The 2003 invasion of Iraq is to not blame for the violent insurgency now gripping the nation, former UK prime minister Tony Blair has stated. He advised the BBC there would nonetheless be a “major problem” in Iraq even with out the toppling of Saddam Hussein in 2003.
He insisted the present disaster was a difficulty that “affects us all” and urged extra western intervention within the space. Critics have rejected the feedback as “bizarre” with one accusing Mr Blair of “washing his hands of responsibility”.
“Even if you’d left Saddam in place in 2003, then when 2011 happened – and you had the Arab revolutions going through Tunisia and Libya and Yemen and Bahrain and Egypt and Syria – you would have still had a major problem in Iraq,” he stated.
“Indeed, you can see what happens when you leave the dictator in place, as has happened with Assad now. The problems don’t go away.”
He additionally referred to as for some type of intervention in neighbouring Syria, warning that inaction would lead to a menace to UK soil.
Mr Blair was prime minister when UK and US forces controversially invaded Iraq in 2003 – on the premise that it had weapons of mass destruction – with the final of Britain’s troops withdrawing in 2011.
Now, uprisings by the al-Qaeda breakaway group the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) have led to a surge of violence and sectarian killings in current days.
The Sunni insurgents have superior north of Baghdad. And as Iraqi authorities forces try to carry them again, a US plane provider has been deployed to the Gulf in response to the escalating violence.
Mr Blair stated the concept that Iraq can be steady if the UK and US had not intervened “just isn’t true” and that the present disaster concerned the broader area as a complete.
In an essay on his web site, he stated the violence in Iraq was the “predictable and malign effect” of inaction in Syria.
But Michael Stephens, from the Royal United Services Institute, insisted the Iraq War had an element to play within the current upsurge in violence.
“I think Mr Blair is washing his hands of responsibility,” he stated. “But on the identical time, I do agree with him that we won’t simply ignore this.
“We do have some kind of role to play in terms of trying to make sure that both Iraq and Syria do not fragment and just move on into sort of unending violence.”