South China Sea: Duterte orders Philippines military to occupy islands

CNN – Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte said Thursday he has ordered military personnel to occupy all Philippines-claimed islands in the disputed South China Sea.

Syria war: US launches missile strikes in response to chemical ‘attack’

BBC – The US has carried out a missile strike against a Syrian air base in response to a suspected chemical weapons attack on a rebel-held town. Fifty-nine Tomahawk cruise missiles were fired from two US Navy ships in the Mediterranean.

This Presence Will Continue Forever: An Assessment of Iranian Naval Capabilities in the Red Sea

CIMSEC – International attention has focused on the possibilities of an Iranian closure of the Straits of Hormuz, and the catastrophic effect a blockade would likely have on global energy supplies. Even a temporary closure or military disruption in the waterway would cause energy prices to soar and could politically destabilize the Persian Gulf region. Far less attention has been paid to Iranian activity in the Red Sea, however, despite the crucial importance of the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait to world oil shipments.