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Posted at: Jul 24, 2019, 7:01 AM; last updated: Jul 24, 2019, 7:01 AM (IST)

Commandos escort Indian-flagged vessels

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 23

The Indian Navy now has 31 teams of armed commandos to escort Indian flagged merchant vessels through the Straits of Hormuz into the Persian Gulf and back. This is to avoid any Indian merchant vessel getting hijacked or affected in the ongoing tensions between the US and Iran.

India gets crude from Iraq and Kuwait and the route is through the Straits of Hormuz. Besides the billions of dollars of trade passes through the straits that connect the Persian Gulf with the Gulf of Oman. Each of the armed teams has three members, These teams are stationed on two warships INS Sunayna and INS Trikand. The two warships are stationed some 200-250 nautical miles apart — one of the Gulf of Oman and other in Persian Gulf. The armed commandos on the warship in Gulf of Oman board the incoming merchant vessel mid-sea and escort it safely northwards through the straits of Hormuz. On the return journey, the same procedure is followed.

Called operation Sankalp, it was launched in the last week of June to re-assure Indian flagged vessels transiting through the area following the maritime incidents in the region. The teams of armed commandos have been increased as the Indian flagged vessels are increasing.

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