World War III continues to heat up as the US Marines have been deployed to the Strait of Hormuz. The military also plans to deploy F-16 and F-35 warplanes and an Amphibious Readiness Group/Marine Expeditionary Unit containing 3,000 troops. France24 says that Iran has attempted, sometimes unsuccessfully, to take control of 20 internationally flagged ships containing oil over the past two years. But the Associated Press reported last month that Iran had seized five ships over the same period.
Coincidentally, this news of the Marine deployment comes days after the ISW announced that Iran plans to build a drone factory in Belarus. Russia has admitted that it was having some difficulties importing weapons from Iran. The US Navy has already been positioned in this area to combat Iranian forces. Around 20% of all crude exports pass through this area of the Gulf, so of course it must be guarded. However, why send in the Marines and fighter jets?
Iran has been building its nuclear capabilities, claiming it is purely peaceful. US-Iran relations deteriorated further in 2015 when Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear agreement and slapped Iran with sanctions. Iran produced its Abu Mahdi cruise missile in 2020 that has the capacity to target ships 620 miles away. There has not been a Marine presence in the Persian Gulf since November 2021. They claim this recent deployment is to secure energy prices. Yet, the US, French, and British naval forces have ramped up their presence in recent months. Could they be preparing for a larger event?