Member of British Special Boat Service (SBS) in Afghanistan

The 20 troops from the Special Boat Service have been sent after Houthi rebels attacked an oil tanker carrying two million barrels of oil as tensions have increased. The Houthi rebels are, which are backed by Iran, are fighting for an independent Yemen and they have attacked vessels as they try and cripple the Middle East oil exports.

There are concerns that any shipping damaged may threaten the UK’s fuel imports.
The UK imports 90 percent of its oil from the Middle East and often has warships patrolling in the area as part of a Nato scheme to protect the ships.

This come after the United Nations has warned that air attacks by the Saudi-Emirati coalition in Yemen are putting civilians at risk.

HMS Argyll will be deployed to the region to join the task force which will be ready to stop any attack on shipping in the area. Last week, Saudi Arabia even suspended oil shipments through the Bab al-Mandeb Strait, which connects the Gulf of Aden to the Red Sea.

The Saudi energy minister, Khalid al-Falih, said: “Saudi Arabia is temporarily halting all oil shipments through Bab al-Mandeb Strait immediately until the situation becomes clearer and the maritime transit through Bab al-Mandeb is safe”.

The oil tanker attack was a move that inflamed tensions in the region after a recent war of words between President Donald Trump and Iranian Hassan Rouhani.

A senior military source said to the Daily Mail: “This is a critical waterway for maritime imports heading to Europe, our people will be ready to board UK registered shipping and provide security assistance.

“These attacks are a bi-product of the war in Yemen and their success in making the Saudi suspend oil shipments will spur them on to make more attacks. This is a route used by UK based cruise liners, oil tankers and container vessels which we must protect.”