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Mon 20 May 2019 09:56 AM

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GCC countries launch 'enhanced security patrols' in the Arabian Gulf

U.S. Navy also carried out a military exercise involving the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier

GCC countries launch 'enhanced security patrols' in the Arabian Gulf
USS Abraham Lincoln

Countries across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) area “commenced enhanced security patrols” in international waters around the region from Saturday, according to a statement by the US Navy.

“Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations commenced enhanced security patrols across the region in international waters May 18, specifically increasing communication and coordination with each other in support of regional naval cooperation and maritime security operations in the Arabian Gulf,” the Bahrain-based US Navy’s Fifth Fleet said in a post on its official Facebook page.

“As agreed to last week in a meeting at US 5th Fleet headquarters in Manama, Bahrain, ships of the GCC - both navies and coast guards - are working in tight coordination with each other and the United States Navy,” the statement added.

In an earlier statement on Sunday, the US Navy said it had carried out a military exercise in the Arabian Gulf at the weekend involving the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier.

“The operations highlight the ability of the US Navy to quickly mobilize assets and aggregate different platforms with a variety of operational capabilities,” the US Fifth Fleet said.


An MV-22 Osprey from Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM-264) prepares to land on the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72). (Image: www.navy.mil)

The announcements comes amidst heightened tensions between Iran and the US Earlier this month, four ships, including two Saudi oil tankers, were damaged in attacks off the coast of the United Arab Emirates. This led the Lloyd's of London insurance firm on Friday to widen its list of areas in and around the Gulf posing "enhanced risk for marine insurers".

The latest events in the Arabian Sea come as the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) last week issued a warning that “heightened military activities” pose an “inadvertent risk” to commercial aircraft flying over the region.