17 July 2023

A Pentagon spokesperson announced that “in response to a number of recent alarming events in the Strait of Hormuz, the Secretary of Defense has ordered the deployment of the destroyer USS Thomas Hudner, F-35 fighters and F-16 fighters to the U.S. Central Command Area of Responsibility to defend U.S. interests and safeguard freedom of navigation in the region”. Referring to Iran’s attempts to seize two merchant vessels early July, she noted: “In light of this continued threat and in coordination with our partners and allies, the department is increasing our presence and ability to monitor the strait and surrounding waters. We call upon Iran to immediately cease these destabilising actions that threaten the free flow of commerce through this strategic waterway of which the world depends on for more than one fifth of the world’s oil supply”.

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