Iran Army to unveil domestic UAVs, helicopter carrier

TEHRAN, Oct. 06 (MNA) – Iran’s Navy Commander announced over the unveiling of the first Iranian vessel that is capable of carrying helicopters, UAVs, and a range of missiles as well as bypassing the Earth three times with just one refueling.

Speaking in a ceremony on Tuesday, Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi described Iran navy as a symbol of Iran’s authority in the seas which is updating its military capacities in a dynamic way.

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Navy, Japanese maritime force hold joint drill in Gulf of Aden

SLAMABAD: Pakistan Navy Ship (PNS) Zulfiqar has participated in Passage Exercise with Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force Ship Onami in the Gulf of Aden.

Both the ships are presently operating in the vital area of the Gulf of Aden as part of international efforts to counter piracy and ensure the security of international shipping.

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Revealed: How Iran smuggles weapons to the Houthis

Saeed Al-Batati

AL-MUKALLA, Yemen: A captured gang of arms smugglers has revealed how Iran supplies weapons to Houthi militias in Yemen through a base in Somalia.

The Houthis exploit poverty in Yemen to recruit fishermen as weapons smugglers, and send fighters to Iran for military training under cover of “humanitarian” flights from Yemen to Oman, the gang said.

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Saudi Arabia warns UN of oil in Red Sea near abandoned tanker

By Tareq Al-Thaqafi

MAKKAH: Saudi Arabia has warned the UN Security Council that an “oil spot” has been sighted in a shipping lane 50 km west of an abandoned, decaying oil tanker off the coast of Yemen. Experts fear it could spill 1.1 million barrels of crude into the Red Sea.

The tanker, called the Safer, has been moored near Ras Issa oil terminal for more than five years. The UN previously warned that it could leak four times as much oil as was spilled during the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster off the coast of Alaska. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the Security Council have repeatedly called on Houthi insurgents in Yemen to grant access the tanker for a technical assessment and emergency repairs.

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Following the money: The use of the hawala remittance system in the Yemen–Somalia arms trade

By Jay Bahadur

The ubiquity of small arms and light weapons (SALW) in Yemen, as well as centuries-old cultural and commercial ties with Somalia, has made Yemen the primary source for illicit arms among Somali importers. Consignments of small arms and ammunition from Yemen cross the Gulf of Aden in a matter of hours to the northern coast of Puntland, a semi-autonomous region in northern Somalia. The port city of Bosaso, Puntland’s largest city and commercial capital, is the financial epicentre of the illicit trade. Arms from Yemen fuel the ongoing civil conflict in Somalia, and many are believed to be transported on throughout the broader East Africa region.

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India joins Djibouti Code of Conduct as Observer

New Delhi [India], September 16 (ANI): India has joined the Djibouti Code of Conduct as Observer, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said here on Wednesday.

“India has joined the Djibouti Code of Conduct/ Jeddah Amendment, as Observer, following the high level meeting of the Djibouti Code of Conduct/ Jeddah Amendment (DCOC/JA) held virtually on August 26,” MEA said in a statement.

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PMSA Recovers 2700 Kg Hashish, Arrest 8 Alleged Smugglers

KARACHI, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – 15th Sep, 2020 ) :Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) and Pakistan Customs in a joint intelligence based counter narcotics operation recovered almost 2700 kilograms of hashish worth around Rs 820 million.

A statement issued here Tuesday said that the PMSA aircraft during patrolling at high seas spotted a suspicious boat which was hiding in a group of fishing boats. Immediately PMSA ship was tasked towards the Contact of Interest.

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The new danger zone for shipping covers 6000 kilometres

Chaos at sea: Pirates are said to have hijacked the tanker “Aegean II” in the Gulf of Aden, the shipping service “G-Captain” reported at the end of August. Two days later it was reported that men in police uniforms had boarded the “Aegean II”. They took the weapons from the private security forces on board the ship and demanded money from the 20-member ship crew. As a Spanish military ship approached, they disappeared as quickly as they had come. It is still unclear whether the perpetrators were pirates – or even Somali policemen.

It is not only in eastern Africa that the security situation for international merchant shipping is critical. In its “Piracy Report”, the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) reported 162 pirate attacks worldwide and 130 hijacked ships last year. This represents a 20 percent decrease compared to 2018. But in some areas the situation is different, where the danger increases significantly.

