William takes a speedboat ride through an area where shipping has been targeted by Iran

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The Duke of Cambridge on the water in a Royal Oman Navy ship during a visit to Ras Musandam Naval Base

The Duke of Cambridge took to the high seas to learn about the role of Royal Navy sailors helping to protect British-flagged ships from Iranian attacks.

William donned a life jacket for his speedboat ride along the Strait of Hormuz, where ships – including a British-flagged tanker – were targeted by Iranian troops.

On land, the Duke learned how the Royal Navy is helping its counterparts in Oman monitor the waters responsible for the passage of more than 40% of the world’s crude oil cargo.

William, who is on a four-day tour of the Middle East, met with Royal Navy officers at Oman Naval Base Ras Musandam, including Captain Richard Moss, in charge of the 90-man contingent working with Omani forces in the region.

Captain Moss said tensions in the region showed no signs of abating, adding: “The military is there, the air force is there, the navy – all integrated with their counterparts, training, advising and helping wherever possible. “

The Duke of Cambridge on the water in a Royal Oman navy ship
The Duke of Cambridge on the water aboard a Royal Oman Navy ship (Tim Rooke / PA)

He went on to say, “The Royal Navy is escorting ships in and out of the Gulf, Oman’s Navy is more present and is monitoring what is going on.

“Oman plays an important role in the maritime security of the licit trade carried out through the Strait of Hormuz. We are helping to develop the maritime capability and the capability of the Royal Air Force (of Oman), but also the surveillance so that we know what’s going on there. “

A senior palace source said: “The visit of the Duke of Cambridge is of utmost importance, standing side by side with the troops who are dedicated to themselves and their work in the area.”

William arrived in Oman after a three-day visit to Kuwait, and after being greeted by an honor guard at Khasab airport, he traveled by helicopter to the naval base to board the Al Rasikh ship. Corvettes.

The Duke of Cambridge arrives at Khasab Airport, Oman
William arrives at Khasab Airport (Tim Rooke / PA)

It is one of three ships tasked with patrolling the area for more than 100 freighters per day, which has turned into a flashpoint in recent months.

In September, a British-flagged tanker held by Iran for more than two months was released by Tehran.

The Stena Impero was seized by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in the Strait of Hormuz on July 19 on charges of violating international maritime law.

The seizure came two weeks after the Royal Marines were involved in an operation to stop an Iranian tanker, carrying £ 104million of crude oil, suspected of violating European Union sanctions against Syria.

Gibraltar then released the tanker after saying Iran had promised the ship would not go to Syria.

The maritime incidents came after months of heightened tensions in the Persian Gulf, sparked by US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal last year.

Earlier, William ended his visit to Kuwait by visiting a military base to watch British troops and their Kuwaiti counterparts storm a building during dramatic urban combat training.

The Duke watches as British and Kuwaiti troops participate in Exercise Desert Warrior at Sheikh Salim Al-Ali National Guard Camp
The Duke watches as British and Kuwaiti troops participate in Exercise Desert Warrior at Sheikh Salim Al-Ali National Guard Camp (Tim Rooke / PA)

Wearing goggles and ear muffs, the Duke had a front row seat watching some of the fruits of Exercise Desert Warrior – a four-week military event.

After his visit to the Oman naval base, William boarded an Oman Air Force Hercules plane for the capital Muscat.

He was greeted by Sayyid Haitham bin Tariq Al Said, member of the ruling family and Minister of Culture and Heritage.


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