UK sends SECOND warship to the Gulf as tensions soar in Middle East

HMs Diamond

HMS Diamond has been sent to the Gulf

PA
Charlie Peters

By Charlie Peters


Published: 30/11/2023

- 08:18

Updated: 30/11/2023

- 09:46

HMS Diamond - a Type 45 destroyer - is en route

The UK is to send a second warship to the Gulf, amid fears of missile escalation in the Middle East.

HMS Diamond - a Type 45 destroyer - is joining the frigate HMS Lancaster in the Persian Gulf.


Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said the addition of a destroyer would strengthen deterrence in the region at a perilous time.

"It is critical that the UK bolsters our presence in the region to keep Britain and our interests safe from a more volatile and contested world."

Grant Shapps

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said the deployment of HMS Diamond would send a 'clear message'

PA

Shapps said the addition of another warship would send a poignant message to Iran and its allies.

He added: "Today’s deployment will strengthen the Royal Navy’s patrols, help to keep critical trade routes open and prove that our commitment to regional security not only endures but enhances."

The additional warship will protect against drone threats and carry out operations to ensure freedom of navigation in the region.

As well as the HMS Lancaster, it would also join three mine hunters and a Royal Fleet Auxiliary support ship stationed in the Middle Eastern Gulf.

The fleet forms part of Operation Kipion, which is a long-standing UK air and maritime presence in the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean.

The news comes after three people were killed and six were wounded, two of them seriously, in a terror shooting attack at the entrance to Jerusalem on Thursday morning.

Police said that the terrorists who opened fire had been "neutralised" by security forces and an armed civilian.

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At around 7.40 am. two Palestinian gunmen got out of a car at the main entrance to the capital and began shooting at civilians waiting at a bus stop, police have said.

The two Palestinian terrorists who carried out the shooting attack at the entrance to Jerusalem are Hamas members, according to the Shin Bet [Israeli MI5].

It is understood that they had been previously jailed for terror activity.

The shooters, armed with a M-14 assault rifles and a handgun, were named as brothers Murad Namr, 38, and Ibrahim Namr, 30.

The oldest brother was jailed between 2010 and 2020 for planning terror attacks under direction of terror elements in the Gaza Strip.

\u200bPrime Minister Rishi Sunak welcomes Ulf Kristersson, Prime Minister of Sweden, aboard HMS Diamond in October

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak welcomes Ulf Kristersson, Prime Minister of Sweden, aboard HMS Diamond in October

Getty

The younger was jailed in 2014 for terror activity, its nature undisclosed.

Philip Ingram, a former senior military intelligence officer, told GB News: "With the Iranian backed Houthis in Yemen seizing ships with Israeli links it is clear the international community needs more warships in the area to deter further attacks and if necessary take them back like the US did when it recaptured the hijacked Israeli owned Zodiac Tanker recently, off the Yemen coast.

"The wider international involvement in the region is not to help Israel in its war with Hamas but is to ensure stability, bring confidence to other regional leaders and more fundamentally deter what could be a clear path to a World War should the conflict become a regional one.

"The economic impact globally could easily see polarisation of different factions, linking the war in Europe between Russia and Ukraine, with a Middle East Regional conflict that could spread to SE Asia.

"The stakes have never been higher."

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