US Central Command welcomes Saudi Arabia into global maritime coalition

Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie. (AFP)
Updated 21 September 2019

US Central Command welcomes Saudi Arabia into global maritime coalition

  • The Saudi move comes amid heightened tensions with Iran after a drone and missile attack at the weekend hit two key oil facilities in Saudi Arabia

WASHINGTON: The US Central Command has welcomed Saudi Arabia into a global maritime security coalition.
The American defense force said it appreciated the Kingdom’s decision to join the International Maritime Security Construct (IMSC) and expressed thanks for its active role in helping to preserve freedom of navigation, promote maritime security and de-escalate regional tensions.
Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie lauded Saudi Arabia’s lead on regional security matters and its commitment to preserving the free flow of commerce, which he described as a linchpin of the global economy.
“Threats to the freedom of navigation are an international problem requiring an international solution, and we are pleased that Saudi Arabia will be a part of that solution,” he added.
Saudi Arabia on Wednesday joined the US-led military coalition to secure the Middle East’s key waterways for shipping.
The coalition, which includes Australia, Bahrain, and the UK, was set up to counter threats to vessels after a string of attacks against ships entering and leaving the Arabian Gulf. It aims to protect commercial ships and provide safe navigation in an operational area covering the Strait of Hormuz, Bab Al-Mandab Strait, the Sea of Oman and the Arabian Gulf.
The Saudi move comes amid heightened tensions with Iran after a drone and missile attack at the weekend hit two key oil facilities in Saudi Arabia. The US has blamed Iran for the strikes along with a number of other attacks on shipping in or near the Strait of Hormuz in recent months.


Two workers killed at Saudi Arabia's SASREF oil refinery

Updated 18 min 59 sec ago

Two workers killed at Saudi Arabia's SASREF oil refinery

  • Another two contractors were injured at the SASREF plant in Jubail in the incident on Sunday

RIYADH: Two contract workers have been killed at an oil refinery in Saudi Arabia.

Another two contractors were injured at the SASREF plant in Jubail in the incident on Sunday, the company said.

“SASREF immediately activated response teams to identify the source of the incident and responded to the situation,” the statement said.

“The safety of our people and operations is a top priority.”

The company, which is owned by Saudi Aramco, said additional safety measures would be put in place to prevent incidents in the future.

The 305,000 barrel per day SASREF refinery had until September been a joint venture between Aramco and Royal Dutch Shell.

Aramco bought it as part of a strategy to expand its downstream operations.