U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has warned that Democrat Hillary Clinton’s policies to address the Syrian conflict would lead to third World War, stressing that her policy would draw US into direct conflict with Russia.

Trump said defeating Islamic State is a higher priority than persuading Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down, playing down a long-held goal of U.S. policy.

“What we should do is focus on ISIS. We should not be focusing on Syria,” Trump told Reuters on Tuesday.

“You’re going to end up in World War III over Syria if we listen to Hillary Clinton.” he added.

“You’re not fighting Syria anymore, you’re fighting Syria, Russia and Iran, all right? Russia is a nuclear country, but a country where the nukes work as opposed to other countries that talk,” The Republican nominee said.

Read more:   Pentagon denounces any unilateral military action in 'their' part of Syria as unacceptable

Trump questioned how Clinton would negotiate with Russian President Vladimir Putin after demonizing him; blamed President Barack Obama for a downturn in U.S. relations with the Philippines under its new president, Rodrigo Duterte.

“How she is going to go back and negotiate with this man who she has made to be so evil,” if she wins the presidency, he said.

Trump also returned to his more typical complaints of a lack of Republican unity weighing down his candidacy.

“If we had party unity, we couldn’t lose this election to Hillary Clinton,” he told Reuters.