The United Kingdom has reportedly decided to send 100 marines to the Persian Gulf region in order to protect its military and merchant vessels after a recent incident in the Gulf of Oman, local media said on Sunday.
According to The Sunday Times, marines from 42 Commando based near the city of Plymouth will form the Special Purpose Task Group 19 that will patrol the Persian Gulf region from the UK naval base in Bahrain, which opened last year.
On 13 June, two oil tankers, the Panama-registered Kokuka Courageous, operated by Japan’s Kokuka Sangyo Co, and Marshall Islands-flagged Front Altair, owned by Norway’s Frontline, were hit by blasts in the Gulf of Oman, near the Strait of Hormuz.
The United States claimed that Iran had attacked the vessels, yet has not provided any substantial evidence to support its claims. On Friday, the UK Foreign Office also accused Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps of attacking tankers in the Gulf of Oman.
Tehran firmly rejected US accusations as baseless, accusing Washington of adopting “sabotage diplomacy” against the Islamic Republic. Shortly after the blasts, Iran rescue workers rescued the sailors who were on board of the tankers.