A European-led mission for protection of Gulf waters expected to operate soon will be hosted by a French naval base in UAE, France’s defense minister said on Sunday. The decision came in the wake of the subsequent tanker attacks earlier this year in the region which triggered global diplomatic tension.
Strait of Hormuz
The US Navy stated that on Tuesday, November 19, the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group (ABECSG) completed a scheduled transit through the Strait of Hormuz and into the Arabian Gulf.
Nautilus International has welcomed a reduction in risk levels by the UK for vessels transiting the Strait of Hormuz. Namely, on November 7 the Warlike Operations Area Committee (WOAC) agreed to downgrade the Strait of Hormuz from a High-Risk Area.
The US Central Command announced the opening of Coalition Task Force (CTF) Sentinel’s new command center at Naval Support Activity, Bahrain, on November 7. The new coalition aims to “ensure freedom of navigation and free flow of commerce in international waters throughout the Arabian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, the Bab el-Mandeb Strait and the Gulf of Oman.”
The tension in the Strait of Hormuz over the last months continues to pose serious threats to commercial vessels. Today, Thursday, November 7, a UK Chamber of Shipping spokesperson called for a de-escalation of tension in the Strait of Hormuz, adding that UK flagged ships will soon transit the area without close Royal Naval protection.
The US Navy reports that marines and sailors from US Central Command’s Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team (FASTCENT) provided the MSC-chartered roro Liberty with an on-board security presence, during the vessel’s voyage through the Strait Of Hormuz, following the tensions that have spiked in the area.
After the Iranian oil tanker Sabiti was hit by missiles in the Red Sea, last week, off Saudi Arabia’s coast, leakage of cargo has been stopped. The ship is now heading for the Gulf, while the incident has not been independently confirmed yet, and there is no claim of responsibility.
An Iranian oil tanker was hit, allegedly by missiles, in the Red Sea, off Saudi Arabia’s coast on Friday, October 11, at around 5 am local time (02:00 GMT), as local Iranian media reported. Iranian media have published images from the vessel after the attack, but the vessel shows no signs of damage; Yet, the signs of the hull are not in the frame.
The Royal Navy has successfully guided over seven million tonnes of British shipping, which is the equivalent of almost 20 wartime convoys, through the Strait of Hormuz since the start of its maritime security commission in July.
Iran seized another vessel in the Gulf for allegedly smuggling 250,000 litres of diesel fuel to the United Arab Emirates, according to Iran’s semi-official Students News agency ISNA. The ship was detained near Iran’s Greater Tunb island in the Persian Gulf.
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