Rishi Sunak has condemned “in the strongest terms” Iran’s “reckless attack” against Israel after Tehran said it had launched dozens of drones in what threatens to become a major regional escalation.

The Prime Minister said the UK will “continue to stand up for Israel’s security and that of all our regional partners” as reports in Israel suggested RAF and US warplanes had shot down some Israel-bound drones over the Iraq-Syria border area.

Officials in Jerusalem said the drones, which Iraqi security sources said were seen flying over the country, would take hours to reach their targets.

It brings the two archenemies to the brink of all-out conflict as decade-old tensions in the Middle East remain inflamed over the war in Gaza, with the US vowing to back Israel.

Iran had been threatening to attack since an air strike, which it blamed on Israel, last week killed two Iranian generals in Syria.

Benjamin Netanyahu’s government has not commented on that attack.

According to reports, RAF Typhoons from Akrotiri, Cyprus, have been deployed to help protect Israel.

In a statement on Saturday night, Mr Sunak said: “I condemn in the strongest terms the Iranian regime’s reckless attack against Israel.

“These strikes risk inflaming tensions and destabilising the region.

“Iran has once again demonstrated that it is intent on sowing chaos in its own backyard.

“The UK will continue to stand up for Israel’s security and that of all our regional partners, including Jordan and Iraq.

“Alongside our allies, we are urgently working to stabilise the situation and prevent further escalation. No-one wants to see more bloodshed.”

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer condemned the “unacceptable attacks”.

In a statement, he said: “We condemn the Iranian regime’s decision to subject Israelis to these unacceptable attacks.

“The international community has been united in urging restraint and we regret that yet again Iran has chosen a different, dangerous path.

“Our thoughts are with all those in the region who want peace and security, not the fear and instability being generated by Iran.

“We continue to stand up for Israel’s security and that of our other partners in the region, including Jordan and Iraq. We support all measures designed to restore calm as we must do all we can to prevent a wider regional war.”

US President Joe Biden has pledged to stand with Israel against Iran, the White House said.

Tehran has largely avoided directly attacking Israel, despite its targeted killings of nuclear scientists and sabotage campaigns on Iran’s atomic sites, instead targeting Israeli or Jewish-linked sites through proxy forces.

But it vowed retaliation for what it said was an Israeli strike on its Damascus consulate on April 1.