Iraq will not join the International Maritime Security Construct - a US-led international alliance that aims to protect merchant ships and ensure freedom of maritime navigation and international trade to secure gulf waterways - the country's foreign ministry announced on Thursday.

The foreign ministry also said it rejected any participation by Israel in that coalition, and that security in the Gulf was the responsibility of Gulf states.

The United Arab Emirates announced Thursday that it was joining the alliance, which is currently made up of the US, UK, Australia, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. Its operation covers the Strait of Hormuz, Bab al-Mandab, the Sea of Oman and the Arabian Gulf.