A top US military officer says the United States is considering setting up a coalition of countries, including allies, to ensure the safety of shipping lanes such as the Strait of Hormuz.
The Associated Press and other media say Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph Dunford, mentioned the plan on Tuesday.
They quoted Dunford as saying that the US is engaging with a number of countries to see if it can put together a coalition that would ensure freedom of navigation in the Strait of Hormuz and neighboring areas.
Concerns over safety in the waters have been mounting since two commercial tankers, including one operated by a Japanese firm, were attacked near the Strait of Hormuz last month.
Dunford reportedly says the US plans to identify over the next couple of weeks which nations have the political will to support the initiative and then work directly with their militaries to identify specific capabilities.
US President Donald Trump asked in a tweet last month why his country is “protecting the shipping lanes for other countries for zero compensation.” He said “All of these countries should be protecting their own ships.”
Observers say the Trump administration may be planning to create the coalition to have other countries share the burden of ensuring safety. The focus will be on what requests the US will make to each country.