Indian Navy has once again taken measures aimed at maritime security. In the wake of tensions between Iran and USA, the Navy has deployed two warships in the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf for the safety and protection of Indian vessels. This is an extremely welcome move as recently, two foreign oil tankers have been attacked in the region.
“We have deployed destroyer INS Chennai and patrol vessel INS Sunayna under Operation Sankalp to re-assure Indian flagged vessels operating/transiting through the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman after the maritime security incidents in the region,” said Indian Navy spokesperson Captain D K Sharma.
Along with this, the Navy is also conducting aerial surveillance with its P-8I long-range patrol aircraft in the area. Captain Sharma also added that the Information Fusion Centre-Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR), inaugurated in December 2018 is also keeping a close watch on the movement of ships in the Gulf region. The IFC-IOR involves other partner nations to develop maritime awareness and share information regarding the vessels.
The Navy said, “The Indian Navy remains committed to ensuring the safety of Indian maritime trade and merchant vessels operating in the region and contributing towards maintaining a stable and peaceful Indian Ocean region.”
Given the tense situation between Iran and USA, the measure is the need of the hour. Recently, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards had shot down a US drone on Thursday while it was flying over the Strait of Hormuz, claiming it violated Iranian air space. Prior to this, the US had accused Iran of firing a missile at another drone last week that was responding to the attack on two oil tankers near the Gulf of Oman. One of the oil tankers was Norwegian-owned and the other was Japanese-owned. The US had blamed Iran for being behind the attacks on the oil tankers with mines and explosives-a charge strongly denied by Tehran. The US on Monday also said that it was deploying additional troops to the region in response to hostile behaviour by Iranian forces.
This move comes after the director-general of shipping had issued two advisories, one on 13th and 16th June to all the Indian-flagged vessels operating in the Strait of Hormuz and Persian Gulf region, aimed at advising the ships to undertake appropriate self-protection measures.
US-Iran tensions are affecting the safety and security of other countries. Japanese and Norwegian ships have been the unfortunate victims. The security measure has been taken by the navy to make sure that Indian maritime doesn’t suffer amidst tensions between other countries.