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US deploys drones, forces in Gulf amid tensions with Iran

US deploys drones, forces in Gulf amid tensions with Iran
posted onSeptember 10, 2021

The US Navy's Fifth Fleet on Thursday launched a new task force including drones and artificial intelligence in the Gulf after a series of alleged maritime attacks by Iran, al-Arabiya reported.

“The bottom line on why we’re doing this is so that we can develop and integrate unmanned systems and AI as a means to do two things,” said Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, commander of NAVCENT, US 5th Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces, according to the agency.

“One, enhance our maritime domain awareness, and two, increase deterrence,” he added.

In the last few months, Iran and Israel have exchanged accusations over responsibility for attacks targeting maritime vessels linked to each country in the waters of the Gulf.

Western countries repeatedly said Iran was behind the drone attack on Israeli-linked MT Mercer Street tanker off Oman’s coast which killed two people on board. Tehran denies the allegations.

According to al-Arabiya, the US fifth fleet’s area of operations cover approximately 2.5 million square miles of water area and includes the Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean.