Under the proposed plan a coalition of nations will monitor shipping in the Straits of Hormuz and the Bab al-Mandab [File: ISNA/(AP Photo]

The US says it is working to form a military coalition to protect commercial shipping off the coast of Iran and Yemen amid heightened tensions in the region following attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf.

Under the proposed plan, a coalition of nations will safeguard strategic waters in the Persian Gulf area and the sea between the Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff said on Tuesday.

“We’re engaging now with a number of countries to see if we can put together a coalition that would ensure freedom of navigation

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