DOWNING Street was last night livid with Donald Trump for endangering British troops by assassinating Iranian military chief Qasem Soleimani without any warning.
In a serious breach of protocol between key allies, the US president didn’t tell Boris Johnson about the Baghdad missile strike on the terror mastermind.
Donald Trump gave Boris Johnson no warning about the US drone strike on Iranian general Qasem SoleimaniCredit: AFP
Soleimani was killed in a US airstrike in BaghdadCredit: EPA
The attack sparked immediate overnight concern for the safety of 400 British troops stationed in Iraq and fears they could be targeted for revenge.
In a snub to the White House, the British Government refused to give any public support for the killing yesterday.
As fears also rose for the precarious deal with Tehran to stop it building a nuclear arsenal, one angry senior British official even accused Mr Trump of behaving “like a mafia boss”.
Defence chiefs were forced to issue urgent orders in the middle of the night to halt movement in the country, as well as hike base security.
The UK service personnel are based in three locations across Iraq – at Camp Taji north of Baghdad on a traning mission, in the capital itself and in the Kurdish city of Erbil.
A further 500 British troops and airmen are operating in and around Syria, on Operation Shader.
While condemning terror mastermind Soleimani’s long and murderous career, the Foreign Secretary did not condone the attack in a terse public statement.
Instead, Dominic Raab called for calm, alongside France and Germany.
Mr Raab said: “We have always recognised the aggressive threat posed by the Iranian Quds force led by Qasem Soleimani.
“Following his death, we urge all parties to de-escalate. Further conflict is in none of our interests.”
The PM’s New Year holiday on the Caribbean island of Mustique was interrupted for a series of phone briefings throughout yesterday.
But the PM decided not to cut short his holiday after Mr Raab and Defence Secretary Ben Wallace both rushed back to London yesterday morning to handle the crisis instead.
Mr Johnson is expected back in the country by Sunday morning.
Senior officials held a rolling meeting of the government’s emergency committee COBRA through out the day to closely monitor Iran’s response to the killing.
Dubbing it “a very fragile situation”, a No10 source added: “We are watching things very closely and the PM will intervene if and when we think we can help”.