File Photo: The U.S. Navy amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Bainbridge sail in the Arabian Sea May 17, 2019 (Photo: Reuters)
The United Arab Emirates says it has joined a U.S.-led coalition to protect waterways across the Mideast after an attack on Saudi Arabia's Aramco oil installations earlier in the week heightened tensions in the area.
The state-run WAM news agency announced the UAE's decision in a statement Thursday.
It quoted Salem al-Zaabi of the Emirati Foreign Ministry as saying the UAE joined the coalition to ``ensure global energy security and the continued flow of energy supplies to the global economy.''
Saudi Arabia joined the coalition on Wednesday. Australia, Bahrain and the United Kingdom also are taking part.
The U.S. formed the coalition after attacks on oil tankers that American officials blame on Iran, as well as Iran's seizure of tankers in the region. Iran denies being behind the tanker explosions.
*This story was edited by Ahram Online