UK: Royal Navy to deploy special forces to Gulf to protect British ships after Iranian attacks

UK: Royal Navy to deploy special forces to Gulf to protect British ships after Iranian attacks

The Royal Navy will deploy 100 Marines to the Persian Gulf to protect British ships after Iran attacked two oil tankers, raising the threat of war.

Elite soldiers from 42 Commando will leave their Plymouth barracks to form Special Purpose Task Group 19, deploying on Royal Navy ships from Britain’s new Bahraini base.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt warned there would be ‘unintended but catastrophic’ consequences if Iran was proven to be behind Thursday’s twin attacks.

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The Marines will protect against small vessels, mines and naval missiles which might be targeted at Royal Navy boats or British merchant ships.

Calling Iran “a nation of terror,” President Donald Trump on Friday said the Islamic regime is responsible for recent attacks on oil tankers near the strategic Strait of Hormuz.

While Iran has denied being involved in the attacks, U.S. Central Command released footage which shows Iran’s Revolutionary Guard removing an unexploded limpet mine from the Japanese-owned tanker Kokuka Courageous.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said London had concluded Iran was ‘almost certainly’ responsible for Thursday’s tanker attacks.

Iran summoned the British ambassador to complain about its ‘unacceptable stance,’ ISNA news agency reported.