Britain opens Persian Gulf military base in Bahrain, 1st MidEast facility in 4 decades

Britain opened its first permanent military base in the Middle East in more than four decades on Thursday in the Persian Gulf country of Bahrain. The move gives the UK an expansive presence along key international shipping routes, AP reports. The HMS ‘Juffair’ naval facility can house up to around 500 Royal Navy personnel, including sailors, soldiers and airmen. British officials have described it as the first permanent British base east of the Suez Canal since 1971. Maritime security in the region ensures oil shipments and goods make it from Asia to Europe.