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Sister of dead British soldier: "I'm angry at them all"

Thursday, July 07, 2016 - 01:32

One relative of a British soldier killed in the Iraqi war says she's angry at all the British politicians involved in the 2003 conflict, after a critical report brought an emotional apology from former prime minister Tony Blair. Diane Hodges reports.

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Former British prime minister Tony Blair defended his decision to send Britain into war with Iraq in 2003, but apologized for many of the consequences. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FORMER BRITISH PRIME MINISTER TONY BLAIR, SAYING: "The aftermath turned out to be more hostile, protracted and bloody than ever we imagined. The coalition planned for one set of facts and encountered another. And a nation whose people we want to set free and secure from the evil of Saddam became instead victim to sectarian terrorism. For all of this I express more sorrow, regret and apology than you will ever know or can believe." Blair was responding to sever criticism of him in the Chilcot report on the conflict which was released earlier on Wednesday. And he said he believes the world is a better place without Saddam Hussein, the Iraq leader deposed in the conflict. But his explanations and apologies failed to satisfy families of some of the 179 British soldiers who died there. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MOTHER OF BRITISH SOLDIER WHO DIED IN IRAQ WAR, VALERIE O'NEILL, SAYING: "He was an autocratic leader trying to get rid of an autocratic dictator. He is as bad as Saddam Hussein was." (SOUNDBITE) (English) MOTHER OF BRITISH SOLDIER WHO DIED IN IRAQ WAR, RONNIE BARIEK, SAYING: "I'd like to see Tony Blair taken to court. I really would. I really, really would." (SOUNDBITE) (English) SISTER OF BRITISH SOLDIER WHO DIED IN IRAQ WAR, RACHAEL TOWLE, SAYING: "It's not just Tony Blair, there are a lot of others involved. There's Straw, a whole host of names, so we can't just pin it on one. But I'm angry at them all. It wasn't a last resort thing. There are more things that could have been done instead of sending them off." Since the war ended, Iraq has been roiled by sectarian conflict. Islamic State controls large areas of the country and bombing attacks are common. Last Saturday, 250 people died in Baghdad's worst car bombing since the U.S.-led coalition toppled Saddam Hussein.

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Sister of dead British soldier: "I'm angry at them all"

Thursday, July 07, 2016 - 01:32