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Israel joins US-led coalition confronting Iran in Persian Gulf

Israel is assisting the U.S.-led naval mission to bolster security for vessels in the Persian Gulf‘s Strait of Hormuz, Israeli Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz said this week.

According to a report by Israel’s Ynet news site, Katz told a closed session of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that Israel is providing intelligence and other unspecified assistance for “Operation Sentinel,” the U.S. effort which was launched following a series of seizures by Iran of oil tankers passing through the strategic waterway in the Persian Gulf.

He also reportedly told the committee that he instructed his ministry to join the mission after a recent visit to Abu Dhabi in which he discussed the “Iranian threat” with a senior Emirati official.

A report by Israel’s Kan public broadcaster last month said Israel would provide intelligence for the effort, but would not send naval vessels unless requested.

Britain is the only other country to commit to participation in “Operation Sentinel,” and is one of the countries which has been most affected by Iranian aggression in the strait, a shipping channel through which 20% of the world’s crude oil is exported.

According to globalfirepower.com, the United States has the third largest navy in the world with Iran at number 4. While Israel’s navy is small (though  larger than that of Canada) it is one of the most advanced in the world.

Here’s a look at the make-up of the Israeli Navy:

Additional countries have been reluctant to take part in a mission which might bring them into conflict with Iran. Australia, however, has said it is seriously considering joining.

Britain’s Defense Ministry said the Royal Navy will work alongside the U.S. Navy to safeguard vessels traversing the strait. Frigate HMS Montrose and destroyer HMS Duncan are already in the region.

–JNS and Metro Voice

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