Tuesday, June 14, 2011

US role in Bahrain crackdown exposed

Bahraini army tanks block streets leading to Pearl Square in the capital Manama on March 16, 2011

Source: Press TV

The crucial role of the United States and Britain in the brutal crackdown on anti-government protesters in Bahrain has been exposed.

According to the Morning Star newspaper, Bahrain received over USD 200 million in military equipment from US companies between October 2009 and October 2010, which were used against peaceful anti-government protesters in the country.

The arms sales were more than double the USD 89 million worth approved by Washington over the previous US financial year.

Previously, the sales included military hardware for aircraft and military electronics. However, in 2010, the US government also approved the sale of USD 760,000 in rifles, shotguns and assault weapons to Bahrain.

Scores of protesters have been killed and many others injured since the beginning of anti-regime protests in Bahrain in mid-February.

Despite international condemnation of Manama's gross human rights violations, Washington has, so far, refused to condemn the brutal crackdown on protesters with US President Barack Obama expressing firm support for the Bahraini regime.

Bahraini opposition groups have lashed out at the US for what they have described as Washington's double-standards on the revolutions in the Arab world.

It is widely believed that since Bahrain is a key US ally in the Persian Gulf region and hosts the US Navy's Fifth Fleet, Washington prefers to remain silent about events unfolding in the country.

Chris Bambery, a Middle East analyst, said in an interview with Press TV that Bahrain is also "a major banking center for British and American finance."

Britain, which has played a key role in propping up hereditary monarchies in the Persian Gulf and supports the unelected regimes, has also played a significant role in crackdowns on Bahraini protesters.

According to UK Ministry of Defense, members of the Saudi Arabian National Guard, who were sent into Bahrain in March to crush the popular uprising, had received military training from the British Armed Forces in Saudi Arabia.

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