Washington hopes that interested countries will be able to escort commercial vessels flying their flag after attacks on tankers in the region.
To great ills, great remedies. The United States hopes to form an international coalition to escort merchant ships in the Gulf after several attacks on tankers attributed to Iran by Washington, said Thursday a senior US military official.
“We will try with this coalition […] to provide a naval military escort to the commercial vessels” to guarantee the freedom of navigation in this strategic area for the transport of oil, explained the general Mark Milley, before a commission of the Senate which was to confirm his appointment to the post of Chief of Staff Joint US.
- Every tanker escorted by his nation
“I think probably over the next two or three weeks, we will determine which countries have the political will to support this initiative, and then we will work directly with the military to identify the specific capabilities that will support this initiative,” he said. already explained on Tuesday General Joseph Dunford, the chief of staff inter-armed US.
According to the highest ranking American, Washington would provide “knowledge and surveillance of the maritime domain” while the US Fifth Fleet is stationed in Bahrain. And the tankers would be escorted by the nations under whose flag they sail. That’s what Donald Trump wants.
- Washington hopes a score of countries
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he hoped that more than 20 countries, including the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, would agree to work together on maritime security. This shared operation would allow the United States not to bear the cost alone, he said.
India has already sent two warships to the Gulf to conduct “maritime security operations” for Indian flag vessels. Other countries have military bases in countries in the region, such as France in Abu Dhabi or Great Britain in Bahrain.
The tension around the Strait of Ormuz, through which nearly one-third of the world’s crude oil shipped by sea passes, has peaked in recent weeks with a spiral of events, including attacks of unknown origin against tankers and the destruction of an American drone by Iran. Tehran, accused by Washington of being at the origin of tanker sabotage, denied any responsibility.