Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Iraq war contributed to rise of ISIS, Blair admits

Blair: Iraq war contributed to rise of ISIS but was justified | News , Middle East | THE DAILY STAR - Associated Press:

October 26, 2015 - "Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has acknowledged that the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 was partly responsible for the emergence of ISIS militant group in the Middle East. But he insists that toppling Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein had been the right thing to do.

"Blair told CNN 'there are elements of truth' in the assertion that the war in Iraq caused the rise of ISIS, which now controls a large swath of Iraq and Syria.

"'Of course, you can’t say those of us who removed Saddam in 2003 bear no responsibility for the situation in 2015,' he said in an interview broadcast Sunday.

"Blair added that the Arab Spring revolutions, which began in 2011, had also played a part by allowing the Islamist fundamentalist militant group to flourish in civil war-torn Syria and then Iraq. And he said the 'sectarian policy' of Iraq’s Shiite-led government was also a factor in destabilizing the country.

"Blair’s decision to take Britain into the Iraq war – based on what turned out to be false claims about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction – remains hugely divisive at home and contributed to his Labour Party’s loss of power in 2010....

"'I apologize for the fact that the intelligence we received was wrong,' he said. 'I also apologize for some of the mistakes in planning and, certainly, our mistake in our understanding of what would happen once you removed the regime.'

"Some 179 British personnel died in Iraq between 2003 and 2009. A public inquiry into decisions and mistakes in Britain’s planning and execution of the war began in 2009 but has yet to issue its findings."

Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2015/Oct-26/320228-blair-iraq-war-contributed-to-rise-of-isis-but-was-justified.ashx
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