According to Jeremy Corbyn, the Iraq War was an ‘act of military aggression, launched on a false pretext’. The ‘colonial style occupation’ that followed led to the rise of ISIS, said Corbyn in response to the publication of the Chilcot Report. Speaking in the House of Commons, he said that the war had ‘long been regarded as illegal by the overwhelming weight of international legal opinion’.
Paying tribute to the families of military personnel who lost their lives in the conflict, Jeremy said that the war had been ‘a catastrophe’ that had led to ‘a fundamental breakdown in trust in government and our institutions’. ‘It was an act of military aggression launched on a false pretext, as the Inquiry accepts, and has long been regarded as illegal by the overwhelming weight of international legal opinion. ‘It led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people and the displacement of millions of refugees. It devastated Iraq’s infrastructure and society. The occupation fostered a lethal sectarianism that turned into a civil war. Instead of protecting security at home or abroad the war fuelled and spread terrorism across the region’.
Sunday’s suicide bomb attack in Baghdad which killed over 250 people, the deadliest so far, was carried out by a group whose origins lie in the aftermath of the invasion. ‘The invasion and occupation of Iraq has been, by any measure, a catastrophe.’ Jeremy added that Iraq’s current situation could be traced back directly to the ‘colonial style occupation’ imposed by the US and the UK.
At one stage, the Labour Leader was heckled by Labour MP for Dudley North Ian Austin, who shouted ‘shut up’ and ‘you’re a disgrace’.
Prosecutors for the International Criminal Court will pour over the 2.3 million word report for evidence of war crimes committed by British troops, but potential war crimes of the man responsible – Tony Blair – were outside the remit of the Chilcot report .