British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab on January 8 said that Britain condemns Iranian missile attacks on military bases in Iraq hosting US-led coalition forces including British personnel. He further also urged Iran to pursue urgent de-escalation and not to repeat such 'reckless and dangerous attacks'. Dominic Raab's statement came after the Ain al-Asad airbase in Iraq was hit by multiple rockets during the wee hours on Wednesday.
The official British Foreign Secretary's statement read, “ We condemn this attack on Iraqi military bases hosting Coalition - including British – forces. 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 and other terrorist groups”.
The Foreign Secretary calls for urgent de-escalation following an attack on Iraqi military bases https://t.co/PVpInAwJZs— Foreign Office 🇬🇧 (@foreignoffice) January 8, 2020
The missile attack was reportedly described as Tehran's revenge operation over the killing of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Gen. Qassem Soleimani. According to international media reports, UK government had also urged Iraq to allow UK troops to stay in the country following the killing of Soleimani as they believe that their work is vital. Earlier, UK PM Borish Johnson also reportedly spoke to Iraqi PM Abdel Abdul Mahdi and agreed to work together to find a diplomatic way forward.
Johnson also underlined Britain's unwavering commitment to Iraq's stability and sovereignty and emphasised the importance of the continued fight against the shared threat from Daesh. However, on Sunday Johnson reportedly said that Britain will not lament the death of Soleimani. Although he warned that reprisals would lead to greater violence.
“General Qasem Soleimani posed a threat to all our interests and was responsible for a pattern of disruptive, destabilising behaviour in the region," Johnson said in a statement. "Given the leading role he has played in actions that have led to the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians and Western personnel, we will not lament his death. It is clear however that all calls for retaliation or reprisals will simply lead to more violence in the region and they are in no one's interest”.