In recent months, the U.S. has dispatched thousands of additional troops, an aircraft carrier, bombers and advanced fighter jets to the region. Iran said it downed the drone after it veered into its own airspace. The U.K. government said in a statement that British navy vessel HMS Montrose had been accompanying the commercial ship, British Heritage, through the narrow Strait of Hormuz, a crucial waterway for energy shipments . “HMS Montrose was forced to position herself between the Iranian vessels and British Heritage and issue verbal warnings to the Iranian vessels, which then turned away,” the government statement said.
The HMS Montrose is currently on a three-year mission at the British navy’s support facility in Bahrain, the hub of Britain’s naval operations east of the Suez Canal. The U.S. 5th Fleet in Bahrain and Central Command declined to comment on the incident. Lloyd’s List, a publication specializing in maritime affairs, said Shell had chartered the ship from BP. The Associated Press contributed to this article.
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