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Raab plea to Iran after missiles fired at Iraq bases housing UK troops

The Foreign Secretary urged Tehran to pursue ‘urgent de-escalation’ as the crisis in the Gulf intensified.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab arrives in Downing Street for talks on the spiralling crisis in the Middle East (Stefan Rousseau/PA)
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab arrives in Downing Street for talks on the spiralling crisis in the Middle East (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

By David Hughes, PA Political Editor

The UK has urged Iran not to carry out further “reckless and dangerous” attacks after Tehran fired missiles at military bases in Iraq hosting British and US troops.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab urged Iran to pursue “urgent de-escalation” as the crisis in the Gulf intensified.

US President Donald Trump tweeted “all is well” following the attack on the bases, which was carried out in response to the killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani by America.

US officials said 15 missiles were fired, with 10 striking the Ain al-Asad base 100 miles west of Baghdad, one striking a base in Irbil in northern Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region, and another four missing their targets.

American authorities said casualties were “few, if any”, while the Ministry of Defence said there were no British casualties.

Mr Raab said a war in the Middle East would only benefit the so-called Islamic State – also known as Daesh – and urged Iran not to respond further.

He said: “We condemn this attack on Iraqi military bases hosting coalition – including British – forces.

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(PA Graphics)

“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.”

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.

The PM came under fire for his failure to address the Commons on the Iran situation on Tuesday, with Jeremy Corbyn accusing him of “hiding behind” Defence Secretary Ben Wallace.

PA

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