Jeremy Corbyn, the front-runner in the leadership race for Britain's Labor Party, said he will issue an apology for the 2003 Iraq war, which Britain was dragged into by then Prime Minister (and Labor leader) Tony Blair.

"It is past time that Labor apologized to the British people for taking them into the Iraq war on the basis of deception and to the Iraqi people for the suffering we have helped cause," Corybn told the Guardian newspaper. "Under our Labor, we will make this apology."

Corbyn, a leftist standard bearer of old Labor and an avowed critic of Blair's rush to war at the time, has made no bones about his disapproval of the conflict, as well as the larger legacy of Blair's tenure at the helm of the British center-left party. As my colleague Adam Taylor noted earlier, Corbyn even suggested Blair could be liable for war crimes.

Polls place Corbyn comfortably ahead of his other rivals for Labor's leadership, an outcome that would have seemed unlikely even earlier this year, when Labor under former leader Ed Miliband suffered heavily in Britain's general election.

Now, Corbyn, a member of parliament from North London, is attempting to shed some of his party's recent historical baggage.

"Let us say we will never again unnecessarily put our troops under fire and our country’s standing in the world at risk," he told the Guardian. "Let us make it clear that Labor will never make the same mistake again, will never flout the United Nations and international law."

According to some estimates, more than 200,000 Iraqi civilians have died since the 2003 invasion, which toppled the regime of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, but also paved the way for years of upheaval and violence. 179 British security personnel perished during the war and occupation, as well as more than 4,400 U.S. soldiers.

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