Iran Captures 15 British Sailors in Iraqi Waters!
Yesterday, the Iranian regime was practicing war games…
Today they took it up a notch!
British Commodore Nick Lambert, commander of the HMS Cornwall, describes the capture of the British sailors:
(1 Minute -FOX New)
This incident occurred around 9 AM this morning in Iraqi waters. The British sailors were acting under direction of the Iraqi authorities to patrol the waters.
The Guardian reports that the British sailors were captured while doing a routine inspection in Iraqi waters:
Fifteen Royal Navy sailors have been seized by Iranian warships in Iraqi territorial waters, the Ministry of Defence said.
Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett has summoned the Iranian ambassador in London to demand their immediate release, a spokesman said.
“The boarding party had completed a successful inspection of a merchant ship when they and their two boats were surrounded and escorted by Iranian vessels into Iranian territorial waters,” a spokesman said.
“We are urgently pursuing this matter with the Iranian authorities at the highest level and on the instructions of the Foreign Secretary, the Iranian ambassador has been summoned to the Foreign Office.
“The British Government is demanding the immediate and safe return of our people and equipment.”
The personnel seized were from the Type 22 frigate HMS Cornwall.
Of course, this is all happening while democrats are voting to remove US troops from the area.
HMS Cornwall is the first Type 22 Batch 3 Frigate, designed to detect and destroy submarines at long range using bow mounted ‘active’ and towed-array ‘passive’ sonars, plus torpedoes fired from a triple tubes or dropped from the ship’s helicopter. She is the first RN ship to be fitted with Harpoon anti-ship missiles, giving her an extensive ‘over the horizon’ anti-surface capability.
The AP reports that the Brits were captured by Iranian Revolutionary Gurads members:
The United States, Britain’s chief ally, has built up its naval forces in the Gulf in a show of strength directed at Iran. Two American carriers, including the USS John C. Stennis — backed by a strike group with more than 6,500 sailors and Marines and with additional minesweeping ships — arrived in the region in recent months, ratcheting up tensions with Iran.
A Pentagon official said the Britons were in two inflatable boats from the frigate H.M.S. Cornwall during a routine smuggling investigation, said the official, who spoke on condition on anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about the incident.
He said the confrontation happened as the British contingent was traveling along the boundary of territorial waters between Iran and Iraq. They were detained by the Revolutionary Guard’s navy after inspecting a merchant ship believed to be smuggling cars, he said.
A fisherman who said he was with a group of Iraqis from the southern city of Basra fishing in Iraqi waters in the northern area of the Gulf said he saw the Iranian seizure. The fisherman declined to be identified because of security concerns.
“Two boats, each with a crew of six to eight multinational forces, were searching Iraqi and Iranian boats Friday morning in Ras al-Beesha area in the northern entrance of the Arab Gulf, but big Iranian boats came and took the two boats with their crews to the Iranian waters.”
This is not the first time that the Iranians have captured British sailors in the waters between Iran and Iraq. 8 British sailors were captured in June 2004 and held for 3 days by Iranian Guards members.
AllahPundit at HotAir has video from the last time British sailors went through this assault by the Iranians.
Strata-Sphere calls it a stupid game of seizure.
Blue Crab Boulevard calls it an open act of war.
The Jawa Report: Another Iranian Hostage Crisis!
Kamangir has the Iranian version on the latest naval training exercises.
Update: The Iranian ambassador in London has arrived at Britain’s Foreign Office.
Reuters reported that: “Rasoul Movahedian is due to meet Foreign Office permanent undersecretary Peter Ricketts. British officials said Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett was out of London in her central England constituency, but keeping a close eye on the meeting.”
Oil rose to a three month high today to $62 per gallon after news of this international incident spread.
Maybe John Bolton was right…
Bolton said yesterday that only force will deter Iran and North Korea from developing nuclear weapons.