Tony Blair: Iraq chaos is not my fault
Former PM says Iraq war did not create Isis and renews call for action in Syria
Tony Blair says the 2003 invasion of Iraq is not to blame for the current crisis gripping the country, describing the idea that the two are connected as “bizarre”.
In an eight-page essay published on his website, the former PM said: "We have to liberate ourselves from the notion that 'we' have caused this. We haven't."
Instead, he claims, the violence is a “predictable” effect of inaction in Syria. Last summer, MPs rejected the idea of air strikes against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime to deter the use of chemical weapons.
Blair argues that this decision was deeply mistaken, and that every time the UK puts off action, "the action we will be forced to take will be ultimately greater".
The former Labour leader has been strongly criticised this week as Sunni insurgents, from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), have taken over several key cities. Critics say it was the Blair-backed invasion in 2003 that opened the door to terror in Iraq.
But speaking to the BBC’s Andrew Marr this morning, he said there would still be a "major problem" in Iraq even if Saddam Hussein had not been toppled in 2003.
He described the current crisis as a "regional" issue that "affects us all" and warned against the belief that if we "wash our hands of it and walk away, then the problems will be solved".