Home of Lisa's Top Ten, the daily email that brings you the world.
The first task of the day

Sign Up for Lisa's Top Ten


U.S. Deploys Marines to the Middle East to Combat Increased Iranian Aggression


By: Micaela Burrow, Daily Caller News Foundation

The U.S. will deploy thousands of Marines to the Strait of Hormuz amid increased Iranian aggression against commercial vessels, the Department of Defense (DOD) announced Thursday.

The announcement follows the recent deployment of F-16 and F-35 fighter units and a guided missile destroyer, the USS Thomas Hudner, to the region after an Iranian Navy ship tried to seize and fired at an internationally-flagged commercial tanker, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) said in a press release. Now, a Marine Corps Amphibious Ready Group/Marine Expeditionary Unit will bring additional aviation, maritime assets and U.S. Marines to bolster security in the region at the order of Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.

“U.S. Central Command is committed to defending freedom of navigation within our area of responsibility which includes some of the most important waterways in the world,” Gen. Michael “Erik” Kurilla, CENTCOM commander, said in the statement. “These additional forces provide unique capabilities, which alongside our partners nations in the region, further safeguard the free flow of international commerce and uphold the rules based international order, and deter Iranian destabilizing activities in the region.”

In the past two years alone, Iran has “attacked, seized, or attempted seizure” of more than 20 internationally-flagged non-military vessels, the statement noted.

On July 5, the U.S. Navy intervened when Iranian Navy ships attempted to take two separate oil tankers, the Marshall Islands-flagged TRF Moss and the Bahamian-flagged Richmond Voyager, in the same area. The Iranian corvette hounded the Richmond Voyager and fired “multiple, long bursts from both small arms and crew-served weapons,” according to the Fifth Fleet.

Then, On July 6, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp confiscated a commercial chemical tanker believed to be engaged in smuggling operations, CNN reported, citing U.S. officials. The U.S. monitored the situation but did not take action, as the vessel did not emit a distress call.

Thousands of Marines of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit will soon join CENTCOM forces along with amphibious warships USS Bataan and USS Carter Hall, according to U.S. Naval Institute News.

The 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit is certified as special operations capable, the first to be designated as such in a decade, according to a website for the unit.

“Through these actions, the United States is demonstrating commitment to ensuring freedom of navigation and deterring Iranian destabilization activities in the region,” DOD said in a statement.

The Strait of Hormuz serves as the gateway for roughly a fifth of the world’s sea-transmitted oil supply.

Related Story: U.S. to Send F-16s to Protect Shipping Vessels from Iran Attacks

Read More

Related Posts