The United States says it is working to form a military coalition to protect commercial shipping off the coast of Iran and Yemen amid heightened tensions in the region following attacks on oil tankers in the Persian Gulf.
Under the proposed plan, a coalition of nations will safeguard strategic waters in the Persian Gulf area and the sea between the Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff said on Tuesday.
"We're engaging now with a number of countries to see if we can put together a coalition that would ensure freedom of navigation both in the Straits of Hormuz and the Bab al-Mandab," said Marine General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Dunford said the Pentagon has developed a specific plan, and that he believes it will be clear within a couple of weeks which nations are willing to join the effort.
The administration of US President Donald Trump has blamed Tehran and its proxies for several attacks on tankers in the past few months.
A fifth of the world's oil exports passes through the area.