MESA missions include Gulf, Arab Sea, Red Sea, Mediterranean

Manama: The remit of the security and military alliance being prepared in the Gulf and Middle East will include the Arabian Gulf, the Arab Sea, the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea and the three waterways that link them – the Hormuz Strait, Bab Al Mandab and the Suez Canal.

The mission of the Middle East Strategic Alliance (MESA) will include monitoring navigation in these areas and tackling the illegal smuggling of weapons and which violate UN Security Council resolutions, Kuwaiti daily Al Rai reported on Friday, citing US sources it did not name.

To the north, the alliance will monitor the military supply lines used by Iran along the Jordanian border (Al Tanf US military base on the Iraqi-Syrian-Jordanian border).

It will also support local forces contributing to monitoring any shipments of weapons from Iran to pro-Iranian militias in Syria and Lebanon.

The alliance, expected to be formally announced next month, comprises the six GCC states and Egypt, Jordan and the US.

Other probable tasks include the formation of a ground force that could be deployed in Syria alongside US forces in the Syrian areas east of the Euphrates as part of the anti-terrorism mission and to ensure that the Daesh terror group does not return, the sources said.

The force could also be used to help reinstate the legitimate Yemeni government in Yemeni areas after their liberation from militias and terrorist groups.

According to the sources, the discussion of the ideas has reached an advanced level and once all the details have been agreed on, a meeting will be called in Washington before mid-October so that alliance is formally announced, most likely in the presence of senior security and military leaders from the member countries.