Tony Blair: Invasion of Iraq contributed to rise of ISIL

Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair said that US-led intervention to Iraq in 2003 contributed to the rise of ISIL.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — US-led intervention to Iraq in 2003 contributed to the rise of the Islamic State (ISIL) militant group, former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair told CNN in the interview that is expected to be revealed on Sunday.

“I think there are elements of truth in that. Of course you can’t say those of us who removed [former Iraqi leader] Saddam [Hussein] in 2003 bear no responsibility for the situation in 2015,” Blair said in the interview, answering the question on whether he thought invasion of Iraq led to the rise of the ISIL, as quoted by The Telegraph newspaper.

Blair added that he apologized for “wrong” intelligence and poor planning of the conflict details. However he refused to apologize for ousting Hussein from power.

The United Kingdom was part of a US-led coalition that invaded Iraq in 2003, without a UN mandate, after falsely accusing Hussein of possessing weapons of mass destruction

ISIL is an extremist group that occupies large areas of Iraq and Syria and seeks to establish a caliphate ruled by strict Sharia law on the territory under its control. The group has affiliates operating in other countries, including Yemen, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

By Sputnik News