The United States is working on a multinational operation to protect the main shipping routes in the Middle East, the Central Command (Centcom) announced.
“The United States Central Command is developing a multinational maritime effort, Operation Sentinel, to increase the vigilance and safety of key waterways in the Middle East in order to guarantee free navigation in light of recent events in the region of the Persian Gulf, “reads the statement.
The Saudi king approves the deployment of US troops in the country, the objective of Operation Centinel, according to the text, is “to promote maritime stability, ensure safe passage, and reduce tensions in international waters along the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz, the Straits of Mandeb and the Gulf of Oman ”
“While the United States is committed to supporting this initiative, contributions and the leadership of regional and international partners will be required to succeed,” they said.
Washington continues to coordinate “with allies and partners in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, the details and capabilities necessary for Operation Sentry to allow free navigation in the region, and protect vital navigation routes,” the note added.
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Centcom’s announcement comes after the Iranian Islamic Revolution Guardians stopped two oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz, the British-flagged Stena Impero, and the Masdar, under the Liberian flag, although the latter was released several hours later, and it was able to continue its journey.
The British ship, accused by Iran of violating international laws, deviated from its route to the Iranian coast and “is no longer under the control of the crew,” according to the operating company.
23 crewmembers aboard the Stena Impero, including three Russian citizens, as well as nationals from India, Latvia, and the Philippines, have been detained.