US action against Saddam loyalists created Islamic State: UK

US action against Saddam loyalists created Islamic State: UK

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The mass removal of Saddam Hussein’s supporters from the Iraqi army led directly to the f ormation of radical group Islamic State, UK Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond has claimed.
According to British newspaper ‘The Guardian’, Hammond has termed ‘disastrous mistake’ the move by Paul Bremer, a US diplomat in charge of running Iraq in 2003.He dismantled the Iraqi army and removed supporters of Saddam’s Ba’ath party from the army after the dictator was toppled, ‘The Guardian’ reported on Thursday.
“Many of the problems we see in Iraq today stem from that disastrous decision to dismantle the Iraqi army and embark on a programme of de-Ba’athification,” he was quoted by the newspaper as telling the Foreign Affairs Committee, backing intelligence reports examined and now released by the Chilcot inquiry.
“That was the big mistake of post-conflict planning. If we had gone a different way afterwards, we might have been able to see a different outcome,” he added.
The Guardian said Hammond conceded that many members of Saddam’s armed forces today filled top roles in IS.
“It is clear a significant number of former Ba’athist officers have formed the professional core of Daesh [IS] in Syria and Iraq and have given that organization the military capability it has shown in conducting its operations.”
On Thursday, the Chilcot report on the UK’s involvement in Iraq delivered a scathing critique of Tony Blair’s decision to go to war on the basis of bogus intelligence and a catastrophic lack of planning for the aftermath of the invasion.
Hammond’s direct link between Bremer’s decision and the rise of Isis contrasted with Blair’s claim on Thursday that the world was a better place as a result of the removal of Saddam.
Hammond first entered Parliament following his election in 1997 as the MP for Runnymede and Weybridge.
He was promoted to the Shadow Cabinet by David Cameron in 2005 as Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.

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