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Combined Maritime Forces and EU NAVFOR discuss counter-piracy campaigns

Press Release

THE Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) and EUNAVFOR have held discussions about developing their partnership in conducting counter-piracy operations in the region.

CMF’s Combined Task Force 151, an anti-piracy task force led by the Turkish Navy, held discussions with Commander of EUNAVFOR’s CTF 465, Rear Admiral Riccardo Marchiò via a video teleconference.

CTF 151 Commander, Rear Admiral Inanir said: “It is important that we continue discussions with our partners, especially in this crucial part of the world.”

“Today we talked about planning joint exercises, focused operations and information sharing. We need to ensure that there are no gaps in our routine patrols, so that we are both able to respond to incidents effectively,” RADM Inanir added.

Whilst the CTF 151 staff conducted the call from the CMF headquarters in Bahrain, RADM Marchiò was operating from the Italian frigate, Luigi Rizzo, as his task force commence counter piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden.

CMF’s CTF 151 and EUNAVFOR’s CTF 465 both operate in a contentious region which is home to a number of the world’s most strategic chokepoints, and piracy and armed robbery at sea remain a threat to merchant shipping in the region.

Both commanders agree that the size of the area is a challenge that can only overcome by effective cooperation, demonstrating the importance of the partnership shared by CMF and EUNAVFOR.

“There are many merits to coordinating exercises and military campaigns together; warships are able to operate efficiently together,” said RADM Riccardo Marchiò.

“The south west monsoon season continues in the region, with associated blustery weather and a high sea state. As the weather eases, it becomes more feasible for pirates to operate again,” said RADM Inanir, concluding the call. “CTF 151 and CTF 465 must be ready and alert to prevent them.”

Trial of 5 Somali nationals suspected of piracy opens at Seychelles Supreme Court

Only three out of the five Somali suspects appeared in court on Monday while the other two are receiving medical assistance. (Rassin Vannier)

By: Salifa Karapetyan Edited by: Betymie Bonnelame

(Seychelles News Agency) – Four witnesses from the Seychelles Police Force presented their evidence Monday as the trial of five Somali nationals suspected of a pirate attack against a Korean fishing vessel began at the Supreme Court.

According to the EU NAVFOR, the incident began on April 19, 2019 when five suspected pirates captured a Yemeni dhow off the coast of Somalia. Two days later the pirates attacked the Korean fishing vessel Adria with the dhow acting as a mothership in the Indian Ocean some 280 nautical miles off the coast of Somalia.

On April 23, the EU NAVFOR‘s flagship ESPS NAVARRA intercepted and boarded the captured dhow vessel and apprehended the five suspected pirates. The forces said that it was the first notable piracy incident event since October 2018, a huge drop in frequency compared to a decade earlier when Somali piracy interrupted international shipping and travel on a major scale.

The prosecutor in the case, Georges Thachett, told SNA that “we have a fair amount of evidence but it is up to the court to decide the outcome.”

The lawyer representing the Somalis, Joel Camille, told SNA that the local witnesses are expected to be heard until Thursday when witnesses overseas would connect via video link. Only then, Camile said, would he know how the case for his clients was going.

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, the EU NAVFOR Somalia Operation Atalanta transferred the five suspects to Seychellois authorities last year in accordance with a transfer agreement between the Seychelles and the European Union with support from United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Present at the hearing was a representative of the UNODC whose duty is to look after the welfare of the accused and ensure that there is a fair legal process.

Camille said the case was supposed to start last Monday but the prosecution were unable to bring in their witnesses.

“The court gave them until last Friday when they advised the court that they will start their case today,” he added.

Seychelles is east of the Somali coast and has placed itself at the forefront of the fight against piracy since 2005 when the scourge began expanding, adversely impacting the nation’s tourism and fishing industries, the top pillars of its economy. The island nation in the western Indian Ocean has since then been working with international partners to apprehend and prosecute suspected Somali pirates.

Somaliland and Seychelles signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the transfer of sentenced pirates in 2011. With special jurisdiction to handle piracy and maritime crime cases, Seychelles started hearing cases in June 2015.