Thu. Nov 21st, 2019

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US launches naval mission; Iran protests attack on ships

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US-led Persian Gulf naval coalition launches naval operations in Bahrain

The International Maritime Security Construct (IMSC), a US-led military
coalition in the Persian Gulf, has officially launched its naval operations
supposedly seeking to protect shipping lanes near Iranian territorial waters.

The US Fifth Fleet based in Bahrain announced that the IMSC, formerly known as Operational Sentinel, had opened its command center in the country on Thursday.

Speaking about the IMSC, commander of the US Naval Forces in the Middle East Vice Admiral Jim Malloy said that its operations will continue “as long as the threat looms,” without further elaborating on the supposed “threat.”

“We employ capable warships on patrol, but there is no offensive line of effort in this construct, other than a commitment to defend each other if attacked,” he said.

The development comes nearly five months after Washington announced that it was seeking to form a “multinational maritime effort” in response to a series of mysterious explosions targeting vessels in the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman earlier this year.

The US and Saudi Arabia were quick to blame Iran for the incidents without providing conclusive evidence.

US-led Persian Gulf naval coalition launches naval operations in Bahrain

Iran has roundly rejected the accusations, emphasizing its commitment to
regional maritime security and its importance in safeguarding international trade.

Tehran has hinted that the attacks may be part of a scenario orchestrated
by Washington and its regional allies in a bid to rally international pressure against Tehran.

Being widely seen as an anti-Iran coalition, many of Washington’s key allies, such as Germany, France and Japan have also rejected Washington’s call to take part in the operation.

Despite Washington and its allies’ bid to ratchet up pressure against Tehran,
Iran has also sought to resolve regional tensions by proposing the Hormuz Peace Endeavor (HOPE).

The initiative seeks to guarantee peace in the Persian Gulf region by
encouraging cooperation between regional states and rejecting foreign intervention.

In a related development on Tuesday, Kuwait said that it had passed on a message from Tehran to Bahrain and Saudi Arabia regarding the situation in the Persian Gulf without further elaborating on the letter’s content.

” Syria News “

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