19:16 GMT +322 October 2019
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    In this Sept. 17, 2015 file photo, Saudi security forces take part in a military parade in preparation for the annual Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

    Saudi Arabia to Join US-led Maritime Coalition in Middle East - Reports

    © AP Photo / Mosa'ab Elshamy
    Middle East
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    Riyadh recently raised security concerns after two compounds belonging to Saudi Aramco caught fire following a drone attack. The incident has caused a considerable drop in the country's net oil output, subsequently affecting global oil prices.

    According to the state-run Saudi Press Agency, citing an anonymous official, the kingdom has decided to join an International Maritime Security Construct, established by US President Donald Trump.

    "The kingdom's accession to this international alliance comes in support of regional and international efforts to deter and counter threats to maritime navigation and global trade in order to ensure global energy security and the continued flow of energy supplies to the global economy and contribute to maintain international peace and security”, the news agency said.

    The US military hasn't yet confirmed the reports.

    The news comes after drones hit Saudi oil plants on Saturday, causing them to close. Yemen's Ansar Allah movement, also known as the Houthis, claimed responsibility for the incident, however, Washington stated that Tehran was behind the attack.

    Iranian military ships frigate Alvand (R) and light replenishment ship Bushehr
    © AFP 2019 / STR
    Iranian military ships frigate "Alvand" (R) and light replenishment ship "Bushehr"

    The US formed the coalition earlier amid a standoff with Tehran, following several incidents in the region. The situation escalated after an attack against oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman in June, and a UK-Iran row that led to the seizure of the British-flagged vessel Stena Impero.

    The coalition is supposed to escort ships in the region and secure the Strait of Hormuz, which is a crucial pathway for fuel transportation, with around 20 percent of global oil travelling through it.

    Australia, Bahrain, and the United Kingdom supported the US-led initiative, while many European countries have refused to join the venture.

    Tags:
    Iran, US-led coalition, US-led coalition, Saudi Arabia
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