US Fifth Fleet: GCC Countries Begin Enhanced Maritime Security Patrols

Sunday, 19 May, 2019 - 17:30
Asharq Al-Awsat

Countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) began "enhanced security patrols" in the international waters of the Arabian Gulf area on Saturday, the US Navy's Fifth Fleet said on Sunday.

The GCC countries were "specifically increasing communication and coordination with each other in support of regional naval cooperation and maritime security operations in the Arabian Gulf," the statement said.

Also Sunday, the US Navy said it has conducted exercises in the Arabian Sea with the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier strike group in coordination with the US Marine Corps, highlighting US "lethality and agility to respond to threat," as well as to deter conflict and preserve US strategic interests.

Taking part in exercises were the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group and the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, both deployed to the US Fifth Fleet area of operations.

The Navy said the exercises, conducted Friday and Saturday, included air-to-air training and steaming in formation and maneuvering.

The White House has ordered the USS Abraham Lincoln and B-52s bombers into the region over what US officials say are Iranian threats. Tension grew when four vessels were subjected to sabotage acts near the territorial waters of the United Arab Emirates last Sunday.

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