UK considers deploying drones to the Gulf amid Iran tensions

UK's Royal Air Force (RAF) has a number of Reaper drones based in nearby Kuwait and flying over Iraq and Syria. (File/AFP)
Updated 02 September 2019

UK considers deploying drones to the Gulf amid Iran tensions

LONDON: The United Kingdom is considering deploying British drones to the Gulf amid tensions with Iran, Sky News reported early on Monday.

UK's Royal Air Force (RAF) has a number of Reaper drones based in nearby Kuwait and flying over Iraq and Syria. These could be re-tasked if the decision to deploy drones to the Gulf is taken, Sky News said.

The drones will help with overhead surveillance as British warships are continuing to escort UK-flagged tankers through the Strait of Hormuz, according to the report.

On Friday, the UK called for broad support to tackle Gulf shipping threats after Iran seized a British-flagged oil tanker in the strait in July and more than 160 Israelis, mostly soldiers.

The captain of a Royal Navy warship based in the Gulf said his vessel has faced more than 100 confrontations Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps since the start of July, The Times reported Monday.

Commander Will King, 41, said Iran had “heavily” tested HMS Montrose almost daily, using fast attack craft boats and drones to for intimidation.


Jordan tightens penalties for violators of coronavirus rules

Updated 15 min 20 sec ago

Jordan tightens penalties for violators of coronavirus rules

  • It comes as the country battles a new wave of infections across the country

DUBAI: People who violate rules brought in to control COVID-19 in Jordan will face a fine of up to $1,410 and one year jail, as part of new policies introduced as the country struggles with rising cases, state news agency Petra has reported.

The new defense order, announced by Minister of State for Media Affairs Amjad Adaileh, details penalty amendments for first time and repeat offenders, as well as for hospitals and other establishments.

It comes as the country battles a new wave of infections across the country.

The new order also penalizes hospital administrators, health centers, and medical laboratories that withhold information about COVID-19 cases from authorities.

Although the penalties were detailed, Adaileh said more severe punishments could still be imposed against violators.

“Official and scientific health references confirm that we are in a state of societal spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Consequently, prevention is no longer an option, but rather a decision, a duty and a moral and humanitarian responsibility” he said.

The minister also announced new home quarantine rules for people coming from other countries. They were now required to isolate for two weeks, instead of one, and there will be additional tests at the end of each week.