Soldier’s family demands answers

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  • Halifax family react to the findings of the Chilcot report
  • Corporal Kris O’Neil, originally from Sowerby, was 27 when he was killed in Basra in 2007

The family of a Halifax soldier killed in the Iraq war have reacted with anger at the damning revelations in the Chilcot report.

Corporal Kris O’Neill, originally from Sowerby, was 27 when he was killed while working as a combat medical technician with 34 Field Hospital.

Kris’ twin sons were three-years-old when he was killed and ten years on there are times when they struggle to come to terms not having a dad.

Michael O’Neill

The father-of-two died when the armoured vehicle in which he was travelling was hit by a roadside bomb in Basra in April 2007.

His brother Michael who lives in Siddal, Halifax, said he was grateful that inquiry has exposed the lack of reasoning behing the war and there was no plans in place.

“I think Tony Blair was too quick to follow George Bush.

“There was no strategy and no exit plan.

“He had too long to come up with a speech hours after the report and he tried to make it sincere.

“I don’t think he will ever face the families or appreciate the pain and suffering they go through.

“His twin sons were three-year-old when he was killed and ten years on there are times when they struggle to come to terms not having a dad.

He said that he hopes more will be done now in terms of a possible action against those responsible for the invasion.

Mum Valerie also hit out at the former Prime Minister.

She said she could not believe Mr Blair would take the same decision again to invade Iraq and risk the lives of soldiers and the Iraqi people.

She also said that parents of soldiers killed in the Iraq war have written to Tony Blair to meet with them but he never has and they never had a response to the letter.

The Iraq Inquiry, set up in 2009 and chaired by Sir John Chilcot, was set up to look at the decision making that led to the invasion of Iraq.

He made no judgment on whether military action was legal, but found that then Attorney General Lord Goldsmith’s decision that there was a legal basis for UK involvement in the US-led invasion was taken in a way which was “far from satisfactory”.