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China, Iran and Russia hold joint naval drills in Gulf of Oman


China, Iran and Russia hold joint naval drills in Gulf of Oman

Trilateral Maritime Drill “Security Belt-2024” between Iran, Russia, and China concludes today.

The four-day joint exercise, focused on  maritime coordination, and joint naval maneuvers to ensure secure maritime economic activities. Participating forces included the Russian Marshal Shaposhnikov Udaloy-class destroyer and Chinese vessels such as the Ürümqi destroyer and the Linyi frigate.

The drills took place amid tensions in the Red Sea, triggered by Iran-aligned Houthi militants launching drone and missile attacks on international and commercial shipping. In response, a US-led coalition launched counterstrikes against the militant group.

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Expect multilateral cooperation between the three countries to expand, especially as a signal of their presence in the Red Sea to the West. With two of the largest navy in the world, Washington is likely to see Beijing and Moscow’s increased presence in the region as a threat. However, direct conflict is unlikely to break out as a result of escalated tensions as both China and the US both have significant commercial interests in the Red Sea. Russia may take advantage of tensions in the Red Sea to promote alternative shipping routes like the Northern Sea Route or the North-South Transport Corridor that connects Russia to the Indian Ocean through Iran.

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