7 Days in Dubai
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Royal Marine commandos stormed 10 Somali pirate ships and rescued 43 sailors during a four-month operation, a British naval officer told a military conference in Abu Dhabi on Monday.
Commodore Simon Ancona said that specially trained commandos, along with US allies, disrupted seven different pirate groups, with 36 pirates handed over to authorities for prosecution.
During Operation Capri, a four-month rescue operation that ended earlier this year, there were also two dhows, two whalers and six skiffs seized from pirates.
However, Ancona warned the Offshore Patrol Vessels conference at the Armed Forces Officers Club in the UAE capital that the pirate problem will continue to re-emerge as long as there is political instability and international organised crime to feed the problem.
He said there would always be “juicy” targets in the Gulf and that attacking the pirate ships was like throwing a fire blanket on a flame - it will only temporarily solve the problem as long as the fire has fuel.
Ancona is UK Maritime Component Commander in charge of the UK section of an international coalition that is trying to wipe out piracy in the Gulf.
During the three-day Abu Dhabi conference, which ends tomorrow, navy officers from the UAE, UK, US, Pakistan, Oman and other countries will be discussing the best way to tighten naval security in the Gulf.
It was revealed that the UAE will have a sate-of-the-art “stealth” ship to help in its mission to deal with pirates. The vessel, which can avoid radar, rather like the US stealth bomber, was built by the UAE-based Emirates Ship Building company and an Italian design company. The Saettia Stealth Falaj 2 will be a major weapon in the fight against pirates, smugglers and security threats from abroad.