US Central Command is developing a multinational maritime effort, called Operation Sentinel, to expand surveillance of and security in key waterways in the Middle East to ensure freedom of navigation under the recent events in the Arabian Gulf region.
The aim of Operation Sentinel is to advance 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 also enable countries to provide escort to their flagged ships, while leveraging the cooperation of participating nations for coordination and improved maritime domain awareness and surveillance.
While the United States has committed to supporting this initiative, contributions and leadership from regional and international partners will be required to succeed
the US Central Command pointed out.
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US officials continue to cooperate with allies and partners in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East on the details and capabilities needed for Operation Sentinel to ensure freedom of navigation in the region and protect crucial shipping lanes.
This initiative comes after Iranian authorities seized Stena Impero, a British-flagged, Swedish-owned oil tanker, while sailing through the Strait of Hormuz. The incident spiked the tensions in the area, as the UK condemned this act as ‘hostile’, denying Tehran’s argument that it seized the vessel because it was involved in an accident.