's conflict started in March 2011, sparking fears of a massacre against the sect. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

On Syria, Trump went from debating Clinton to debating his own running mate Mike Pence


A federal official said a refrigerator is among the possible sources of the Oakland fire

Watch | Donald Trump and Mike Pence can't quite agree on how to handle Syria. 

He and I haven't spoken, and I disagree.
Donald Trump

During a discussion about the continuing crisis in Syria, moderator Martha Raddatz reminded Trump that Pence said in the vice presidential debate that "provocations need to be met with American strength."

This is a key area of disagreement between the two running mates. Unlike Pence, Trump is not in favor of engaging militarily with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.  

Trump says his priority is ISIS, not Assad

Instead of taking on the Syrian government, which the U.S. accuses of war crimes, Trump says the focus should be coordinating with Russia to defeat ISIS. 

"Syria is no longer Syria. I believe we have to get ISIS. We have to worry about ISIS before we can get too much more involved."

During a May interview on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," Trump suggested he would not pursue military action against Assad.

"I would have stayed out of Syria and wouldn't have fought so much for Assad, against Assad because I thought that was a whole thing."

Trump on Russia's involvement in the Syrian conflict

Trump has said in the past that he believes Russia, which the United States accuses of targeting civilians in rebel-held areas of the country, will eventually target ISIS.  

Trump told The Guardian last October, "he's going to want to bomb ISIS because he doesn't want ISIS going into Russia and so he's going to want to bomb ISIS."

The United States of America should be prepared to use military force to strike military targets of the Assad regime.
Mike Pence

Pence takes a wildly different position

In last week's vice presidential debate, Pence flatly contradicted his running mate's position on the Middle Eastern country.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, points toward Republican vice presidential candidate Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana after Pence's acceptance speech during the third day session of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Wednesday, July 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

The Clinton campaign responds 

Noting the difference between the two, Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook said:

"It's troubling that they don't seem to be acting as a unit."

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