Kuwait raises security alert level at oil and commercial ports

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Kuwait raised its security alert level at oil and commercial ports on Friday, according to Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), citing a decision by the trade and industry minister.

"The decision emphasizes that all measures have to be taken to protect the vessels and the ports facilities," it said.

The decision follows an announcement from Kuwait’s army on Wednesday that it was raising its readiness levels and carrying out military exercises, amid soaring regional tensions after neighboring Iran was accused of attacking Saudi Arabian oil infrastructure.

The announcement comes after two important oil production facilities in neighboring Saudi Arabia were hit by drones and missiles on September 14. All indications show that Iran is in some way responsible for the attacks, the Pentagon said on Thursday.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said on Monday that Iranian threats against the Kingdom affect the Middle East and the world during a phone call with US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper.

On Friday, a top military advisor to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said that Iran will respond from the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported.

An Iranian naval commander previously boasted they could seize any ship, any time, even if accompanied by US or UK naval forces.

The US, UK, Australia, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain have formed the International Maritime Security Construct (IMSC), a US-led a US-led international alliance that aims to protect merchant ships and ensure freedom of maritime navigation and international trade to secure gulf waterways. Its operation covers the Strait of Hormuz, Bab al-Mandab, the Sea of Oman and the Arabian Gulf.