21:00 GMT +318 August 2019
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     Somali pirates carrying out preparations to a skiff in Hobyo, northeastern Somalia. File photo

    South Korea to Deploy New Batch of Troops to Gulf of Aden - Reports

    © AFP 2019 / MOHAMED DAHIR
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    TOKYO (Sputnik) - South Korea is due to sent 300 additional troops to the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Somalia, Yonhap News Agency reported on Tuesday as speculations continue about possible Seoul's mission in the Strait of Hormuz near Iran.

    The 30th batch of the Cheonghae Unit is due to depart from the South Korean southern coast later on Tuesday, Yonhap News Agency reported, citing the country's navy. The troops are due to conduct anti-piracy missions off the coast of Somalia for six months. The mission starts in September.

    The unit has been deployed in the Gulf of Aden since 2009 as part of world efforts to battle piracy in the area.

    However, the speculation in the media continues about South Korean possible mission in the Start of Hormuz.

    Last week, the United States invited Australia, France, Germany, Japan, Norway, South Korea and the United Kingdom, among others, to join a coalition to secure the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic waterway that connects the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.

    Since May, several oil tankers have been attacked in the Strait of Hormuz. The United States and its allies have blamed Iran for the incidents, while Tehran has denied its involvement. The tensions have prompted Washington to build up its military presence in the region, which has entailed the deployment of an aircraft carrier strike group, Patriot missiles, B-52 bombers, F-15 fighters and the USS Mason destroyer.


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