A Royal Navy destroyer is somewhere in the Red Sea region to join international efforts to deter attacks from rebel groups on cargo ships.
Over the weekend HMS Diamond arrived in the region and has joined US an French warship in an American led task force, Operation Prosperity Guardian.
The Houthi rebel group based in Yemen are Iranian backed and they are targeting ships between Yemen and Djibouti, in the Horn of Africa, in the Bab el-Mandeb Strait.
The name means the “Gate of Tears” and the shipping route accounts for between 10% and 12% of global shipping trade.
BP announced on Monday that they are suspending all oil tanker journeys through the Red Sea due to the “deteriorating security situation” as there has been attacks by militants in Yemen.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said, “These are Iran-backed rebels and we know that Iran is actively seeking to undermine stability in the region.
“We are clear eyed about that and that’s why we are acting alongside our allies to provide the necessary deterrence to protect commercial shipping.”
Grant Shapps, the Defence Secretary, said, “These illegal attacks are an unacceptable threat to the global economy, undermining regional security and are threatening to drive up fuel prices.
“This is an international problem that requires an international solution. That is why HMS Diamond has joined Operation Prosperity Guardian.
“This new task force will protect shipping and vital trade routes in the Red Sea, where large amounts of goods and oil transit through to Europe and on to the UK.
“Our Royal Navy personnel are protecting British interests in an increasingly contested part of the world.
“Their valuable contribution to upholding peace and security should not be underestimated and we thank them for their service, especially during this festive period.”
Commander Pete Evans, captain of HMS Diamond, said, “The Royal Navy has always been committed to the protection of maritime trade and ensuring that both people and shipping remain safe in international waters.
“HMS Diamond and her ship’s company stand ready to work alongside our allies to protect peace and security.”