Blair’s decision to take Britain into the Iraq war – based on what turned out to be false claims about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction – remains hugely divisive, and contributed to his Labour Party’s loss of power in 2010.
Blair insisted that removing Saddam was the right thing to do, but apologized, as he has before, for failures in post-war planning. A public inquiry into decisions and mistakes in Britain’s planning and execution of the war began in 2009 but has yet to issue its findings.
Blair told CNN that “there are elements of truth” in the assertion that the war caused the rise of IS.
“Of course you can’t say those of us who removed Saddam in 2003 bear no responsibility for the situation in 2015,” he said in the interview to be broadcast Sunday. He added that the Arab Spring had also played a role in creating instability that allowed the Islamic fundamentalist militant group to flourish.