UK's long-delayed Iraq War report to be published July 6

AP News
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Posted: May 09, 2016 12:44 PM

LONDON (AP) — A long-delayed report on Britain's involvement in the Iraq war will be published July 6, seven years after the inquiry began, officials said Monday.

The Iraq Inquiry said security checking of the report by retired civil servant John Chilcot has been completed, without any redactions being sought, and the 2.6 million-word document will now be prepared for publication.

The inquiry into mistakes made before and after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq held public hearings between 2009 and 2011, taking evidence from more than 150 witnesses, including former Prime Minister Tony Blair, and scouring 150,000 documents.

The inquiry has cost more than 10 million pounds ($14.4 million), but its report has been repeatedly delayed, in part by a process that gives those who are criticized a chance to respond.

Families of troops killed in Iraq say the delays are prolonging their grief as they search for answers about how Britain ended up in the conflict.

Britain's involvement in the war — in which 179 U.K. personnel died between 2003 and 2009 — remains a divisive issue. Blair's government made a case for joining the invasion based on what turned out to be false claims about Saddam Hussein's alleged weapons of mass destruction, and without a comprehensive plan for postwar reconstruction.