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UK To Deploy Marines To Protect British Ships In The Persian Gulf

PortandTerminal.com, June 17, 2019

The United Kingdom will send elite forces to the Gulf of Oman to protect its warships amid rising tensions with Iran, according to England’s The Sunday Times.

The Royal Navy plans to deploy 100 marines to the Persian Gulf to protect British ships after a series of attacks on vessels, the Telegraph newspaper reports.

The Marines will form a rapid reaction force called the Special Purpose Task Group 19, according to reports.

It will operate from Navy ships patrolling the region from Britain’s £40m ($59m) naval base in Bahrain, which opened last year. The task group will protect the Navy’s ships as well as merchant vessels.

Plans for the deployment began several weeks ago, and a security committee is expected to meet this week to discuss the matter, the paper reported without revealing the source of information.

Attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday have heightened fears of more assaults on commercial vessels. Four oil vessels were targeted off the coast of the United Arab Emirates last month. The U.S. deployed naval and air force assets to the region in response to the elevated risk.

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