UK to send Royal Marines to Persian Gulf to protect British ships

As the pressure increases after Norwegian and Japanese oil tankers were attacked last week, Britain has joined the US, Saudi Arabia and others in accusing Iran of carrying out the attacks.

By ALEX WINSTON
June 16, 2019 12:51
1 minute read.
An Iranian navy boat tries to stop the fire of an oil tanker after it was attacked in the Gulf

An Iranian navy boat tries to stop the fire of an oil tanker after it was attacked in the Gulf of Oman. (photo credit: TASNIM NEWS AGENCY/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)

 
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The UK is to send 100 Royal Marines to the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf to protect British ships and other interests in the region, as the fallout from the attack on two tankers last week escalates, The Times reported.

As the pressure increases after Norwegian and Japanese oil tankers were attacked last week, Britain has joined the US, Saudi Arabia and others in accusing Iran of carrying out the attacks.


Britain's Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt on Friday said there was no reason not to believe the United States' assessment that Iran was responsible for the attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday.

In response, Iran summoned the British ambassador to Tehran on Saturday and condemned Britain's stance on the current tensions.

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn tweeted on Saturday that "Britain should act to ease tensions in the Gulf, not fuel a military escalation." and added that "without credible evidence about the tanker attacks, the government's rhetoric will only increase the threat of war."


Hunt responded to Corbyn's tweet by questioning why the Labour leader can "never bring himself to back British allies, British intelligence, or British interests?"

Thursday's attacks were the second time in little over a month that an oil tankers have been attacked in the region. On May 12 four ships were sabotaged in the Gulf of Oman, two from the UAE and one from Saudi Arabia and Norway.

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