Commander CTF 150 speaks at Djibouti Code of Conduct Maritime Security Conference

Djibouti Code of Conduct Conference (DCoC), Kenya

Commodore Ed Ahlgren OBE Royal Navy, Commander CTF150 (CCTF150), visited Mombasa, Kenya to deliver a maritime security threat update to the Djibouti Code of Conduct Conference (DCoC).

The Djibouti Code of Conduct has been instrumental in repressing piracy and armed robbery against ships in the western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden. In 2017, under the Jeddah Agreement, it saw its scope significantly broadened to cover other illicit maritime activities, including human trafficking and illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

Commodore (Cdre) Ahlgren’s speech focused on the threats, as seen by Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), to law abiding shipping, the fishing industry and recreational craft in the region. Cdre Ahlgren briefed the attending delegates on how CMF operates and how collaboration, information exchange and the sharing of best practices makes the 33 nation coalition a formidable force.

“Maritime Security is a huge undertaking given the size of the ocean against the assets that are available. It cannot be done by one entity alone, we must collaborate, share information and pool our resources if we are to combat those that wish to do us harm. These problems are not just national, nor regional but international. It’s everybody’s business” Cdre Ahlgren said.

21 countries are signatories to the DCoC and they meet on a six-monthly basis to discuss how the maritime domain can be protected from a wide range of threats including piracy, threats to oil and gas installations, dangers to transport systems and illegal and unreported fishing. DCoC works closely with other security organisations in the region including European Union Naval Force (EUNAVFOR), the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to tackle these threats.

While in Mombasa, Cdre Ahlgren took the time to meet with the Director General of the Kenyan Coast Guard, Brigadier Loonena Naisho and Kenyan Deputy Fleet Commander, Colonel Lawrence Gitumo. The senior officers discussed how Kenya can engage further with CMF.

Cdre Ahlgren concluded, “This visit was particularly rewarding as it showcased how CMF can work with security organisations to make the western Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden a safer, more sustainable and increasing prosperous region of CMF’s area of operations.”

Source: combinedmaritimeforces.com

Iranian navy announces enhanced presence in Red Sea to protect navigation

Iranian Navy ships in Velayat-90 military exercise, by Mohammad Sadegh Heydari via Wikipedia

Iran’s Navy commander, Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi, said on Wednesday that the presence of his country’s troops in the Red Sea would be reinforced to protect navigation routes.

Khanzadi indicated, in a press statement issued by Fars News Agency today, that “the Red Sea’s maritime security has been undermined, as several oil tankers have been targeted in recent months, which requires further strengthening the presence of our troops in this zone.”

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Source: middleeastmonitor.com

Iran plans to raise Hormuz peace initiative at IMO summit in London

Persian Gulf/SoH

The managing director of Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization, has said that the Iranian delegation plans to put forward the Hormuz peace initiative at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) summit in London.

In an interview with the IRIB on Monday, Mohammad Rastad said that security in the region must be maintained by the regional countries.

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Source: hellenicshippingnews.com

Mysteries of the Middle East Gulf: proxies, drones and spoofing

New Coalition In Gulf May Not Fare As Well As Old One – Analysis

Persian Gulf/SoH

By

Operational Sentinel patrols the Strait of Hormuz, yet regional rivalries and the international coalition’s makeup could escalate tensions.

By Gregory Clough and Morgan D. Bazilian*

Renewed conflict in the Strait of Hormuz pushed the United States to establish an international coalition for maritime security to ensure safe passage of shipping traffic and guarding against further disruption in oil supplies. While such security coalitions have been successful in the past, applying the same approach in the Middle East may not improve conditions and may even exacerbate tensions.

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Source: eurasiareview.com

Yemen’s Houthis release captured South Korean, Saudi vessels

SEOUL/DUBAI (Reuters) – Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi movement released three vessels and 16 people it had seized, South Korea’s foreign ministry and a Houthi military source in Yemen said on Wednesday.

The seizure on Sunday was the latest incident at sea around Yemen, where Saudi Arabia is leading a Western-backed coalition of Arab states against the Houthis, who control the capital and most population centres and have been accused of attacking shipping.

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Source: uk.reuters.com

Yemen’s Houthi rebels seize vessel in Red Sea

‘Attack’ on ship towing South Korean drilling rig threatens vital shipping routes, Saudi spokesman says.

The Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen said Iran-aligned Houthi rebels hijacked a vessel south of the Red Sea.

Saudi Arabia‘s state-run Saudi Press Agency quoted coalition spokesman Colonel Turki al-Malki as saying on Monday that Houthis seized the ship while it was towing a South Korean oil drilling rig on Sunday.

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Source: aljazeera.com

MaritimeSecurityNews: This is a significant roll of the dice by al Houthi rebels. As war weariness sets in on both sides, it has been suggested that this incident is an attempt by Houthis to show Saudi Arabia how difficult it can still make life for them. South Korean media outlets have suggested that three vessels were hijacked/seized by Houthi rebels and have dispatched their anti-piracy Cheonghae unit to the region, which will focus minds in Yemen, given their reputation.

Maritime security in the Red Sea remains perilous, with Iran reporting attacks which are unverified independently and the ongoing threat posed by Houthi naval mines and SVBIEDs. A persistent threat to a major shipping lane will not go unchallenged by other countries in the region as well as the USA. I hope the al Houthis appreciate just how risky this gamble may prove to be. Image below via OCEANUSLive.org, who carry the initial UKMTO report.

Image via OCEANUSLive.org
Image via OCEANUSLive.org