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US steps up Gulf patrols amid increasing tanker seizures by Iran

In an excerpt from the latest edition of Security Briefing, our Pentagon correspondent looks at efforts by Washington to stem an increasing spate of civilian tankers by Tehran.
A US Navy patrol ship guards US and coalitions ships docked at the US 5th Fleet Command in Bahrain's capital Manama on Dec. 17, 2019.

The US Navy and its Middle Eastern and European allies have ramped up naval and air patrols in and around the Strait of Hormuz following a spate of civilian tanker seizures by Iran.

The US Navy’s Fifth Fleet commander Vice Adm. Brad Cooper spoke with commercial shipping industry representatives via teleconference from Bahrain on Wednesday to assure them of the increased security measures.

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The precautions came in response to at least two recent Iranian seizures of commercial ships. One of those was in retaliation for a US Justice Department seizure of another tanker carrying Iranian fuel to China, as Al-Monitor previously reported.

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