U.S. wants military coalition to safeguard waters off Iran, Yemen
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford arrives to testify before a Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee hearing on the proposed FY2020 budget for the Defense Department on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., May 8, 2019. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States has hammered out a plan under which an international military coalition would safeguard strategic waters off both Iran and Yemen, where Washington blames Iran and Iran-backed fighters for attacks, the top U.S. general said on Tuesday.
“We’re engaging now with a number of countries to see if we can put together a coalition that would ensure freedom of navigation both in the Straits of Hormuz and the Bab al-Mandab,” said Marine General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
“And so I think probably over the next couple of weeks we’ll identify which nations have the political will to support that initiative and then we’ll work directly with the militaries to identify the specific capabilities that’ll support that,” he said.
Reporting by Phil Stewart; editing by Jonathan Oatis