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Iraq has limited maritime access; it has less than 37 miles (60 km) of coastline along the Persian Gulf. Protection of ports is of great concern due to Iraqi reliance on the export of oil and the Persian Gulf as a transit route for that oil.

The Iraqi navy, as were other branches of the Saddam Hussein-era armed forces, was disbanded following the successful launching of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Before their departure, Australian, British and U.S. sailors helped to rebuild...

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