Iran attack: Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab condemns missile strikes

Iraqi security forces at the site after missile strikes at al Asad airbase in Iraq Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The al Asad airbase in western Iraq was hit by at least six missiles

Dominic Raab has condemned a ballistic missile attack by Iran on air bases in Iraq where coalition forces, including British personnel, are stationed.

The foreign secretary urged Iran not to repeat “reckless and dangerous attacks” after strikes on bases in Irbil in the north, and al Asad, west of Baghdad.

The Ministry of Defence said there were no UK casualties.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard said the action was in retaliation for the death of General Qasem Soleimani on Friday.

He was killed outside Baghdad airport in a missile strike ordered by US President Donald Trump.

Mr Raab said he was concerned by reports of casualties and a war in the Middle East would only benefit terrorist groups.

Speaking on BBC Breakfast, Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay stressed that all parties in the crisis “need to de-escalate”.

“It’s in no side’s interest to see war,” he said.

Mr Barclay added that Prime Minister Boris Johnson would be updating the House of Commons later, and would also discuss the situation at a meeting with EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei described the attack as “a slap in the face” for the US.

While chief of staff of Iran’s regular military, Maj Gen Mohammad Baqeri, said the missile attack showed just a “small part” of the capabilities of the Iranian armed forces.

But Iran’s ambassador to the UK, Hamid Baeidinejad, said in a statement on Twitter that the attack was an act of self-defence and the country “does not seek escalation or war”.

Skip Twitter post by @baeidinejad

Iran in an act of self-defence as enshrined in the UN Charter, attacked two US military bases. Iran does not seek escalation or war. Our armed forces are quite ready to forcefully respond against any adventurism. Iran’s People and government are fully behind their armed forces.

— Hamid Baeidinejad (@baeidinejad) January 8, 2020


End of Twitter post by @baeidinejad

The US president tweeted “all is well” following the strikes, adding that casualties and damage were being assessed and that he will make a statement on Wednesday morning.

More than a dozen missiles were fired from Iranian territories into Iraq at about 02:00 local time on Wednesday (22:30 GMT, Tuesday).

The al Asad airbase – located in the Anbar province of western Iraq – was hit by at least six missiles.

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