Photo Credit: Brian Burnell
HMS Duncan, Type 45 air-defense destroyer, inbound to Portsmouth Naval Base on June 17 2016

A second warship from the British Royal Navy has arrived in the Gulf to protect UK vessels from the piracy of Iran.

The British-flagged vessel Stena Impero, was seized while in the Gulf of Oman on July 19 by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commandos, who also temporarily detained a second one, the MV Mesdar, as well. Most of the crew of the Stena Impero and the vessel itself are still being held.

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The HMS Duncan joined the HMS Montrose on Sunday in its mission to escort ships sailing under the flag of Great Britain through the Strait of Hormuz.

HMS Duncan is a Type 45 Destroyer described by the Royal Navy, and quoted by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) as “among the most advanced warships ever built.”

Thus far, the HMS Montrose has escorted 35 vessels through the strait, according to the UK Ministry of Defense.

“Freedom of navigation in the Strait of Hormuz is vital not just to the UK, but also our international partners and allies,” said Defense Secretary Ben Wallace in a statement. “Merchant ships must be free to travel lawfully and trade safely, anywhere in the world.”

Wallace added the Royal Navy would continue with its mission to safeguard British vessels “until this is a reality.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.