The mission of the naval vessel HNLMS De Ruyter in the Strait of Hormuz has come to an end. It was there the last few months to guarantee the free passage of shipping. The frigate has begun its return journey.

The ship was part of a small European mission under French command. The reason for its deployment was a number of attacks last year on oil tankers in the area, which is crucial for the oil trade.

According to the Americans, Iran was behind the attacks, but Tehran denied it. The Americans also have a maritime mission in the area, but the Dutch Government deliberately opted for a European mission, because the Americans were aiming at putting maximum pressure on Iran. In addition to the military deployment, European countries are also trying to reduce tensions in the region by diplomatic means.

According to the French, the mission also shows that Europe is willing to guarantee its own security. Denmark intends to send a ship to take over the tasks of the Dutch. Greeks and Belgians also support the mission.

The air defense and command frigate with two hundred crew members not only contributed to safe passage, but also brought all maritime activities in the Strait of Hormuz and the surrounding area into focus. There were no incidents in recent months.

Due to the corona crisis, the crew’s deployment went differently than normal. During port visits, contact was kept to a minimum and the crew was not allowed off the ship.

Source: ANP

Picture: French frigate Forbin (D620) on the left next to HNLMS De Ruyter during the mission in the Strait of Hormuz (by Dutch Ministry of Defence).