A journalist from the Independent reported from on board the HMS Cornwall yesterday – the ship where the 15 sailors currently being held by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard were stationed.
Terry Judd filed a story yesterday from on board the ship which was conducting a search for terrorists and smugglers in the Shatt al-Arab waterway between Iran and Iraq. She was on board the ship to report on the progress of the coalition force’s recent takeover of responsibility of the waters.
Judd said in today’s story: “I was accompanying a Royal Marine patrol as it cruised Iraqi waters looking for suicide bombers trying to attack the two oil platforms that export 90 per cent of the country’s oil. The patrol was also hunting smugglers bringing arms and contraband into the country. “Until this point, our only contact with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards had been polite, but stiff, contacts over the radio.”
“All changed dramatically yesterday morning when 15 Royal Marines and Navy personnel, including one woman, approached a Japanese merchant ship suspected of smuggling second-hand cars into the country without paying tax. Suddenly, their inflatables were surrounded by boats of the Revolutionary Guards and they were overpowered and taken into Iranian national waters.”
Judd said she had been out on patrol with the group only hours before their capture, as they conducted a “hearts and minds” operation, talking to local fishermen.