UK shot down ‘a number’ of Iranian attack drones, says Rishi Sunak

UK shot down 'a number' of Iranian attack drones, says Rishi Sunak

NEW DELHI: UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Sunday confirmed that the British military jets had intercepted and downed drones launched by Iran overnight in its assault on Israel.
PM Sunak urged restraint to prevent further escalation of the conflict, emphasizing the imperative for level-headedness.
“Last night, Iran launched a barrage of missiles and attack drones across the Middle East towards Israel.This was a dangerous and unnecessary escalation, which I’ve condemned in the strongest terms. Thanks to an international coordinated effort in which the United Kingdom participated in almost all of these missiles were intercepted, saving lives not just in Israel, but in neighbouring countries like Jordan as well,” Sunak stated to broadcasters.
” The RAF sent additional planes to the region as part of our existing operations to counter Daesh in Iraq, Iraq and Syria. I can confirm that our planes shot down a number of Iranian attack drones. I don’t want to pay tribute to the bravery and professionalism of our pilots flying into the face of danger to protect civilians,” he added.
Sunak also reiterated its support for Israel. “We stand by the security of Israel and the wider region, which is of course important for our security here at home, too. What we now need is for calm heads to prevail,” he added.
On Saturday night, Iran launched explosive drones and fired missiles, marking its first direct assault on Israeli soil. After the attack, an Israeli military spokesperson said Iran launched more than 300 but 99% of them were intercepted.
Meanwhile, the UK’s ministry of defence said that they have moved several Royal Air Force jets and air refuelling tankers to the region to intercept any airborne attacks if required.
“We have moved several additional Royal Air Force jets and air refuelling tankers to the region. These will bolster Operation Shader, which is the UK’s existing counter-Daesh (ISIS) operation in Iraq and Syria. In addition, these UK jets will intercept any airborne attacks within range of our existing missions, as required,” a UK MoD statement said.
“We will continue to cooperate closely with our regional partners in the interest of de-escalation,” it stated.
The attack drew international condemnation with the UK condemning the Iranian regime’s ‘reckless attack’ against Israel. Sunak in a statement issued by 10 Downing Street said, “These strikes risk inflaming tensions and destabilising the region. Iran has once again demonstrated that it is intent on sowing chaos in its own backyard. The UK will continue to stand up for Israel’s security and that of all our regional partners, including Jordan and Iraq.”
“Alongside our allies, we are urgently working to stabilise the situation and prevent further escalation. No one wants to see more bloodshed,” he added.
(With inputs from agencies)

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