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Iraq inquiry delivers damning verdict on Blair


07-06-2016 20:22 BJT

Britain has published the long-awaited inquiry into the Iraq War, concluding that Britain went to war before all peaceful options were exhausted. Chairman of the inquiry, Sir John Chilcot, said the British policy on Iraq was made on the basis of "flawed intelligence and assessments". 

"We have concluded that the UK chose to join the invasion of Iraq before the peaceful options for disarmament had been exhausted. Military action at that time was not the last resort. We have also concluded that the judgements about the severity of the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction - WMD - were presented with a certainty that was not justified. Despite explicit warnings the consequences of the invasion were underestimated. The planning and preparations for Iraq after Saddam Hussein were wholly inadequate," he said.

The inquiry took seven years to complete, heard from 150 witnesses and analyzed 150,000 documents. It also discovered that then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair told then-US President George Bush, that he would stand by him with regards to Iraq, several months before the war.

Chilcot said the UK government failed to realise the "magnitude" of its responsibilities in the country, and that many Iraqis suffered greatly as a result. He also said at least 150-thousand Iraqis died as a result of the conflict, with more than a million displaced. 

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