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Iran, Russia, China stage joint naval drill in international waters south of Iran

Military forces from Iran, Russia and China exercised tactics to fight piracy and extinguish vessel fires in joint naval drills in Sea of Oman.

The Sea of Oman is a particularly sensitive waterway as it connects to the Strait of Hormuz, through which about a fifth of the world’s oil passes and which in turn connects to the Persian Gulf.
The third day of the large-scale naval drills of Iran, Russia and China -underway in the Sea of Oman and the northern parts of the Indian Ocean- included anti-piracy exercises and marine firefighting operations on Sunday.

In one of the exercises, the naval and air troops from the three countries practiced freeing two trade vessels that had been hypothetically hijacked by pirates when traveling from the Persian Gulf to international waters.
As soon as the hijacked trade vessels sent distress signals to Iran’s southeastern port city of Chabahar, the Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King helicopters of the Iranian Navy scrambled for reconnaissance. The Iranian Damavand destroyer then took control of the operation and commanded the Iranian, Russian and Chinese combat vessels to take action in the war game zone.

Afterwards, the special operation forces carried out airborne and naval operations, captured the pirates and took control of the hijacked ships.
The three countries also practiced a marine firefighting operation amid the anti-piracy exercise.

A Russian military tugboat pulled one of the freed trade vessels at the conclusion of the operation.

The four-day joint naval exercise, dubbed Marine Security Belt, kicked off in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Oman on Friday.

The war game comes amid US efforts to woo countries into a maritime coalition for patrols in the Persian Gulf, which have received lukewarm welcome from its allies.

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