Chilcot Report: Iraq Should 'Sue' Britain for 2003 US-Led Invasion

© AP Photo / Khalid Mohammed, FileBritish soldiers stand guard at Umm Qasr port in Basra, Iraq
British soldiers stand guard at Umm Qasr port in Basra, Iraq - Sputnik International
Baghdad should file a lawsuit against the United Kingdom and the United States and demand compensation for all the damage inflicted during the 2003 invasion of Iraq that saw a US-led coalition overthrow Saddam Hussein and unleash an era of sectarian violence, political analyst Aziz Jaber Shayal told Sputnik.

London was part of the coalition that carried out the military operation which was not specifically authorized by the UN Security Council.

"Britain's engagement in Iraq was a mistake in every possible sense," director of the Center for Political and Strategic Studies at the Baghdad-based al-Mustansiriya University said. It has already been costly and could become even costlier.

Following Brexit, "the UK will not receive support from the international community, if Iraq demands compensation," he added. "Baghdad must use the Chilcot report to file a claim against Britain and demand compensation for everything that was devastated during the invasion."

US Marines are picked up by a helicopter after conducting a cordon and knock in al-Qaim, near the Syria border, western Iraq (File) - Sputnik International
Chilcot Report: US 'Can Learn' to Check Intel Before Invading Countries
The long-awaited report on the UK's participation in the Iraq war was released on Wednesday.

The inquiry, led by Sir John Chilcot, found that then British Prime Minister Tony Blair made a decision to invade Iraq by exaggerating the threat that the country under Hussein posed to its neighbors and beyond at a time when all diplomatic means of resolving the issue had not been exhausted. In addition, the entire Iraq policy was based on flawed intelligence and assessments. Moreover, the British military was ill-prepared for the war and the post-conflict phase.

"The report mentioned that Blair's decision to take part in the invasion was made 'in good faith,' but what good faith could we talk of when this war claimed a million lives of Iraqi civilians and devastated local infrastructure. This is why Iraq should demand compensation from the US, as well as from the UK," the analyst observed.

The exact number of fatalities has not been determined, but it is estimated that as many as 750,000 civilians died during the war and occupation that ended in 2011. 

© AFP 2022 / Jeff J Mitchell / POOLIraq Inquiry chairman Sir John Chilcot speaks as he comments on the findings of his report, inside the QEII Centre in London on July 6, 2016
Iraq Inquiry chairman Sir John Chilcot speaks as he comments on the findings of his report, inside the QEII Centre in London on July 6, 2016 - Sputnik International
Iraq Inquiry chairman Sir John Chilcot speaks as he comments on the findings of his report, inside the QEII Centre in London on July 6, 2016

Aziz Jaber Shayal is also convinced that both Brexit and the Chilcot report will guarantee that Great Britain will never take part in similar military adventures that would entail major financial losses for London.

In the wake of the report, the UK "will not be able to take part in unjust wars," he said. This will also be a lesson for other nations that invasions have repercussions.

Meanwhile, the Russian Embassy in the UK caused a stir with its tweet on the Chilcot report. The embassy referred to the invasion of Iraq as an "unjust and highly dangerous war," adding its take on the Keep Calm and Carry On meme.

​Not everyone agrees with this stance. Tareq Harb, an expert on international law, told Sputnik that the Chilcot report "is of no interest to the Iraqi government." The findings do not offer "enough basis" for Iraq to file a lawsuit against the UK. "Financial recompense is out of the question," he said.

Demonstrators at the rally in London, 15 February 2003, as worldwide protests brought tens of thousands into the streets to show their opposition to a possible US-led war against Iraq. - Sputnik International
A Million Marched Against a War That 'Damaged Britain's Reputation'
The analyst mentioned that the invasion of Iraq was formally authorized by the UN Security Council. He was apparently referring to UN SC Resolution 1441 adopted on November 8, 2002, and a number of other resolutions which were passed in the 1990s, particularly UN SC Resolution 687. Many world leaders and experts have long pointed out that these documents do not contain any implicit or explicit mechanisms that could have been used to justify a military operation in Iraq.

After Resolution 1441 was adopted, Russia, China and France issued a statement that the text could not be interpreted as automatically authorizing the use of force. US and UK envoys to the UN also confirmed that an additional resolution must be passed to give the green light to a military operation. In September 2004, then Un Secretary-General Kofi Annan called the invasion war an "illegal" war.

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