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Dutch frigate deploying to Persian Gulf as part of French-led EU security mission

Dutch Navy file photo of HNLMS De Ruyter

The Royal Netherlands Navy is deploying air-defense frigate HNLMS De Ruyter to the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz where it will be part of a French-led EU maritime security mission.

The frigate is deploying in January 2020 and will spend half a year in the region, working on preventing human, arms and drugs smuggling and protecting merchant shipping.

Dubbed Awareness Strait of Hormuz (EMASOH), the initiative is spearheaded by France and will focus on the western part of the Gulf of Oman, the eastern part of the Arabian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz.

Denmark has expressed willingness to contribute to the EMASOH while Germany declined to do so, according to media reports.

The UK Royal Navy joined a US-led mission in the region earlier this year, called the International Maritime Security Construct, after Iran detained a UK-flagged tanker in international waters of the Strait of Hormuz in July this year.

The Dutch government further said that it was considering the possibility of joining the multinational mission in Sahel at a French request. It is also weighing in on renewing its contribution to the fight against ISIS in Syria, at a request by the US.