Britain made major missteps in 2003 Iraq invasion, committee says

After a five-year investigation, a British committee released its findings on the country's involvement in the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq on Wednesday. The special report found that Britain invaded Iraq before exhausting non-military options to disarm the regime of then President Saddam Hussein. According to the report, the preparations for "the day after" were unsuitable, the British policy and decision to go to war were based on flawed intelligence and estimates, and the legal basis for the invasion was insufficient. The report describes in detail the way in which then British Prime Minister Tony Blair pushed the parliament to support the toppling of Hussein, and the failure to find a "smoking gun," namely chemical weapons and other weapons of mass destruction that were the official reason for the war. The report also describes the hanging of Hussein and the political vacuum that followed, the way that Western armies left Iraq, and how all this led to the establishment of the "Islamic State" in territories where, the report said, a quarter of a million people were killed and millions were left with nothing. A total of 179 British soldiers were killed in Iraq during the war.

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