US plans coalition of allies to patrol waters off Iran and Yemen
The United States aims to build a military coalition to “ensure freedom of navigation both in the Straits of Hormuz and the Bab al-Mandab” a US military official said on Tuesday.
The Strait of Hormuz, located between the south of Iran and the Arabian peninsula, connects the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. Iran has at various times threatened to cut off the Strait of Hormuz. In order to prevent this from happening amidst mounting US-Iran tensions, the US wants to monitor the area using command ships as well as to cooperate with allies on escorting commercial vessels along the route.
The Strait of Bab al-Mandab, located between the Yemen and the Horn of Africa, connects the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. The focus on protecting this strait is likely connected to Iran’s backing of Houthi rebels in the Yemeni civil war.