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Second Gulf War

Volume 600: debated on Tuesday 20 October 2015

10. What discussions he has had with his international counterparts on establishing an authoritative figure for the number of people killed in the second Gulf war and its aftermath; and if he will make a statement. (901656)

I frequently discuss Iraq with my international counterparts. The Government have not produced any estimate for the number of Iraqis killed as a result of terrorism and war-related violence since 2003, although we are aware that others do so. Our focus today is on supporting the Government of Iraq in their efforts to build a more stable and secure future for their people.

It is amazing that the British Government do not have a clue how many people have been killed by the British and American forces’ adventure in Iraq; I hope the Minister will find an accurate figure for Parliament. Does he regard the invasion of Iraq as a success?

I did say that there are others, including the Iraqis themselves, who have put together those numbers, and I am more than happy to share those with the hon. Gentleman if he wants to see them. With regard to the decision to invade Iraq, lessons have certainly been learned. We await the Chilcot inquiry, but I recall that after the invasion a diktat went around the Department for International Development saying that the war was illegal, so in Basra we went from being liberators to occupiers. That is not the way to do it. There are lessons to be learned, and we are learning such lessons and applying them in Iraq today.