US May Deploy Marines on Private Ships to Foil Iran

If approved, plan for Strait of Hormuz could put troops at risk of direct confrontation with Iranian forces
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 3, 2023 5:10 PM CDT
US May Deploy Marines on Private Ships to Foil Iran
In this handout photo from the US Navy, the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Bataan travels in Atlantic Ocean on July 20.   (Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Danilo Reynoso/U.S. Navy, via AP)

Marines have been flown to the Persian Gulf and received training in anticipation of being placed on American commercial ships to keep Iran from the civilian vessels. The deployment, which has not received final approval, would run the risk of a direct confrontation between US and Iranian forces, the Washington Post reports. Under the proposal, Marines and sailors would be armed and aboard the ships of any private companies sailing the Strait of Hormuz that want them. Marines have arrived in Bahrain from Camp Lejeune, and more US personnel are going over on warships.

Iran has seized and harassed ships in the strait, the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf, since 2019. The moves are intended to pressure Western nations concerning the nuclear deal that collapsed, per the AP. Last month, Iranian forces tried to seize two vessels near the coast of Oman, US officials said, firing on one of them. With the harassment continuing, a US official told the Post that an "elevated response" is needed. The Pentagon already has sent more fighter aircraft and another Navy destroyer to the Persian Gulf region. White House official John Kirby directed questions to the Defense Department, which had no comment, but noted the importance of the Strait of Hormuz. He said Iran's threatening actions have closed off the "chokepoint." (Read more Strait of Hormuz stories.)

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