The United States wants a coalition to protect the strategic waters of the Gulf

WASHINGTON: USA UU He hopes to form a coalition to guarantee freedom of navigation in the strategic waters of the Gulf amid the complicated relations between Washington and Tehran, a senior general told the media on Tuesday.

Tensions in the area, through which almost one third of the world's oil is transported, have skyrocketed in recent weeks, and the US UU It blames Iran for the multiple attacks on tankers in the region, and Tehran shot down an American drone.

We are now engaged with several countries to see if we can form a coalition that guarantees freedom of navigation in both the Strait of Gibraltar and the Bab al-Mandab, said Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He said in a video made by the Reuters news agency.

I think probably in the coming weeks we will identify which nations have the political will to support that initiative and then we will work directly with the military to identify the specific capabilities that will support that, Dunford said.

The United States would provide awareness and surveillance of the maritime domain, while the ships would be escorted by the nations whose flag they carry, the general said.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last month that he expects more than 20 countries, including the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, to work together on the construction of maritime security.

We will need them all to participate, their military, said Pompeo.

The president is willing to share that the United States does not bear the cost of this.