The Navy said it would remain in Bahrain despite concerns of
Iranian-backed Shi'ite unrest. Ms. Derrick-Frost said the Fifth Fleet would
continue to employ Bahrain as a regional operations center, Middle East Newsline reported.
"The U.S. Fifth Fleet continues to support ongoing operations in the
region and is committed to working with our regional partners to maintain
security and stability in this area of operations," Ms. Derrick-Frost said
on July 22.
In March, the Fifth Fleet was said to have sent more than 1,000
personnel to Oman amid the Shi'ite revolt in Bahrain. Diplomatic sources
said the administration of President Barack Obama has been examining a
relocation of the Fifth Fleet to either Qatar or the United Arab Emirates.
Tension between Bahrain and the United States were renewed in July amid
accusations by pro-royalist factions that Washington was pressuring Manama
to concede to Shi'ite demands for power-sharing. A key royalist, National
Unity Assembly president Abdul Latif Al Mahmoud said the Fifth Fleet was
threatening to withdraw from Bahrain.
"The U.S. Navy has a long-standing relationship of more than 60 years
with Bahrain and they are a vital member of our Combined Maritime Forces,
supporting regional maritime security and stability," Ms. Derrick-Frost