Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s voice broke with emotion Wednesday as he spoke of his “sorrow and regret” over the Iraq War and said he accepts “full responsibility without exception and without cause” for its disastrous outcome. However, Blair insisted he stood by the decision to invade Iraq based on the facts available to him at the time and said the invasion was not directly responsible for the rise of the ISIS terror group. He faced a packed press conference and took extensive questions in the wake of the damning Chilcot Report, which concluded that Blair rushed the country prematurely to war on the basis of unsound intelligence.
“The intelligence assessments made at the time of going to war turned out to be wrong,” Blair said. “The aftermath turned out to be more hostile, protracted, and bloody than ever we imagined. The coalition planned for one set of ground facts and encountered another, and a nation whose people we wanted 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 may ever know or can believe.” Read more at The Telegraph.