Martin O’Malley said the rise of the terrorist organization ISIS in the Middle East can be traced to climate change. In a Friday interview on Bloomberg aired Monday, the Democratic presidential candidate and former Maryland governor said a drought in Syria helped create the conditions for ISIS’s growth in the region.

“One of the things that preceded the failure of the nation-state of Syria, the rise of ISIS, was the effect of climate change and the mega-drought that affected that region, wiped out farmers, drove people to cities, created a humanitarian crisis. It created the…conditions of extreme poverty that has led now to the rise of ISIL and this extreme violence,” O’Malley said.