Iran drone attacks on Israel: Humza Yousaf condemns attack, says all players in Middle East must stick to UN resolutions

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has confirmed British RAF Typhoon fighter jets were used to shoot down Iranian missiles

Humza Yousaf is calling on the international community to “demand” players in the Middle East follow the United Nation’s Security Council resolutions.

The First Minister’s plea comes as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak confirmed UK RAF jets shot down Iranian drones after Tehran launched an attack on Israel in the early hours of Sunday.

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The UK government says it is committed to de-escalating tensions in the Middle East, describing the Iranian missile strike as a “significant attack” on Israel.

Rishi Sunak has confirmed that Royal Air Force jets were used to shoot down a 'number of drones' in the Middle East following an attack on Israel. Picture: Getty ImagesRishi Sunak has confirmed that Royal Air Force jets were used to shoot down a 'number of drones' in the Middle East following an attack on Israel. Picture: Getty Images
Rishi Sunak has confirmed that Royal Air Force jets were used to shoot down a 'number of drones' in the Middle East following an attack on Israel. Picture: Getty Images

Speaking to Sky News, Mr Yousaf condemned the attack on Israel. He said: “There is not going to be a military solution to the conflict we see in the Middle East, there is only going to be a political and diplomatic solution.

“We know that violence begets violence and therefore it’s imperative now that the international community demand – not request, but demand – that all parties abide by UN security resolutions, such as a call for an immediate ceasefire.”

The First Minister added: “We can’t afford to see any more loss of life, because innocent civilians have already had to pay far too high a price for the actions of a number of countries and therefore we need to see de-escalation as opposed to further escalation in the region.”

It marks the first time a direct military attack has been launched by Tehran on Israel despite enmity dating back to the country’s 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Shadow Scotland Minister Michael Shanks. Image: Lisa Ferguson/National World.Shadow Scotland Minister Michael Shanks. Image: Lisa Ferguson/National World.
Shadow Scotland Minister Michael Shanks. Image: Lisa Ferguson/National World.

According to the Israeli military, Iran launched more than 300 drones and missiles towards Israel, fired from several countries including Iran, Iraq, Syria and Yemen. Iran’s foreign minister Hossein Amirabdollahian has since said the nation notified its neighbours of its retaliatory attacks on Israel 72 hours in advance.

This comes after Israel carried out an attack on an Iranian consulate in Syria on April 1, which killed seven Islamic Revolutionary Guards.

Avi Hyman, a spokesman for the Israeli government, told the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg programme the base in Syria “was not an embassy, was not a consulate, was not any kind of diplomatic mission”, and said the Iranian presence in Syria was “seeking harm on Israel”.

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Iran says their attack on Israel “achieved all its objectives”, and has warned against responding in kind.

Shadow Scotland minister Michael Shanks meanwhile said the UK should halt arms sales to Israel if they have been found to have broken international law. Earlier this week, foreign secretary Lord David Cameron said the UK would not halt arms sales to Israel by British companies after reviewing legal advice.

Britain supplied around £42 million worth of arms to Israel in 2022, but there have been mounting calls for this to be stopped, as it could make Britain complicit in genocide in Gaza.

Mr Shanks would not confirm if Labour would stop arms sales altogether, but said it was right this practice should be halted if Israel has broken international law.

The MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West said: “Both [Scottish Labour leader] Anas [Sarwar] and [UK Labour leader Sir] Keir [Starmer] have clearly said if there is any evidence to suggest that, then we should stop arms sales. We need to find out what intelligence the UK government has got, and I expect there will be questions on this in the House of Commons.”

Mr Shanks described the situation in the Middle East as a “catastrophe” and said there must be a ceasefire that both Israel and Hamas could agree to.

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said the UK government’s top priority must now be preventing any escalation of violence in the region.

She told the BBC: “We strongly condemn this attack by Iran on Israel. This is a reckless decision at a time when the international community has been urging restraint, because everyone’s concern is escalation into a wider regional conflict. It is really important that everything possible is done to prevent further escalations.”

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Ms Cooper added: “We know Iran has a long history of destabilising attempts in the region, with support for Hezbollah, Hamas and others. That is why the international community is urging restraint and working hard to prevent further escalation.”

On the same programme, UK health secretary Victoria Atkins described Iran’s attack on Israel as “incredibly significant” and said the UK government was “very, very focused” on de-escalating tensions in the Middle East. She said: “We know how difficult and sensitive it is, and all diplomatic efforts are on that in terms of jets and resources in the region.”

Ms Atkins said the Prime Minister has held a Cobra meeting – the Cabinet Office’s emergency response unit – and was anticipating a call shortly with other G7 leaders.

She said: “The foreign secretary has met his Iranian counterpart to deliver the message that Iran must not escalate in the region. What we want is an immediate humanitarian pause in the region, to get hostages out that are held captive as victims of the horrific attack in October. We want to get humanitarian aid into the region too.

“Looking to the future and looking to the government of Palestine, we need to be in a position where we can strengthen the two-state solution, but Hamas cannot be a part of that.”

Former UK Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith MP said it was “rational” for the RAF and the UK government to respond in this manner, as many of the missiles being fired would not be hitting their intended targets.

He said: “You can view this as supporting Israel, but it’s about stopping harm and death. Remember Iranians didn’t just fire drones, they fired ballistic missiles at Israel, which Israel dealt with themselves. It is more nuanced than people want to make out.

“The reality is Iran has been stirring up trouble in the region for some time. The attack by Hamas was planned by Iran, whatever they say, Hezbollah was backed by them, and the attacks on international shipping is backed by Iran.”



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