#AceWorldNews – LONDON – June 15 – The former prime minister Tony Blair has rejected arguments that Iraq would be more stable and peaceful today if the US-backed war, which claimed the lives of 179 UK personnel, had not happened.
He claimed that the violent insurgency in Iraq is the result of the West’s failure to intervene in Syria, not of the 2003 invasion to topple Saddam Hussein.
Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Mr Blair said: "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.
"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 added: "So, one of the things I’m trying to say is, you know, we can rerun the debates about 2003, and there are perfectly legitimate points on either side but where we are now in 2014, we have to understand this is a regional problem, but it’s a problem that will affect us."
So the result of annoying, antagonising and killing of terrorists, innocent civilians is this, as people sign up to fight against Western Oppression.
(An Iraqi civilian volunteering to fight ISIS kisses the Koran as he queues with comrades before boarding buses from the southern port city of Basra Photo: AFP)
15.48 The Iraqi government has defended its decision to request help from the US in fighting back against Isis.
A government spokesman said Iraq does not want others to do its fighting for it, but that it needs material assistance in improving its "capability" to fight.
"We have chosen the United States as our strategic partner," Iraqi Ambassador to the United States, Lukman Faily, told CNN.
“We don’t want others to come have the fight for us. We need the help of others to provide us with the capability for us to have that fight.”
15.38 As the Iraqi army faded away in the face of Isis’s offensive last week, tribal fighters have played an increasing role in the fightback against the Sunni militants.
Images today show militias in joint operations with Iraqi security forces, such as this security deployment on the outskirts of Diyala province, north-east of Baghdad: