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US-led Gulf Naval Coalition Launches Ops in Bahrain

US-led Gulf Naval Coalition Launches Ops in Bahrain
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By Staff, Agencies

The International Maritime Security Construct [IMSC], a US-led military coalition in the Gulf, officially launched its operations allegedly seeking to protect shipping lanes near Iranian territorial waters.

The US Fifth Fleet based in Bahrain announced that the IMSC, formerly known as Operational Sentinel, had opened its command center in the country on Thursday.

Speaking about the IMSC, commander of the US Naval Forces in the Middle East Vice Admiral Jim Malloy said that its operations will continue "as long as the threat looms," without further elaborating on the supposed "threat."

"We employ capable warships on patrol, but there is no offensive line of effort in this construct, other than a commitment to defend each other if attacked," he said.

The development comes nearly five months after Washington announced that it was seeking to form a "multinational maritime effort" in response to a series of mysterious explosions targeting vessels in the Gulf and the Sea of Oman earlier this year.

The US and Saudi Arabia were quick to blame Iran for the incidents without providing conclusive evidence.

Iran has roundly rejected the accusations, emphasizing its commitment to regional maritime security and its importance in safeguarding international trade.

Tehran has hinted that the attacks may be part of a scenario orchestrated by Washington and its regional allies in a bid to rally international pressure against Tehran.

Being widely seen as an anti-Iran coalition, many of Washington's key allies, such as Germany, France and Japan also rejected Washington's call to take part in the operation.

Among Washington's Western allies, only Australia, Britain and Albania have pledged to deploy forces along with participating regional countries Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.