Iraq demands America, Britain pay reparations for 2003 invasion
Iraq's prime minister has called for a full inquiry into the events surrounding the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq and compensation for the subsequent "tragedies" it caused the country and its people.
Haider al-Abadi told reporters on Tuesday that he wanted a "thorough investigation" into the decision-making that took the US forces from "liberating" Iraq to "occupying" it.
Abadi made the comments when asked by a reporter about the future of US-Iraqi relations under incoming President-elect Donald Trump, who has called the invasion "the worst decision" ever made in US history.
"The US invasion of Iraq got rid of the terrorist Saddam [Hussein] regime and saved Iraqis from that evil, but on the hand, it led to chaos," Abadi pointed out at a press conference held at his personal Baghdad residence.
"It led to a collapse of the situation because of the breakdown of the military and police… and opened the door for terrorist groups from around the world to come in,"
He said that the invasion turned the country into a "sponge that sucked up extremists" that ended up causing the deaths of many innocent Iraqis.
Abadi said a "thorough investigation" must take place to find out the number of Iraqi casualties and damage to the economy and infrastructure.
"Who was responsible for turning an operation to liberate Iraq into an operation to occupy it?… God willing, Iraqis will be compensated for the tragedies and catastrophes they have endured," he added.
|Last year, a long-awaited British government report found that the UK went along with US war plans and failed to pursue efforts to find a peaceful settlement to Iraq's refusal to admit UN weapons inspectors to suspected chemical weapons' sites.|
Last year, a long-awaited British government report found that the UK went along with US war plans and failed to pursue efforts to find a peaceful settlement to Iraq's refusal to admit UN weapons inspectors to suspected chemical weapons' sites.
"It is now clear that policy on Iraq was made on the basis of flawed intelligence and assessments. They were not challenged, and they should have been," the 2.6-million-word Chilcot Inquiry said about the divisive conflict.
Although the war was supposed to disarm Iraq of its alleged chemical weapons, none were found.
Following the 2003 invasion, Iraq descended into sectarian strife after the occupiers dismantled Saddam Hussein's government and military apparatus. The chaos helped give rise to the Islamic State group, through its predecessor al-Qaeda in Iraq.
More than one million Iraqis were killed as a result of the invasion, and the subsequent occupation of the country, according to the California-based investigative organisation Project Censored.