situation report

Middle East: U.S.-Led Maritime Security Mission Begins Operations

1 MIN READNov 7, 2019 | 17:27 GMT

What Happened: The International Maritime Security Construct (ISMC), a U.S.-led coalition to protect shipping in the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman, officially started operations this week, Bloomberg reported Nov. 7.

Why It Matters: The United States formed the ISMC in response to attacks this summer against oil tankers, including nine instances in which Iran or its proxy forces assaulted tankers. The United States and the United Kingdom have since increased their security patrols in the region, but they have failed to form a broad coalition for the ISMC, as only seven countries agreed to join.

Background: Although there haven't been any attacks against tankers off the Iranian coast since July, the risk to commercial shipping and energy infrastructure in the region remains high due to increasing U.S. sanctions pressure against Tehran.

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