United States presidential candidate Donald Trump, of "Apprentice" and Atlantic City fame, wants the world to know he is ready to deal with ISIS when he is elected president next year – along with his plan to occupy parts of Syria and Iraq and bring their oil back to America.

Trump, who in what must be an elaborate prank is leading the polls  in the Republican primary race, explained his plan to deal with ISIS, the extremist Islamist group that has overrun a wide swathe of eastern Syria and western Iraq, in a call to MSNBC Monday morning:

Richard Haass: From your position, taking them [ISIS] out strongly, would that involve a potential reintroduction of U.S. ground forces in a combat way? 

Donald Trump: Let me tell you what I would do. I would, they have great money because they have oil. They have much oil. I would, every place where they have oil, I would knock the hell out of them and I would put boots on the ground in those areas. I would take the oil. What you’re doing is you’re cutting off a big portion of their money source. The other part of their money source, by the way, happens to be banks. Money is flowing in through banks in Saudi Arabia and other places. You have to cut that off. But, I would knock out the source of their wealth. The primary source of their wealth which is oil. And in order to do that, you would have to put boots – I would knock the hell out of them, but I would put a ring around it and take the oil for our country. I would just take the oil.

While Trump's plan to cut off ISIS' funding by targeting the oil infrastructure is part of the current coalition strategy against the group, his decision to go a step further and invade Syria and Iraq is likely to raise questions about his foreign policy experience.

But Trump's take-charge decisiveness was cited by Habtoor Chairman Khalaf Al Habtoor in his Sunday endorsement of Trump, which was printed in Abu Dhabi's The National.

However, that last bit – his announcement that he will put a "ring around it and take the oil for our country. I would just take the oil" – might have some people rethinking their endorsements.


The U.S. primary season is set to see its first actual voting in early 2016 . American citizens residing in the Middle East can check the State Department for information on their ability to cast absentee ballots in the primary elections.