Britain sends Royal Navy ship to Gulf for security operations

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain has sent the Royal Navy ship Diamond to help bolster regional security in the Gulf and the Indian Ocean, the government said on Thursday.

The Diamond will “work to deter escalations from malign and hostile actors who seek to disrupt maritime security”, Britain said, conducting operations to ensure freedom of navigation, reassure merchant vessels and ensure the safe flow of trade.

The Galaxy Leader cargo ship was seized by Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthis in the southern Red Sea earlier this month.

“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,” British Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said.

Britain already has the frigate Lancaster, three mine hunters and a Royal Fleet Auxiliary support ship in the region.

(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; editing by Grant McCool)