"Assad’s a bad man. But if we topple Assad, ISIS will take over Syria," Cruz said during Wednesday night's Republican town hall on CNN.
A similar "catastrophic mistake" was made by US President Barack Obama's administration when it engaged in the overthrow of the Libya’s long-standing leader Muammar Gaddafi, the presidential hopeful added.
Libya has been in a state of turmoil since Gaddafi was deposed and killed in 2011 by Western-backed Islamist extremists.
Daesh, which is outlawed in numerous countries including in Russia, seized a pocket of Libyan territory centered in Gaddafi's hometown of Sirte in November 2014.