Bahrain warms to Israel: Iran ‘our biggest problem’

Special to Gulf states are looking to improve relations with Israel while sending a message to Iran that it is “our biggest problem,” Bahrain’s foreign minister said. Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa said several Gulf states decided to cut ties with Iran and designate Hizbullah a terror organization to let Teheran know that “we […]

U.S. Fifth Fleet leads major anti-mines exercise near Strait of Hormuz

Special to The U.S. Navy has introduced new technology to the world’s largest maritime exercise. Underwater drones and the expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Choctaw County will be included for the first time in the International Mine Countermeasures Exercise (IMCMEX), led by the Bahrain-based U.S. Fifth Fleet. The exercise got underway on April 4 […]

Brussels attacks spark self-criticism in Arab media

Special to While the usual blame-Israel responses cropped up in some Mideast media circles following the Brussels terrorist attacks, a new and noteworthy trend was seen in Arab media. Several media outlets put the blame squarely on Muslim and Arab culture for the attacks which killed 35 and wounded more than 300. A columnist […]

U.S. provides logistical support to French carrier in Gulf

Special to The United States is providing critical support for France’s aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf. The U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, based in Bahrain, resupplied France’s Charles De Gaulle carrier, which began operations in the Gulf last month as part of the U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL). “The […]

Unprecedented U.S. Mideast strategy is ad hoc, disregards existing frameworks

Special to By Gregory R. Copley, Editor, GIS/Defense & Foreign Affairs Senior-level sources in numerous Middle Eastern governments have privately expressed bewilderment at recent and current U.S. government strategies and policies toward the region. But a closer examination of U.S. policies, now almost entirely dictated by the Obama White House, shows no cohesive national […]

Gulf States jointly condemn ‘Iranian interference’ in Saudi affairs

Special to Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty The Sunni Arab monarchies of the Persian Gulf have expressed support for Saudi Arabia in its diplomatic row with Iran, condemning what they described as Iranian interference in Riyadh’s internal affairs. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia accused Iran of sponsoring terrorism and warned that the kingdom was considering […]

Gulf states helping secure Saudi border with Yemen

Special to Some 1,000 troops from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states have been deployed to Saudi Arabia. The troops, mostly from Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, were sent to Saudi’s southern border with Yemen for a border security operation against Iran-backed Houthi rebels. The rebels have launched several missiles at the Saudi southern […]

UAE, Bahrain, Sudan join Saudi in curbing ties to Iran

Special to Bahrain and Sudan on Jan. 4 followed Saudi Arabia’s lead in cutting diplomatic ties with Iran. United Arab Emirates said it would also downgrade its ties to Teheran. The escalating tensions between Saudi and Iran came after Riyadh’s execution of a Shi’ite Muslim cleric. Iranian protesters stormed the Saudi embassy in Teheran […]

Bahrain security high for Formula One race amid terror threats

Special to ABU DHABI — Bahrain has approved a plan to secure an international motor race. Officials said the Interior Ministry has launched measures to protect the Formula One Grand Prix race, an international event expected to attract thousands to Bahrain. The officials said the plan would restrict traffic and bolster deployment of security […]