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UK will not shoot down Russian drones and missiles over Ukraine due to risk of conflict escalation – Foreign Secretary

After the UK Air Force shot down Iranian drones targeting Israel, British Foreign Secretary David Cameron stated that his country would not shoot down Russian drones in Ukraine to prevent the conflict from escalating, according to LBC.

Cameron was interviewed by LBC’s Nick Ferrari after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak confirmed that Royal Air Force (RAF) fighter jets shot down several Iranian drones that fired at targets in Israel over the weekend.

Israel claimed Iran launched 170 drones, over 30 cruise missiles and more than 120 ballistic missiles in Saturday night’s attack.

We’ve done more than any other country individually to help the Ukrainians. We’ve trained over 60,000 Ukrainian troops, we were the first to give them anti-tank weapons, long-range artillery and tanks.

However, he warned of the risks of using British military forces in a direct confrontation with Russia, adding that Kyiv’s allies should avoid direct interaction between NATO troops and Russian forces.

“Do everything you can to support Ukraine, in terms of money, in terms of diplomacy and, crucially, in terms of weapons. Giving them weapons to defend themselves, training their troops, those things are absolutely the right thing to do.”

Asked why the UK Air Force helped Israel shoot down drones while it did not help Ukraine, Cameron stated that it was “an interesting question.” He added that using jets “is not necessarily the best way of shooting down missiles and drones, air defence systems are more effective.”

I can confirm that our planes did shoot down a number of Iranian attack drones. I want to pay tribute to the bravery and professionalism of our pilots flying into the face of danger to protect civilians.

The Royal Air Force Middle East Operations Headquarters is located at Al Udeid air base in Qatar, which it shares with the United States Air Force (USAF) and Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF). The base is responsible for coordinating the UK Air Force’s participation in Operation Shader, the military effort in the so-called Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.

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