The United States deploys a guided missile destroyer to the Gulf.

The move comes as Washington increases its presence in the Gulf waterways amid tension with Iran.

The US Navy has deployed a guided missile destroyer to the Gulf amid rising tension with Iran.

Earlier this month, the US Navy said it had stopped Iran from seizing two tankers and released drone footage purporting to show an Iranian warship firing on one of the ships. One of the tankers, the Richmond Voyager, sustained minor hull damage.

The US Navy stated that another tanker, the Marshall Islands-flagged TRF Moss, was being harassed by an Iranian warship until a US guided-missile destroyer, USS McFaul, approached both vessels. Both incidents occurred in the Gulf of Oman.

There has been a spate of seizures and military attacks on commercial vessels in Gulf waterways this year, including the seizure of two oil tankers, one bound for Texas, in the space of a week in May.

The US Navy stated that the latest deployment of a warship was intended to “help ensure regional maritime security and stability.”

Last month, the United States sent in F-16 fighter jets to bolster its regional military presence. USS Thomas Hudner is equipped with 96 missiles of various types, including powerful Tomahawk cruise missiles and anti-ship and anti-aircraft missiles.

In April, the United States made the unusual announcement that one of its most formidable submarines, the USS Florida, an Ohio-class nuclear-powered submarine that can carry 154 cruise missiles, would be deployed in the region.

This followed an extended visit to the aircraft carrier USS George HW Bush, one of ten Nimitz-class aircraft carriers, the largest warships ever built.

The Nimitz-class aircraft carriers are nuclear-powered, can carry up to 90 aircraft, and cost about $10 billion per ship.

Although they have occurred relatively frequently this year, attacks on ships in the region were more aggressive last year, with two incidents using one-way attack drones, the first of which hit the oil tanker Mercer Street last month. July, killing two sailors when the explosive drone flew into a crew compartment.

In November, the Singapore-flagged M/T Pacific Zircon suffered light damage when a drone also hit it. Both tankers were linked to Israeli-owned companies.

The National News