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US setting up maritime defence system in Middle East

November 21, 2022 at 2:07 pm

Brett McGurk, US White House Coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa, speaks during the 17th IISS Manama Dialogue in the Bahraini capital Manama on November 21, 2021. [MAZEN MAHDI/AFP via Getty Images]

The United States is working to build an “integrated” infrastructure for air and maritime defence in the Middle East, a US official said.

The National Security Council coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa, Brett McGurk, told the annual Manama Dialogue conference in Bahrain yesterday that his country is focused on deterring “imminent threats” in the strategic energy-rich and conflict-ridden region.

“The United States is now actively building and enabling an integrated air and maritime defence architecture in this region,” said McGurk, adding that “something long talked about is now being done, through innovative partnerships and new technologies.”

On Saturday, the US Central Command chief, General Michael Kurilla, announced that a US-led task force will deploy more than 100 unmanned vessels in the Gulf region’s strategic waters by next year to stave off maritime threats.

This came after Israel and the United States held Iran responsible for a drone attack off the coast of Oman that hit an oil tanker operated by a company owned by an Israeli businessman last week.

The attack was the latest in a string of disruptions in Gulf waters that are a major route for world energy supplies.

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