The United Kingdom is considering deploying British drones to the Gulf amid tensions with Iran, Sky News reported early on Monday.
The RAF still has a number of Reaper drones based in nearby Kuwait – they are flying missions over Iraq and Syria but could be re-tasked if the decision is taken. The US already has surveillance aircraft operating above the Gulf and Australia is sending a P8 maritime patrol aircraft. They are part of a growing coalition being formed to protect shipping in the region.
It has also emerged that Iranian naval forces were interrogating commercial vessels in the days after the Stena Impero incident, specifically asking if they had British crew onboard. The practice, at its height in July, appears to have stopped now, but it was a chilling development and looked designed to drag the UK further into the crisis.