US-Israel-UAE-Bahraini naval exercise sends message to Iran, IDF official says
Joint US-Israel-UAE-Bahraini naval exercise in Red Sea serves as direct response to Iranian navy presence and aggression in Middle Eastern waters, senior naval official said Israeli.
“This presence is something that we need to push back as much as possible from the State of Israel, the Red Sea, areas that interfere with our freedom to navigate… to do that, we need to strengthen our partnerships,” said the senior officer to journalists, on condition of anonymity.
Since February, Iran and Israel have been accused of engaging in what analysts have called a naval “shadow war,” in which ships linked to each nation have been attacked in the waters around the Gulf. during direct exchanges.
Earlier today, the U.S. Central Command’s 5th Fleet announced that it had launched an exercise in the Red Sea with the navies of Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, focusing on “visiting tactics, boarding, search and seizure ”.
The exercise, one of the first Israel has organized with the 5th Fleet, comes just over a year after Israel normalized relations with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain under the Abrahamic Accords and a few months after Israel moved into the US military’s area of responsibility. Central command centered on the East.
Although Israel has conducted exercises alongside the United Arab Emirates in the past, the exercise represents the first-ever public military cooperation between Israel and Bahrain.
“This is the first time, at sea, that we are exchanging know-how with Bahrain, with the Emirates on professional and operational techniques,” he said.
“The goal here is to expand the reach of the Israeli Navy’s operations – for the benefit of the State of Israel and the IDF – to expand our ability to detect [threats], to extend our radius of action, to prevent naval terror, and also to retaliate, when necessary, when necessary, against what the Iranians are doing, ”said the officer.
According to the senior navy official, the exercise is one of many that Israel and the 5th Fleet are planning to conduct.
“This exercise is part of a work plan, and you will see more in the coming year. They will not only be bilateral with the Americans. Since the 5th Fleet is working with countries that are part of the Abrahamic Accords, in this exercise Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates are participating, ”he said.