Washington, July 20: The United States announced on Friday that the US Central Command (CENTCOM) is developing a multinational maritime effort to increase surveillance of and security in key waterways in the Middle East. The effort, christened as Operation Sentinel, comes a day after the US said it destroyed an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz after it came within threatening range. Iran has denied that its drone has been downed.
The US Central Command said in a statement that it is developing a multinational maritime effort to ensure freedom of navigation in light of recent events in the Arabian Gulf region. The goal of Operation Sentinel is to promote maritime stability, ensure safe passage and de-escalate tensions in international waters throughout the Arabian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, the Bab el-Mandeb Strait (BAM) and the Gulf of Oman, it said.
CENTCOM said this maritime security framework will enable nations to provide escort to their flagged vessels while taking advantage of the cooperation of participating nations for coordination and enhanced maritime domain awareness and surveillance.