The United Kingdom has 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 reported on Sunday.
On Thursday, two oil tankers, Kokuka Courageous and Front Altair, suffered explosions and fires in the Gulf of Oman near the Strait of Hormuz. The cause of the incident remains unknown, yet the United States and the United Kingdom have accused Iran of attacking the tankers.
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 Friday, the UK Foreign Office accused Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps of attacking tankers in the Gulf of Oman. A day earlier, similar remarks were made by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Tehran has refuted the accusations, while Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov warned against attempts to blame Iran before any thorough investigation into the incident.