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Pentagon sends US Marines to deter Iran tanker seizures in Persian Gulf

A Marine Expeditionary Unit will follow F-35s, F-16s and a Navy destroyer in deployment to the region to ward off Tehran's retaliatory seizures.
A US Navy Martin UAV drone flies over the Gulf waters as Royal Bahrain Naval Force Abdulrahman Al Fadhel takes part in joint naval exercise between US 5th Fleet Command and Bahraini forces, Oct. 26, 2021.

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is deploying an expeditionary unit of United States Marines to the Persian Gulf, ratcheting up its military presence in a bid to deter Iran from seizing any more commercial oil tankers following a spate of such incidents in recent months.

A Marine Expeditionary Unit and accompanying Amphibious Ready Group marks the latest addition to the US military’s presence in the Gulf in response to Iran’s recent seizures.

Deployments of Air Force F-16 and F-35 fighter jets were announced over the past week as a US Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer headed to the Gulf via the Suez Canal.

Iranian naval forces have seized at least three commercial tankers since April in retaliation for recent moves by the United States to confiscate shipments of sanctioned Iranian oil to East Asia.

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