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UK's Johnson Concerned At Iran's Role In Confrontation With Israel

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson speaks during a joint press conference with his Russian counterpart following their meeting in Moscow, December 22, 2017

British foreign minister Boris Johnson voiced concern on Monday at Iran’s role in the military confrontations between Israel, Iran and Syria.

“We are concerned at the Iranian actions, which detract from efforts to get a genuine peace process under way,” Johnson said in a statement.

Early on Saturday February 10, Israel attacked bases in Syria controlled by Iranians, which it said had sent a drone into its airspace.

In the Israeli attack, one of its F16 jets was shot down by intense anti-aircraft missile fire. Israel immediately responded by sending a second wave of aircraft that bombed Syrian air defense sites and more Iranian bases.

Johnson expressed support for Israel in his statement. “The United Kingdom is concerned at developments over Israel’s border with Syria this weekend. We support Israel’s right to defend itself against any incursions into its territory.”

The confrontations on Saturday created a tense situation in the region, posing a danger of further escalation. President Vladimir Putin of Russia immediately spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to stop events spiraling out of control.

Johnson in his statement asked Russia “to use its influence to press the regime and its backers to avoid provocative actions and to support de-escalation in pursuit of a broader political settlement.”

Iran’s seven-year involvement in the Syrian war has increasingly worries Israel, as Iranian military personnel and militias it backs have established themselves close to Israel’s norther border.

So far, other European countries have remained largely silent on the latest Israel-Iran-Syria military clash.