US announces ‘multinational maritime effort’ to secure Gulf waters amid seizure of tankers

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The US is developing a multinational maritime effort to increase surveillance of and security in key waterways in the Middle East, Central Command said in a statement on Friday. Tensions in the Gulf increased further on Friday as Iran said it had confiscated a British-flagged tanker in the Strait of Hormuz and as US President Donald Trump insisted that the US military had downed an Iranian drone that was threatening a US naval vessel, despite denials from Tehran.

The new effort to keep Iran at bay is given the name Operation Sentinel, Central Command said. “The goal of Operation Sentinel is to promote maritime stability, ensure safe passage, and de-escalate tensions in international waters throughout the Arabian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, the Bab el-Mandeb Strait (BAM) and the Gulf of Oman.”

This maritime security framework will enable nations to provide escort to their flagged vessels while taking advantage of the cooperation of participating nations for coordination and enhanced maritime domain awareness and surveillance.”

source: News i24

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