Riyadh 0
10 November 2021

The U.S., Israel, Bahrain and the UAE started a five-day “multilateral maritime security operations exercise in the Red Sea”. The commander of U.S. 5th Fleet maintained that “maritime collaboration helps safeguard freedom of navigation and the free flow of trade, which are essential to regional security and stability”. Commenting on the drill, an anonymous Israeli officer told the reporters that the “[Iranian] presence is something that we need to push back as much as possible from the State of Israel, from the Red Sea, from the areas that harm our freedom to sail… In order to do that, we need to make our partnerships tighter”. The following day, both Saudi Arabia and Israel reported escorting two U.S. B-1 bombers crossing “the Red Sea airspace” and “Israeli skies on their way from the Gulf”, respectively.

Subscribe to Crisis Group’s Email Updates

Receive the best source of conflict analysis right in your inbox.