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Minesweeping Exercise Planned In Persian Gulf

Map of the Persian Gulf
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Above: Map of the Persian Gulf

The Pentagon announced today minesweeping exercises planned for the Persian Gulf from September 16 to September 27. More than 20 countries will participate in the International Mines Countermeasures Exercise, according to Pentagon Press Secretary George Little.

Little told reporters today that despite escalating tensions with Iran in that region, the exercise isn't meant to send a message to Iran:

“This is a defensive exercise aimed at preserving freedom of navigation in the international waterways of the Middle East and aimed at promoting regional stability in the [U.S. Central Command] area of responsibility.”

Although the Mines Countermeasures Exercise is taking place in the Persian Gulf, it won't go as far as the contentious Strait of Hormuz. According to the U.S. Central Command:

[The exercise] focuses on a hypothetical threat from an extremist organization to mine the international strategic waterways of the Middle East, including the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, the Gulf of Oman, and the Persian Gulf.

But not the Strait of Hormuz. Got it?

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