Italians Cutting Gulf Naval Force

From Reuters

Italy is cutting its naval force in the Persian Gulf by two ships, bringing home a minesweeper and a support vessel, Defense Minister Valerio Zanone told Parliament on Wednesday.

Zanone, who earlier this week said the danger from mines in the gulf has been reduced, added that a frigate might also be pulled out later depending on the needs of merchant shipping.

"The change in the situation in the gulf from September to today means that the support ship Anteo and a minesweeper can return to Italy," Zanone said.

Italy sent eight ships, including three minesweepers and two support vessels, to the gulf last year after an Iranian attack on one of its merchant vessels.

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