- Chilcot inquiry set up in 2009
- PM Tony Blair and others expected to be criticised
- Legal basis for military action to be assessed
The Chilcot report into Britain’s role in the Iraq war is to be published today, seven years after the inquiry was first set up. It’s aim is to identify lessons to be learned from the 2003 US-led invasion and its aftermath.
Much attention will be focused on the then British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Setting out the case for war in the UK’s 2002 dossier, he wrote in the foreword that intelligence had “established beyond doubt” that Saddam Hussein was producing chemical and biological weapons.
But much of this has since been shown to be incorrect and Blair has faced enduring criticism over the UK’s role in the conflict, which led to the deaths of 179 UK military personnel. and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis.The issue of so-called “weapons of mass destruction also led to the death of the weapons inspector Dr David Kelly.
Peter Brierley lost his son Shaun Brierley in the Iraq war:
“The report will actually need looking into, by probably someone better than me, who will be able to take away – people say it’s going to be a whitewash – scrape away the whitewash and the truth, I feel, will be actually there.”
Sarah O’Connor’s brother was killed in the war:
“These people, who had such an intrinsic part and caused the deaths of our loved ones through their failings in many areas, are yet to actually turn round and look us in the eye. So really, they can try and justify it to the world as much as they can, but unless they can justify their actions to the families, the words that they have to offer are empty and meaningless.”
The war remains an emotive issue for many Britons who consider the war to have been illegal and want Blair to be tried for war crimes if evidence shows he broke international law.