UK Politics

Johnson: Iranian general had the blood of British troops on his hands

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Boris Johnson has strengthened his language on the killing of an Iranian general in an US drone strike, saying he had the "blood of British troops on his hands".

Mr Johnson had been taking a back seat in speaking on the ongoing crisis in the Gulf region, allowing his defence secretary and foreign secretary to give updates, but he addressed the situation in Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday.

Major General Qassem Soleimani was killed in a US drone strike, with Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn repeatedly questioning whether this was legal.

Image: Iran was the main topic in the first PMQs of the year

In the first PMQs of 2020, Mr Johnson said: "Clearly the strict issue of legality is not for the UK to determine since it was not our operation.

"But I think most reasonable people would accept that the United States has the right to protect its bases and its personnel."

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He said Maj Gen Soleimani had supplied "improvised explosive devices to terrorists, which I'm afraid killed and maimed British troops".

The PM added: "That man had the blood of British troops on his hands."

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The Commons showdown came hours after Iran fired 22 ballistic missiles at two Iraqi bases housing US and coalition troops including British forces.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard has confirmed it launched the attack targeting the Erbil and Al Asad bases in retaliation for last week's US action.

Mr Johnson condemned the attack and urged Tehran to hold back from further "reckless and dangerous attacks".

He said there were no British casualties.

Rockets lunched from Iran against the US military base in Ein-al Asad in Iraq
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