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Britain's Blair Apologizes for 'Mistakes' in 2003 Iraq Invasion

In an interview with CNN, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair apologizes for what he calls "mistakes" made during the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

Former British Prime MInister Tony Blair apologized for what he calls "mistakes" made during the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

In an interview with CNN, Blair also cited that military intervention as a trigger for current conflicts in the region, including the rise of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.

"Of course you can't say those of us who removed Saddam in 2003 bear no responsibility for the situation in 2015,'' he said.

While critical of the flawed information on weapons of mass destruction that led to the invasion, as well as "for some of the mistakes in planning and, certainly, our mistake in our understanding of what would happen once you removed the regime" of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, Blair did not fully apologize for the war.

"I find it hard to apologize for removing Saddam. I think, even from today in 2015, it is better that he's not there than that he is there," he said.

Britain committed the second-largest number of troops to the invasion – 45,000. They joined nearly 150,000 American soldiers and several thousand more from Australia, Spain and Poland.

Of the British forces, 179 were killed during the conflict.