U.K. Foreign Secretary: Iraq is 'a very different situation now from 2003'

"This is a different situation and the answers are going to be different this time."

By Aileen Graef

LONDON, June 19 (UPI) -- U.K. Foreign Secretary William Hague said Thursday the U.K. is not planning military intervention in Iraq because "this is a different set of problems."

"It's a very different situation now from 2003. This is a different set of problems," Hague said in an ITV interview.


Hague went on to say that people should wait for the result of an inquiry into the decisions made that led to the first invasion of Iraq. He added that the inquiry will help us "learn from the lessons of the invasion of Iraq and the mistakes that were made."

"But I think the important point for us now is this is a different threat. This is a different situation and the answers are going to be different this time," he continued. "So we are not planning, we are not contemplating a British military intervention in Iraq in these circumstances."

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Hague said actions the U.K. is taking include encouraging the Shia, Sunni, and Kurdish leaders to work together in order to fight the militants. He said they would be willing to share their expertise in countering terrorism, but that does not include putting troops on the ground. He mentioned the one form of assistance they are already providing is humanitarian aid.


Hague's remarks are an echo of U.K. Prime Minister Nick Clegg's, who said while they are not going to stand in the way of any U.S. action, there are no plans to deploy British forces.

In the U.S., President Barack Obama continues to weigh the options in response to the growing crisis in Iraq. The Iraqi government has requested support from the U.S. in the form of airstrikes, which the administration has said is an option.

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