Tuesday, May 28, 2024

India seriously concerned over hostilities between Israel, Iran; calls for ‘exercise of restraint’

NEW DELHI, APRIL 14: Hours after Iran launched dozens of drones and missiles at Israel in a retaliatory attack, India on Sunday said it is concerned over escalating hostilities between the two sides that threaten regional peace and security.
Iran carried out the attack on Israel in response to a suspected Israeli strike on its consulate in Damascus on April 1 in which 7n Iranian Revolutionary Guards personnel, including 2 Generals, were killed.
In its reaction, India called for immediate de-escalation of the situation and return to the path of diplomacy. New Delhi said its Embassies in the region are in close touch with the Indian community in the region.
“We are seriously concerned at the escalation of hostilities between Israel and Iran which threatens the peace and security in the region”, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.
“We call for immediate de-escalation, exercise of restraint, stepping back from violence and return to the path of diplomacy”, it said.
The MEA said India is closely monitoring the evolving situation in West Asia.
“We are closely monitoring the evolving situation. Our Embassies in the region are in close touch with Indian community”, it said in a statement.
“It is vital that security and stability are maintained in the region”, it added.
On Saturday, the Iranian military seized a cargo ship with Israeli links near the Strait of Hormuz. The ship has 17 Indian crew members.
India is in touch with Iran to secure the release of Indians onboard the Portuguese-flagged vessel MSC Aries.
Following Iran’s attack, the Israeli military said it and its allies have intercepted the majority of more than 300 drones and missiles fired by Iran.
US President Joe Biden said the American military helped Israel take down nearly all of the incoming drones and missiles launched by Iran.
“Earlier today, Iran and its proxies operating out of Yemen, Syria and Iraq, launched an unprecedented air attack against military facilities in Israel. I condemn these attacks in the strongest possible terms”, he said in a statement.
“At my direction, to support the defence of Israel, the US military moved aircraft and ballistic missile defense destroyers to the region over the course of the past week”, Biden said.
“Thanks to these deployments and the extraordinary skill of our service members, we helped Israel take down nearly all of the incoming drones and missiles”, he said.
The US President also spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and reaffirmed Washington’s “ironclad” commitment to the security of Israel.
“Tomorrow, I will convene my fellow G7 leaders to coordinate a united diplomatic response to Iran’s brazen attack. My team will engage with their counterparts across the region”, Biden said.
“And we will stay in close touch with Israel’s leaders. And while we have not seen attacks on our forces or facilities today, we will remain vigilant to all threats and will not hesitate to take all necessary action to protect our people”, he said.
Iran issues warning to Israel over retaliation, threatens Washington against backing
Iran warned Israel of a larger attack on its territory should it retaliate against Tehran’s overnight drone and missile attack on Sunday, adding that Washington has been warned not to back Israeli military action.
“Our response will be much larger than tonight’s military action if Israel retaliates against Iran”, Armed Forces Chief of Staff Major General Mohammad Bagheri told state TV, adding that Tehran warned Washington that any backing of Israeli retaliation would result in US bases being targeted.
The commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Hossein Salami, also warned Tehran would retaliate against any Israeli attack on its interests, officials or citizens.
Earlier, Iran had reportedly launched more than 200 drones, cruise missiles, and ballistic missiles towards Israel on Saturday evening, according to statements from the Israeli military.
This action is said to be in retaliation for a recent Israeli airstrike on the Iranian Embassy complex in Damascus. It’s believed to be the first direct Iranian attack on Israeli territory, signalling a potentially dangerous escalation in their ongoing conflict.
The Israeli military spokesperson, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, revealed in a news briefing that the strikes caused minor damage to an Israeli military base. He also mentioned that Israel, with some assistance from its allies, managed to intercept the majority of Iran’s arsenal. our people”, he said.