Iran will be the real winner when the Iraqi city of Mosul is taken back from the Islamic State, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn warned Monday, but he believes Donald Trump, if elected president, will be better able to handle the escalating situation in the Middle East.
"Once it's all said and done, I think that the Shia, which is the Iranian-backed component of the Iraqi government right now, are going to be the big winners here," Flynn, who has become one of GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump's key advisers and surrogates, told Fox News' "Fox & Friends" show.
The Middle East, including Iraq, has unraveled in the past couple of years because the United States has given itself fewer options to do what it needs to do, and with Trump, "what we're really looking at is making sure that we're dealing with the right countries in order to solve this problem and some of those countries are countries like Egypt, Jordan, and others in the Middle East that see the future of the region going to pot."
Flynn said he believes the United States has to work with the Arab nations as much as with NATO allies and Iraq.
Mosul is a more complex situation than Baghdad, Flynn also said, because of the different factions, including Kurds, Shia, Sunni, and other demographics.
"You are going to find it's not so much the assault on Mosul, and God hope there's not that many casualties," said Flynn. "It's going to be what's next, what's the day after look like."
Flynn said he was also concerned about a leaked email showing Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton's campaign manager John Podesta, in lamenting the fact that the shooter in San Bernardino was a Muslim rather than a white man.
"That's very disparaging," said Flynn. "Sadly, what we're going to see is that when we conduct these attacks over in the Middle East, we're going to continue to see this rise of our own problems right here in the homeland."
Such commentary could lead radical Islamists embedded in the United States to respond, he continued.
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