Japan has decided to dispatch a warship and patrol planes to the Arabian Gulf, while Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will visit Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Oman, in spite of increased tensions in the Middle East.
The US Treasury Department announced additional US sanctions against Iran, in response to the state’s missile attack against a US air base in Iraq, making now trade with Iran in almost all industry sectors off limits for US, as well as non-US persons.
Following the piracy attack upon the oil dredger “Ambika” in the waters of the Niger Delta several days ago, the Nigerian navy officially informed that managed to rescue the three kidnapped sailors. Specifically, the kidnapped crewmembers were saved in an operation late Tuesday by a navy team in the southwestern coastal state of Ondo.
Singapore’s Information Fusion Centre (IFC) issued a paper focusing on the increasing tensions and attacks taking place in the Singapore Strait concerning the timeframe between November to December 2019, providing recommendations for ships sailing in the area.
Reuters reports that Brazil’s state-controlled oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA has ordered its ships to avoid the Strait of Hormuz. According to a statement, the decision was taken after consultations with Brazil’s Navy, not affect Petrobras’ fuel supply in Brazil.
After the death of the Iranian commander, Qassem Soleimani by a US drone, the US Maritime Administration (MARAD) officially published an advisory in order to warn the US ships located across the Middle East waterways of the possible Iranian maritime threats.
The injured crew member of the Greek-flagged tanker “Happy Lady” returned to Greece on 7 January, about a week after the ship became subject of a piracy attack while at Limboh port in Cameroon. The piracy attack on 31 December 2019 resulted to the abduction of eight crew members.
As tensions in the Middle East are rising, South Korean government is rethinking the option of sending naval vessels to the Strait of Hormuz by expanding the operational scope of its anti-piracy ‘Cheonghae Unit’ when the next ship is rotated to the Gulf of Aden next month.
The National Defence Authorisation Act for Fiscal Year 2020 (NDAA 2020) was signed by President Trump on December 2019, and includes several sanction-related measures mostly targeting specific European energy programmes in which Russia participates in.
Grad now informs that the number of incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships in the Strait jumped nearly fourfold during 2019, and further advises ships transiting the Singapore Strait to remain vigilant and maintain an adequate anti-piracy watch.
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