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Indian Navy escorts crude oil carriers transiting through Strait of Hormuz

Officials explained that naval teams have boarded Indian oil carriers and are escorting them out of the region. So far, five such tankers have been escorted out.

Jun 26, 2019, 10.04 AM IST
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The development comes after an attack on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman earlier this month. In May as well, four tankers were attacked off the coast of the UAE.
NEW DELHI: The Indian Navy is securing and escorting Indian crude oil carriers transiting through the Strait of Hormuz in the wake of a heightened threat perception following a recent attack on oil tankers in the region.

Officials explained that naval teams have boarded Indian oil carriers and are escorting them out of the region. So far, five such tankers have been escorted out.

More Indian flagged tankers will be escorted out in a similar manner. Officials said that naval teams are boarding the ships only after taking a request for it from the owners.

“Five ships have been safely escorted by Indian Navy personnel,” said an official.

Last week, the navy deployed two warships Chennai and Sunayna in the Gulf of Oman and Persian Gulf to undertake maritime security operations. Terming it ‘Operation Sankalp’, the naval ships were sent there to protect and reassure Indian flagged vessels transiting through the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman.

Naval aircraft have also been conducting surveillance in the area. The navy’s Information Fusion Centre-Indian Ocean Region which was launched in Gurgaon in December last year is also keeping a close watch on the movement of ships in the Gulf region. The IFC-IOR engages with partner nations to develop comprehensive maritime domain awareness and share information on vessels of interest.

Even the Directorate General of Shipping issued two advisories on June 13 and 16 to all Indian flagged vessels operating in the Strait of Hormuz and Persian Gulf region, advising them to undertake appropriate protection measures. The Strait of Hormuz is an important strategic waterway, because it links the Middle East’s crude oil producers to markets in the rest of the world.

The development comes after an attack on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman earlier this month. In May as well, four tankers were attacked off the coast of the UAE. The US has blamed the attacks on Iran, which has denied its involvement. The incidents come amid tensions between the US and Iran in the region. Last week, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard shot down a US military surveillance drone, claiming that it violated Iranian airspace.

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