British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace announced on Saturday that the United Kingdom was deploying two warships to the Persian Gulf to protect British-flagged ships.
“I have instructed preparations for HMS Montrose and HMS Defender to return to accompanying duties of Red Ensign Shipping,” Wallace said, according to CNN.
“The government will take all necessary steps to protect our ships and citizens at this time.”
The actions came against a backdrop of rising tensions in the Middle East following President Donald Trump's decision to assassinate Iranian Gen. Qassim Suleimani in Iraq.
The ships will escort UK-flagged ships through the Strait of Hormuz.