US, Israel, UAE, Bahrain launch joint naval drills in Red Sea

The drills observe final yr’s normalisation agreements between Israel, Bahrain the UAE and different former enemies.

The United States, Bahrain, Israel and the United Arab Emirates have begun a joint naval coaching within the Red Sea, the US Navy introduced.

The five-day train is the primary event the 4 international locations have publicly acknowledged shared maritime drills and comes after the UAE and Bahrain normalised relations with Israel final yr.

The coaching focuses on maritime “visit, board, search and seizure tactics” and can “enhance interoperability” between the 4 collaborating navies, the US Navy’s fifth Fleet stated in an announcement on Thursday.

“It is exciting to see US forces training with regional partners to enhance our collective maritime security capabilities,”  Vice Admiral Brad Cooper, the commander of the US Naval Forces Central Command, stated in an announcement.

“Maritime collaboration helps safeguard freedom of navigation and the free flow of trade, which are essential to regional security and stability.”

The Red Sea hyperlinks the Gulf of Aden to the Suez Canal, making it one of many world’s key oil delivery routes.

The coaching underscores the shifting dynamics of the area following normalisation agreements between a number of Arab states and Israel in the course of the administration of former President Donald Trump.

The international locations had beforehand informally coordinated, significantly with reference to their shared regional foe, Iran.

In October, Israel hosted its largest-ever air pressure workout routines. Both the US and the UAE participated together with France and Germany. While the UAE plane didn’t fly in the course of the drills, the Emirates’ air pressure chief travelled to Israel to watch.

Scuffles at sea

Israel and Iran have repeatedly accused one another of being chargeable for assaults on their ships within the area.

In April, an Iranian cargo ship, believed to be a base for the paramilitary Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), was hit by an explosion within the Red Sea. US media later reported the incident was Israeli retaliation for earlier incidents.

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Weeks earlier, on March 25, a cargo ship owned by an Israeli firm was broken by a missile within the Arabian Sea in what was suspected to be an Iranian assault, a senior Israeli safety official stated on the time.

The US and Saudi Arabia, in the meantime, have accused Iran of utilizing the waters of the Gulf to ferry weapons to Houthi rebels combating in opposition to Saudi Arabia-backed forces in Yemen.

Earlier this yr, the US Navy stated it fired warning photographs throughout two separate encounters with Iranian vessels within the Gulf.

Tehran accused the US of making an attempt to “steal” its oil from a Venezuelan tanker final month within the Sea of Oman. The US has disputed the declare, saying it was monitoring the incident. The Iranians seized the ship on October 24, and on Wednesday throughout a ceremony lauding the officers who carried out the operation known as the US account a lie.