Tony Blair, the Prime Minister from 1997 until 2007, has called on ground forces to be used to defeat ISIS in Syria and Iraq. He fell short of saying that British and allied countries should send troops on the front line but he said that they could support local military forces.
Blair said at a conference in London:
“There is no way of defeating these people without defeating them on the ground. Air strikes are not going to defeat Isis, they have got to be tackled on the ground,” he said at the event in Westminster”.
“You have got to defeat these people on the ground. The armed forces of America, the UK, France, other major countries have both experience and capability so even if we are using them in support of local forces, you have just got to decide what our objective is. Is our objective to defeat this enemy? My answer to that is yes”.
Blair didn’t comment on the Chilcot Report, which is to be published next month, but he said on the invasion of Iraq over which he presided:
“We underestimated profoundly the forces that were at work in the region and that would take advantage of the change once you topple the regime”.