US launches anti-piracy naval force to combat hijackings off..
The US has launched an international naval force specifically to target Somali pirates who are terrorising ships in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean.
Warships from up to 23 countries will contribute to the force, according to the US Fifth Fleet, which is coordinating the operation out of Bahrain. Commanded by Rear Admiral Terence McKnight of the US navy, Combined Task Force 151 (CTF 151) is expected to start work next week.
It will operate alongside other coalition forces patrolling the region, including the EU's Operation Atalanta, and individual navies including Russia, Iran and China. The sudden concentration of warships off Somalia has already had a positive impact, with only two successful hijackings in December.
But Somali pirates are still holding at least 14 vessels, including the Faina, a Ukrainian ship loaded with tanks and other arms, and the Sirius Star, a Saudi supertanker carrying 2m barrels of oil.
More than 20 countries, including the UK, France, Canada and Pakistan, are already members of the US-headed Combined Maritime Forces,...[More on HotFeeder.com]