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Rand Paul: Syria's Assad 'an evil man'

Rand Paul: Syria's Assad 'an evil man'

By Eugene Scott for CNN

Rand Paul had harsh words Wednesday for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, calling him evil and blaming him for much of the conflict in the region.

"If I were to see Assad walking down the street, I wouldn't feed him. He is an evil man who has gassed his people and is at least partly if not mostly responsible for this," Paul said on "The Lead with Jake Tapper."

The GOP presidential candidate who is running at the back of the pack said the U.S. should be in communication with Vladimir Putin, an ally of Assad, about how best to fight terrorism in the Middle East.

"I think the most important thing is to have open lines of communication" to avoid an accident where the U.S. or Russia shoots down one of the other's fighter planes, he said. "It's a very messy situation. Sometimes, it's difficult to tell which jihadists you're killing over there."

Pledging to target ISIS, Russia conducted its first airstrikes in Syria, while U.S. officials expressed doubts Wednesday about whether the terror group had been hit or if Russia was targeting other opponents of Assad.

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