Arab states in the Gulf plan to launch a joint naval force, a top Kuwaiti defense official said on Wednesday, in a bid to protect waters shared with neighboring Iran.

The new force is expected to be formed in the “coming months,” Major General Ahmad Yussef al-Mulla was quoted as saying by the official KUNA news agency.

The Gulf Cooperation Council states — Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — formed the Peninsula Shield force in 1982 as a 5,000-strong army. […]