UK's navy to escort ships through Strait of Hormuz
THE UK's Royal Navy is preparing to accompany ships through the Strait of Hormuz amid a flareup in Middle East tensions, in the wake of the US President's order to carry out the assassination of Iran's top general Qassem Suleimani
THE UK's Royal Navy is preparing to accompany ships through the Strait of Hormuz amid a flareup in Middle East tensions, in the wake of the US President's order to carry out the assassination of Iran's top general Qassem Suleimani.
The move to protect UK-flagged ships came as the UK's Foreign Office was strengthening its travel warnings across the region as fears of all-out war heightened.
Tehran has vowed a harsh retaliation, and the US has since dispatched 3,000 extra troops to Kuwait, reported UK's The Guardian.
Defence secretary Ben Wallace is continuing to urge 'all parties' to de-escalate the situation, but appeared to give some backing to the US for the first time as he announced the shipping plan.
He said he has instructed the HMS Montrose frigate and the HMS Defender destroyer to return to the key oil passage imminently, adding: 'The government will take all necessary steps to protect our ships and citizens at this time.'
After speaking to his US counterpart Mark Esper, Mr Wallace said American forces have been 'repeatedly attacked by Iranian-backed militia' in Iraq during 'the last few months'.
'General Suleimani has been at the heart of the use of proxies to undermine neighbouring sovereign nations and target Iran's enemies,' Mr Wallace added. 'Under international law the United States is entitled to defend itself against those posing an imminent threat to their citizens.'