A picture of top Iranian General Qasem Soleimani is seen in Tehran, Iran 040120 CREDIT PA
Iran

UK Urges Iran Not To Launch Further 'Reckless And Dangerous' Attacks

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said a war in the Middle East would only benefit so-called Islamic State and other terrorist groups.

A picture of top Iranian General Qasem Soleimani is seen in Tehran, Iran 040120 CREDIT PA

The UK has urged Iran not to carry out further "reckless and dangerous" attacks after missiles were fired at military bases housing British and US troops in Iraq.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab called for "urgent de-escalation" as tensions in the region continue to intensify.

No British troops were injured in the attacks, the Ministry of Defence said. 

American officials said casualties were "few, if any" after the attacks, which were in response to the United States' killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.

The US said 15 missiles were fired at two Iraqi military bases - ten hitting the Al Asad base, 100 miles west of Baghdad, and one striking a base in Erbil in Iraq's Kurdish region.

Another four missiles missed their targets, US officials said.

British soldier trains Iraqi troops at Erbil in Iraq 040218 CREDIT US DEPT OF DEFENSE
A British soldier trains Kurdish personnel in Erbil in 2018 (Picture: US Department of Defense).

Mr Raab condemned the attack and said a war in the Middle East would only benefit so-called Islamic State (IS) and other terrorist groups.

"We condemn this attack on Iraqi military bases hosting coalition - including British - forces," Mr Raab said.

"We are concerned by reports of casualties and use of ballistic missiles.

"We urge Iran not to repeat these reckless and dangerous attacks, and instead to pursue urgent de-escalation.

"A war in the Middle East would only benefit Daesh (IS) and other terrorist groups."

British troops are in Iraq as part of a US-led coalition to train the country's security forces to fight IS.

Around 400 soldiers from the British Army are deployed to three different sites in Iraq, including in Erbil.

Soldiers, Civilians, and Coalition forces deployed in Iraq in support of  Operation Inherent Resolve participate in a Danish Contingency March at Al Asad Air Base in Iraq
Al-Asad air base is used by British and American forces (Picture: US Department of Defense).

The coalition suspended its training mission on Sunday, citing security concerns - hours later, the Iraqi parliament voted to expel foreign troops.

On Tuesday, the UK sent a support team to the country to help with the British military contingency plan that includes evacuation.

British military helicopters and ships are also "on standby to assist" in the region.

Boris Johnson will face MPs in the Commons later for his first Prime Minister's Questions since the General Election, following criticism from Labour about his lack of public comments on the crisis.

Outgoing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn accused him of "hiding behind" Defence Secretary Ben Wallace.

Cover image: PA.