Britain on Thursday started a new naval base in Bahrain, its first enduring military outpost in the Middle East in nearly half a century, London’s defence ministry stated.
The base, south of Bahrain’s capital Manama, will incorporate around 300 British groups and support personnel as Britain and Gulf states enforce their campaign against jihadist troops in the region.
Gavin Williamson, the defence secretary stated, “Our presence in Bahrain will play a vital role in keeping Britain safe as well as underpinning security in the Gulf.”
Bahrain and Britain are unit of the US-led coalition fighting the ISIL group in Syria and Iraq, and the new base depicts that Britain will have the chance to incorporate to its four mine-hunter warships presently based at the Mina Salman port.
Britain’s defence ministry mentioned, “What happens in the Gulf region has a direct impact on the national security of the United Kingdom, our prosperity and the safety of our citizens.”
Using an Arabic acronym for ISIL, it also added that, “It is vital that we work with close allies like Bahrain to tackle regional threats such as that posed by Daesh.”
The small island nation of Bahrain at present houses the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet.
Britain quit from bases in the Gulf in 1971 as part of its strategy to pull out from “East of Suez”.
It finished its troop presence in southern Iraq in 2009, discarding bases constructed in Basra after the 2003 invasion.
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