UK to establish three military bases in the Middle East
Britain is planning to set up new military bases in the Middle East, namely in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Oman and Bahrain. This step is considered to be a part of the strategy to tackle extremism, The Times reports.
According to officials of the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD), further engagement in the region is currently being considered, but no decisions have been made. Downing Street is expected to shed more light on it in some months.
The al-Minhad airbase near Dubai is already used to support the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) operations in Afghanistan.
"It is understood that work began before the rise of Islamic State and is part of a review of the UK's presence in the Gulf following the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan", The Times underlines. "The effect is that we are making a strategic adjustment, which is in my view quite sensible," Michael Clarke, director of the Royal United Services Institute think-tank, told The Times.