Ten years on : Iconic Iraq war victim tells ITV News the war wasn't right

Ali Abbas lies in a hospital bed in Baghdad, April 6, 2003. Ali Abbas lies in a hospital bed in Baghdad, April 6, 2003.
Ali Abbas lies in a hospital bed in Baghdad, April 6, 2003. Photo: REUTERS/Faleh Kheiber

Shortly after the invasion of Iraq began, a picture of a 12-year-old boy who had lost both of his arms and suffered severe burns in a US missile attack on Baghdad became an iconic image of the heavy cost of war.

To further add to his pain, Ali Abbas had also been made an orphan. His parents and other members of his family were killed in same attack.

His plight touched many people around the world.

10 years on, Ali has told ITV News he does not think that war was the right option.

Andrea Catherwood met him 16 days after he was taken to hospital in 2003.

After receiving life-saving treatment in Kuwait, Ali was flown to Britain where he was fitted with a pair of artificial arms.

Ten years on, Ali, now 22, has formally become a British citizen and recently married his childhood sweetheart.

He no longer wears prosthetic limbs as he struggled to use them, instead he prefers to use his feet to write and use a computer.

ITV News' Paul Davies recently met with Ali who spoke about his memories of the airstrike that proved so costly for him.

When asked his thoughts on whether the invasion of Iraq was right, he said: "No, because lots of people were killed, lots of people like me are disabled. I don't think that war was the right option".

He added: "Before I used to go with my father everywhere. I didn't think about where I was going because I knew it was safe. Now I have to think twice about where I can go."

He also spoke about his passion for football which he plays every week with other amputees as part of an initiative run by national charity the Limbless Association and his favourite club Manchester United.

Dean Heffer, sports officer at the Limbless Association, who is also an amputee, said:

"I remember coaching Ali when he first came to the session and straight away saw how much he liked his football and after the terrible injuries he suffered losing both arms.

"The Limbless Association's football sessions offered an escape and to give him the chance to show what he could do on the football pitch and this has played a big part in helping him make a new life".