france will be launching the coalition in response to a flare-up in tensions in the Middle East in the past six months, caused by a series of attacks on oil facilities and tankers. Western nations have largely attributed those incidents to Iran, despite a lack of conclusive evidence.
France’s defence chief has announced that the proposed European maritime force will be headquartered in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates.
Defence Minister Florence Parly made the announcement on Sunday as she spoke to reporters at the French naval base in Abu Dhabi, which is set to host the command centre of the coalition.
She added that the mission may start early next year with around 10 European and non-European countries involved.
What’s the reason behind the coalition idea?
france has been calling for months for such a mission to be set up in the Gulf together with other European nations, ostensibly to safeguard vessels passing through such major oil arteries as the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz.
The region was rocked by a string of tanker incidents, purported to be limpet mine attacks, which Saudi Arabia and its Western allies, including the United States, blamed on Iran. Tehran denied any wrongdoing and suggested that it was framed by some adversarial state actor. Iran’s own tanker was attacked in the Red Sea in October, but officials in Tehran would not point a finger at any culprit.
In separate developments, in May and September this year major Saudi oil…