In an apparent reversal in policy, the UK announced on 5 August that it was joined Operation 'Sentinel', the US-led coalition to protect shipping against Iranian attacks.
"Following constructive discussions at an international conference in Bahrain last week (31 July), the UK has agreed to join an international mission [that] will see the Royal Navy working alongside the US Navy to assure the security of merchant vessels in the Strait of Hormuz," the UK government said in a statement.
It added that most of the assets that would be involved are already in the region and, while operational details are still being determined, it has offered to lead one of the mission's maritime task groups.
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