Iraq war victims’ relatives shout, “it’s too late” as Blair regrets loss of lives

January 22nd, 2011 - 1:20 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Jan 22 (ANI): Relatives of people who lost their lives in the Iraq war expressed anger at former British Prime Minister Tony Blair during the Chilcot Inquiry proceedings as he regretted the loss because of his decision to back the US in invading the oil-rich country.

The angry relatives reportedly shouted saying, “It’s too late” after hearing the former British leader’s comments, while two female witnesses walked out and another turned her face away.

Blair had refused to speak of any regrets following his first evidence session a year ago, saying that he accepted responsibility for what happened following the 2003 invasion.

However, he became emotional towards the end of his four-hour testimony before the committee yesterday, and expressed his willingness to say few words on being asked to outline the lessons to be learned from the course of the conflict.

“I took that as a question about the decision to go to war, and I answered that I took responsibility. That was taken as my meaning that I had no regrets about the loss of life and that was never my meaning or my intention,” The Telegraph quoted Blair, as saying.

“I wanted to make it clear that, of course, I regret deeply and profoundly the loss of life, whether from our own armed forces, those of other nations, the civilians who helped people in Iraq or the Iraqis themselves,” he added.

However, a number of relatives got agitated hearing his words, and shouted out: “You’ve had a year to think about that,” and “It’s too late.

Rose Gentle, whose 19-year-old son Gordon was killed in Iraq in 2004 told Blair: “You lied, your lies killed our son. I hope you can live with it.”

During the hearing, Blair admitted that he ignored legal advice that invading Iraq without a fresh Untied Nations resolution would be illegal because he considered the statements by Lord Goldsmith, the Attorney General, to be “provisional”.

He also said that he would have been prepared to withhold British troops from taking part in the invasion had Lord Goldsmith not changed his mind about the legality or if the House of Commons had voted against the move.

Demonstrators gathered outside the inquiry, at the Queen Elizabeth Conference Centre in Westminster, to interrupt Blair, but the numbers were less than that of the previous session. (ANI)

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