Retired general and former national security advisor Michael Flynn in the days before Donald Trump took office blocked a US operation to seize the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant’s (ISIL) self-proclaimed capital of Raqqa, possibly due to objections from Turkey over US forces working with Kurdish militia in Syria.
Flynn’s company, Flynn Intel Group, Inc., was advocating for the interests of the Turkish government during Trump’s election campaign in 2016, earning $530,000 for its efforts, paid by a Turkish businessman in the Netherlands with close ties to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Flynn belatedly registered with the US Justice Department as a foreign agent after he was forced out of office by Trump because his firm’s activities “could be construed to have principally benefited the Republic of Turkey.”
According to a McClatchy report on Wednesday, “Obama’s national security team had decided to ask for Trump’s sign-off, since the plan would all but certainly be executed after Trump had become president.
“Flynn didn’t hesitate. According to timelines distributed by members of Congress in the weeks since, Flynn told Rice to hold off, a move that would delay the military operation for months.
“If Flynn explained his answer, that’s not recorded, and it’s not known whether he consulted anyone else on the transition team before rendering his verdict. But his position was consistent with the wishes of Turkey, which had long opposed the United States partnering with the Kurdish forces – and which was his undeclared client.
“Trump eventually would approve the Raqqa plan, but not until weeks after Flynn had been fired.”