The United Kingdom is considering to beef-up its naval operations in the Persian Gulf by deploying drones, Sky News reported on Monday.
Since the seizure of a British-flagged oil tanker by Iran on July 19, the UK has sent more warships to the region to protect shipping and has joined the U.S. call for an international coalition to keep vital waterways safe.
UK’s Royal Air Force (RAF) has several Reaper drones based in Kuwait, tasked with flying over Iraq and Syria. These assets could be re-directed if the decision is taken to deploy drones, Sky news said.
The drones will help with overhead surveillance as British warships continue to provide escort for British-flagged tankers through the Strait of Hormuz, where Iran has a considerable naval presence.
Iran’s seizure of the UK-flagged tanker was in retaliation for the detention of an Iranian vessel in Gibraltar earlier in July. Since then the Iranian ship has been freed, but the British-flagged vessel is still being kept at an Iranian port.