13:34 GMT +314 October 2019
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    The Kokuka Courageous, one of two oil tankers targeted in an apparent attack in the Gulf of Oman

    UAE Joins US-led Maritime Coalition in Middle East After Drones Hit Saudi Oil Facilities - Reports

    © AP Photo / Jon Gambrell
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    The decision comes after Riyadh announced on Wednesday that it would participate in patrolling the region and accused Iran of orchestrating the strike against its oil compounds.

    The United Arab Emirates has stated the country will take part in a US-led maritime coalition that also includes Australia, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and the United Kingdom.

    According to Director of the International Security Cooperation Department of the Emirati Foreign Ministry Salem al-Zaabi, the UAE wanted "to ensure global energy security and the continued flow of energy supplies to the global economy".

    The news comes after a drone attack on Saudi oil plants on Saturday, which caused their closure and, subsequently resulted in a spike in oil prices. Yemen's Ansar Allah, also known as the Houthi movement, which is fighting against Saudi forces, claimed responsibility for the strike, however, Washington and Riyadh accused Tehran of being behind the attack.

    An oil tanker is on fire in the sea of Oman, Thursday, June 13, 2019
    © AP Photo / FLORION GOGA
    An oil tanker is on fire in the sea of Oman, Thursday, June 13, 2019

    The Islamic Republic denied the allegations, stressing that the Yemeni militants had carried out the strike.

    The US created the coalition earlier this year amid an escalating row with Iran, with the American military deploying additional forces to the Middle East. Washington established the bloc after several attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, which it also blamed on Iran, and the seizure of a UK-flagged cargo ship, Stena Impero, by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards.

    Related:

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    Pompeo, Saudi Crown Prince Agree Iran Must Be Held Accountable for Oil Attack - State Dept
    Iran Presidential Adviser Says Riyadh Knows Nothing About Attacks on Saudi Oil Facilities
    Tags:
    Iran, United States, maritime security, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia
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