Iran-Israel tensions | British jets countered Iranian attack drones


Britain’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak records a statement about the Iranian attacks on Israel overnight, at 10 Downing Street in London on April 14, 2024.
| Photo Credit: Getty Images

The U.K’s Royal Air Force (RAF) participated in taking down drones launched at Israel by Iran, U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said on April 14. Ahead of a meeting with the Group of Seven (G7) advanced economies, Mr Sunak called for calm. Israel said that it had countered 99% of the more than 300 drones and missiles fired towards it by Iran and its allies, presumably in retaliation for Israel’s April 1 attack on Iran’s embassy in Damascus, which killed 12 people including two senior IRGC Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) officials.

“I can confirm that our planes did shoot down a number of Iranian attack drones,” Mr Sunak said. Additional RAF jets were sent to join existing planes deployed in the region to counter the Islamic State, as part of the U.K.’s operation Shader in Iraq and Syria, according to the U.K. government.

U.S. President Joe Biden released a statement on Saturday in which he confirmed the U.S.’s participation in taking down the projectiles fired at Israel from Iran, Iraq, Syria and Yemen. Jordanian jets were also part of the counter-response to Iran.

Mr Sunak, who issued a statement on Saturday, condemning Iran’s “reckless” attack said that if Teheran’s attack had been successful, “the fallout for regional stability would be hard to overstate”. Committing to the region’s and Israel’s security, Mr Sunak called for “calm heads to prevail” adding that the U.K. would work with allies to de-escalate the situation. The G7 and United Nations Security Council are scheduled to meet on Sunday to discuss the developments.

Earlier on Saturday, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar announced that he had spoken with his British counterpart, Foreign Secretary David Cameron, after the IRGC seized a Portugese-flagged ship, MSC Aries, near the Strait of Hormuz managed by Zodiac Maritime, a company owned by Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer. Seventeen Indians were on board the vessel.


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