Humza Yousaf has warned pro-independence supporters against backing the Scottish Greens or Alba at the general election.

The First Minister said neither his partners in government or Alex Salmond’s party had a chance of winning a seat at the looming Westminster poll and that a vote for either of them would hurt the SNP.

READ MORE: Greens and Alba clash ahead of Believe in Scotland pro-indy rally

His comments came after Pete Wishart, his longest-serving MP, raised concerns over the number of pro-independence candidates standing against him.

“Apparently I’m going to be opposed by an Alba and an ‘unofficial’ Alba candidate at the General Election and maybe even a Green too,” he tweeted over the weekend. “Does anybody know how this advances independence and helps keep the Tories out?”

Speaking to the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland, Mr Yousaf said: “There is only one party that’s by far the largest advocating for the cause of independence - that’s the SNP.

“So if you believe in independence and want to advance the cause of independence, I would urge people to vote for the SNP.

“We are in government with the Greens, but we are different political parties.

“We have competed for votes in different elections before, so there is a real danger of those who believe in independence voting Green and taking votes away from the SNP.

“With the greatest respect to my Green colleagues, they are not going to win a Westminster seat.

“There are a number of opportunities to advance the cause of independence to ensure there are no more Tory MPs in Scotland, and making sure Scotland’s voice is heard in Westminster.

“So voting for another pro-independence party risks splitting the vote.”

READ MORE: Yousaf: Voting Greens would be a ‘wasted vote’ despite Holyrood partnership

In the interview, Mr Yousaf also criticised the UK Government for keeping him out of the loop regarding the RAF’s involvement in defending Israel against Iran’s drone attack, launched in retaliation to a strike against the Iranian consulate in Syria.

He said he had still not received a briefing about the deployment of the jets.

“I am joining a number of voices now who are calling for regional de-escalation and we need that,” he said.

“Any regional escalation has been condemned by the Scottish Government, whether that was a strike on the Iranian consulate in Syria or indeed the attack from Iran over the weekend.

“We don’t want to see any regional escalation and therefore we need cool heads – and I think that’s the tragedy, at a time where we need the coolest of heads, I’m afraid we don’t seem to have that.”

The First Minister reiterated his position that the solution to peace in the Middle East will not be a military one, but as a result of “dialogue and political negotiation and discussion”.

Mr Yousaf was vocal before the Iranian attack that the UK should stop selling weapons to Israel which were subsequently used in its conflict in Gaza, which he described as “morally unjustifiable”.

Asked if he still felt the same following the attack at the weekend, the First Minister said: “Israel has one of the most sophisticated militaries and weaponry in the entire world.

“But it also doesn’t stop, for example, allies as we saw over the course of the weekend – the UK, the US, using their own military capability to help in defence.

“That is very different to an offensive operation, for example, that we’ve seen in Gaza that has killed tens of thousands of innocent men, women and children.”