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6 July 2016, 17:24
Families have been giving their reaction to the Chilcot Report into the Iraq War
The seven-year inquiry into the Iraq war has found that military action was NOT a last report and that the UK committed to military action before peaceful options had 'been exhausted'.
Sir John Chilcot's also concluded Saddam Hussein did not pose an 'imminent threat' to the UK, and that the legal bases for action was 'far from satisfactory'.
“The report should lay to rest allegations of bad faith, lies or deceit. Whether people agree or disagree with my decision to take military action against Saddam Hussein; I took it in good faith and in what I believed to be the best interests of the country.
I note that the report finds clearly:
-That there was no falsification or improper use of Intelligence (para 876 vol 4)
-No deception of Cabinet (para 953 vol 5)
-No secret commitment to war whether at Crawford Texas in April 2002 or elsewhere (para 572 onwards vol 1)
The inquiry does not make a finding on the legal basis for military action but finds that the Attorney General had concluded there was such a lawful basis by 13th March 2003 (para 933 vol 5)
I take full responsibility for any mistakes without exception or excuse.
I believe that it was better to remove Saddam Hussein and why I do not believe this is the cause of the terrorism we see today whether in the Middle East or elsewhere in the world.
Above all I pay tribute to our Armed Forces and express my profound regret at the loss of life and the grief it has caused the families.”
Eight military personnel were from the East Midlands, one of them was Corporal Russell Aston, from Swadlincote, Derbyshire, who was one of six Red Caps killed when they were set upon by a 400-strong mob in Iraq in 2003.
He left behind his wife Anna and their daughter, Paygan.
His father Mike Aston spoke to Capital after the report came out:
On the MOD website his wife Anna, and parents Glenice and Mike, issued the following statement:
"Russ was a very handsome man who was loved by everyone who knew him. He was such a kind and special person with a smashing sense of humour, he could get on with anyone he met.
"He was a doting father who had lots and lots of friends. When he walked into a room he filled it with his height and presence.
"He loved his life in the Army. He was very fit and sporty. He recently ran 31 miles to raise funds for Gresley Rovers, a local junior football team, to provide them with kit...
"He...had a heart of gold and was loving and sensitive."
:: Lieutenant Philip Green, 30, of Caythorpe, Lincolnshire. 849 Squadron, RNAS Culdrose. (March 2003)
:: Corporal Russell Aston, 30, of Swadlincote, Derbyshire. Royal Military Police. (June 2003)
:: Captain David Jones, 29, of Louth, Lincolnshire. Queen's Lancashire Regiment. (August 2003)
:: Private Adam Morris, 19, of Leicester. 2nd Battalion, The Royal Anglian Regiment. (May 2006)
:: Marine Jason Hylton, 33, of Burton on Trent. 539 Assault Squadron Royal Marines. (November 2006)
:: Sergeant Wayne Rees, 36, of Nottingham. The Queen's Royal Lancers. (January 2007)
:: Leading Aircraftman Martin Beard, 20, of Rainworth, Nottinghamshire. No 1 Squadron Royal Air Force Regiment. (August 2007)
:: Senior Aircraftsman Christopher Dunsmore, 29, of Leicester. 504 Squadron Royal Auxiliary Air Force Regiment. (July 2007)