Jeremy Corbyn sparks anger after video emerges of him mocking SAS troopers and branding British forces in Iraq ‘lawless’ during 2005 Stop the War rally
- Labour leader was filmed just days after the rescue of two SAS soldiers from Iraq
- The MP for Islington North compared Allied efforts to US occupation in Vietnam
- Veterans minister Tobias Ellwood and a SAS veteran both blasted Mr Corbyn
Jeremy Corbyn has been slammed after footage emerged of him branding British SAS soldiers in Iraq ‘lawless’.
The Labour Party leader was filmed just days after the dramatic rescue of two special forces men from an Iraqi police station in 2005.
Speaking at a Stop the War rally, Mr Corbyn, who was a backbench MP at the time, said: ‘What happened in Basra this week, you could have written a play about it, you couldn’t have made it up.
Jeremy Corbyn has been slammed after footage emerged of him branding British SAS soldiers in Iraq ‘lawless’ (pictured on Wednesday)
‘British SAS officers, armed to the teeth, driving through a checkpoint, dressed in some other clothing, then tried to shoot their way out of it, and then they are arrested, apparently quite properly by the local police.
‘And the British Army then bombards the police station in which they are held. Who are the lawless forces now?’
The MP for Islington North then compared Allied efforts in Iraq to the US occupation in Vietnam.
Veterans minister Tobias Ellwood (pictured) blasted Mr Corbyn and said he should never be put in a position to decide about the safety of Britain
He said: ‘When the Governor of Basra, and the Council of Basra break off all relationship with the British occupying forces, this is reminiscent of the dying days of the American occupations of Vietnam.
‘We should learn a lesson from history.’
Veterans minister Tobias Ellwood blasted Mr Corbyn and said he should never be put in a position to decide about the safety of Britain.
He said: ‘Under Jeremy Corbyn, Labour should never be given the responsibility of keeping our country safe.’
And SAS veteran Phil Campion added: ‘The man needs to live a day in a trooper’s shoes before he gobs off.’
A Labour Party spokesperson told the MailOnline: ‘Jeremy Corbyn was speaking at a rally against the Iraq war alongside the families of British soldiers who had been killed.
The Labour Party leader was filmed just days after the dramatic rescue of two special forces men from an Iraqi police station in 2005 (pictured Tuesday)
‘He was rightly criticising the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq, which led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, including British soldiers and huge numbers of Iraqi civilians.’
The video was unearthed by journalist Iggy Ostanin, who passed it to The Sun on Sunday.
The Basra prison incident saw two undercover SAS soldiers open fire against local police after trying and failing to covertly pass through a security checkpoint, disguised in Arab civilian garments.
It is understood the pair, who were then arrested, had been ordered to carry out surveillance operations against several members of the Iraqi police, who were believed to be responsible for torturing prisoners.
Their detainment sparked a rescue operation in which 20 SAS soldiers and a platoon of paratroopers from Baghdad travelled to Basra to free their fellow officers.
The Ministry of Defence later said the soldiers would have likely been executed if left in the Iraqi prison.
When responding to the publication of the Chilcot Inquiry in 2016, Jeremy Corbyn apologised on behalf of the Labour Party for the decision to go to war in Iraq.
He said: ‘The apology is also owed to the families of those soldiers who died in Iraq or who have returned home injured or incapacitated.
‘They did their duty but it was in a conflict they should never have been sent to.’