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Blair defends Iraq invasion, calls for Syria action

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Blair defends Iraq invasion, calls for Syria action

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Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has once again defended his decision to go to war in Iraq ten years after it happened.

In an interview on British TV Blair said: “How can you regret removing a monster who created enormous carnage?”

The invasion that began on 20 March 2003 claimed 179 British soldiers. The invasion, subsequent insurgency and the sectarian fighting that followed killed at least 100,000 Iraqis. Even ten years on deadly violence erupts sporadically.

“Just ask yourself the question: ‘what would be happening now in Iraq if he had been left in power?’” said Tony Blair. “I certainly think that if Saddam had still been in power, it’s true there would have been, probably, an uprising amongst his people”.

“But I think it would look a lot more like Syria and probably a lot worse than Syria.”

“And if you look at what’s happening in the Arab Spring today and you examine what’s happening in Syria – just reflect on what Bashar al-Assad, who is a 20th as bad as Saddam, is doing to his people today and the number of lives already lost. Just ask yourself the question: ‘what would be happening now in Iraq if he had been left in power’?”

The two-year uprising in Syria has resulted in the death and displacement of thousands of civilians.

Blair’s then-deputy, Lord Prescott, has been quoted as saying that although he does not want to disown it, he can’t justify the Iraq invasion and that he thinks the war was wrong.

A mass demonstration in London that saw over a million people come out against the invasion just a month before it happened did not sway Blair and his government from going to war.