'US might redeploy Bahrain fleet'
The US Navy Fifth Fleet Area of Operation, September 23, 2010
The US is reportedly considering redeploying its Navy Fifth Fleet outside Bahrain, due to its alarm at the popular revolution against the country's Washington-backed regime.
Citing sources in Washington, The Times wrote that there was a groundswell of opinion in favor of the relocation of the fleet, which has been stationed in Bahrain since the 1970s.
Tens of thousands of Bahraini protesters have been holding peaceful anti-government rallies throughout the country since February, demanding an end to the rule of the Al Khalifa family.
"There was talk on Capitol Hill about moving the fleet within days of the protests breaking out, and that increased in March and April as people realized that what was happening in Bahrain ran counter to our interests," one source said.
The paper described the fleet as “a key component of US military power” in the Persian Gulf.
Al Khalifa, which has been ruling Bahrain for over 40 years, came into power with the direct support of the British royal family.
The Bahraini government is being constantly backed by the United States despite its record of human rights abuse and the numerous complaints lodged against it with the International Court of Justice at The Hague.
Scores of people have been killed and many more have been arrested and tortured in prisons since the beginning of protests in Bahrain.