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Faud asked: Can you explain the growing numbers of foreign forces in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean?

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  • Ruchita Beri replies: The escalation in the number of piracy attacks in recent years has increased the presence of foreign navies in the Gulf of Aden and the Western Indian Ocean Region. In 2008, recognising the growing danger posed to international shipping by pirates, the UN Security Council passed several resolutions to allow countries to send warships to the region. Several countries, including the United States, members of the European Union, Japan, China, Russia, Iran, United Kingdom and India have deployed warships in the region to secure the Sea Lines of Communications (SLOCs). Collective efforts include deployments by the European Union and the multinational coalition task force, Combined Task Force (CTF 151) and the CTF -150. CTF 151 was established in January 2009 with a special mandate to conduct counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and off the eastern coast of Somalia. While the CTF 150, established in 2001 at the beginning of US launched War on Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom), has a wider mandate and conducts maritime security operations not just in the Gulf of Aden but also the in Gulf of Oman, the Arabian Sea, Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. The Indian Navy, deployed in the Gulf of Aden since 2008, has recently crossed the milestone of escorting 1000 ships through piracy infested waters.