By Riyaz ul Khaliq
ANKARA - Australia is the latest country to announce it is joining in a coalition of countries led by the U.S. to safeguard the Strait of Hormuz from feared attacks from Iran.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Wednesday morning that Australia's involvement will be "modest, meaningful and time limited," the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
Citing recent incidents involving shipping, he said: "This destabilizing behavior is a threat to Australia's interests in the region."
Canberra has said that it will send a warship, surveillance aircraft, and defense forces personnel to join the coalition.
"The government has decided that it is in Australia's national interest to work with our international partners to contribute. Our contribution will be limited in scope and it will be time bound," the Australian daily quoted the prime minister as saying.
On July 10, the U.S. announced plans to create an international military coalition to safeguard waters off Iran and Yemen, following attacks on two oil tankers in June.
Washington will identify which nations have the "political will" to support the initiative, Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, said about the coalition.
The U.S. has said it would provide "the main awareness and intelligence surveillance" for coordination during patrols and between ships.
Tensions between the U.S. and Iran escalated after the tankers were attacked at the Strait of Hormuz. Washington held Tehran responsible for the attacks and also accused them of destroying navigation devices in waters, accusations Iran denied.