Tuesday, 12 July 2016 07:27

BLAIR misled cabinet on risk ahead of Black Watch deaths

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Tony Blair misled Cabinet on the risk of deploying Black Watch soldiers to North Babil, the Chilcot Report has revealed – with the regiment suffering five deaths and twelve injuries during the operation.

Informing Cabinet that he was approving the deployment of the Black Watch to support the US troops in their attack of Fallujah, the Prime Minister told Cabinet that "the danger to which they would be exposed was not qualitatively different from that which they had experienced to date in their current tour".

On the very same day Tony Blair received intelligence warning that North Babil “will be much more hostile to a UK presence than is the population in Southern Iraq” and that “the presence of UK forces will attract insurgent attacks”.

Chilcot also revealed that Tony Blair made a promise to George Bush to “help” in North Babil days before an official decision was made – despite later insisting to Parliament that no commitment had been made.

Commenting, SNP MSP Graeme Dey said:

"These shocking revelations are yet more evidence of the lengths Tony Blair went to – and the depth of his deception – in offering unqualified support to George W Bush’s military adventurism – and in doing so he ignored vital intelligence advice, putting soldiers in harm’s way.

"This is a Prime Minister so consumed by his own arrogance that he wilfully misled Cabinet about a risk that had been explicitly made clear – while we now know that his denials in Parliament that a decision had been made were false.

"No amount of weaselling and spin can save Tony Blair from the stark and tragic reality that his deceit cost soldiers their lives – and he must now be held to account."