LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s navy will accompany UK-flagged ships through the Strait of Hormuz to supply security after the U.S. killing of Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani irritated tensions in the region.
FILE PHOTO: Britain’s Defence Minister Ben Wallace leaves your houses of Parliament in London, Britain, October 28,2019 REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Britain’s defence minister, Ben Wallace, ordered the HMS Montrose and HMS Protector to prepare to return to escort tasks in the major oil shipping path as Prime Minister Boris Johnson came in for criticism for his silence over the killing.
Media reports have actually said Johnson is on holiday in the Caribbean.
” The federal government will take all essential actions to safeguard our ships and residents at this time,” Wallace said in a declaration.
Britain was forced to safeguard its ships through the world’s crucial shipping path last year after Iranian commandos took a British-flagged tanker in the Strait.
British forces had actually formerly captured an Iranian oil tanker near Gibraltar that was implicated of breaking sanctions on Syria. The killing of Soleimani has actually raised worries that tankers could be targeted again.
Wallace stated he had actually spoken with his U.S. equivalent, Defense Secretary Mark Esper, and advised restraint on all sides.
” Under worldwide law, the United States is entitled to protect itself versus those posturing an impending danger to their citizens,” he added.
Jeremy Corbyn, the outgoing leader of the opposition Labour Celebration, stated he had actually composed to the British prime minister to ask what was being done to protect UK nationals and others in the area.
” Boris Johnson ought to have instantly cut short his holiday to handle a problem that might have grave repercussions for the UK and the world,” he said in a statement.
Reporting by Kate Holton; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Paul Simao