Shortly after Iraq
invaded Iran on 22 Sep 1980, a threat to international (and particularly, British) shipping was recognised and the UK government directed the Royal Navy
to establish a standing patrol to protect commercial sea traffic in the area. On 7 Oct 1980, the Armilla Patrol, operating in the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman
By May 1984 Iran
had escalated attacks on commercial shipping, which served to intensify political attention on the area and the UN became involved. After the USS Stark
(part of the US 5th Fleet, escorting shipping in the area) was fired on in May 1987, the UN demanded a cease-fire through SCR598 but it was not until 20 Aug 1988 that both sides agreed.
During the 1991
Gulf Wars, the Patrol was re-inforced and it is still operating. From the 1991 Gulf War, the area of operation was expanded to include the Red Sea. It has been renamed Operation Kipion since 2011.