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UK-flagged vessels to get Royal Navy escort in Strait of Hormuz

British-flagged commercial
vessels will again be accompanied by Royal Navy ships in the Strait of Hormuz,
the UK’s defense ministry said.

The move comes amid escalating
tensions in the region following the assassination of Qassem Soleimani, an
Iranian military commander, by the United States on January 3, 2020.

As announced by Ben Wallace, UK’s
Secretary of State for Defence, two Royal Navy ships, HMS Montrose and HMS
Defender, would protect the UK shipping in this key oil tanker route.

“I have instructed preparations
for HMS Montrose and HMS Defender to return to accompanying duties of Red
Ensign Shipping in the Strait of Hormuz,” Wallace said.

“The Government will take all
necessary steps to protect our ships and citizens at this time,” he added.

In August last year, the UK and
the US revealed plans to form a new international security mission to protect
vessels in and around the Strait of Hormuz. 

The two navies decided to work
together as they had seen a growing threat to commercial shipping in the
shipping lane.

The decision came after attacks
on several tankers and the seizure of the British-flagged oil tanker Stena
Impero in July 2019. 

The tanker, which was captured by Iran’s Islamic
Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) for the alleged breaching of the international
maritime law, was released two months later.
World Maritime News 

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