A US Navy Ocean Tug ship belonging to the Bahrain-based Fifth Fleet (file photo) A new report has revealed that the United States and Bahrain secretly renewed a military pact for five years beyond its original deadline.
Citing a recent report by the Congressional Research Service, the Washington Post said in its report that the administration of former US President George W. Bush and the Bahraini regime extended a deal as early as 2002 when Washington designated the tiny Persian Gulf state as a “major non-NATO ally.”
The two countries first signed the 10-year military pact on October 28, 1991 seven months after the Persian Gulf War.
In 2001, the contract was prolonged until 2011, but was later secretly extended until 2016.
According to the deal, the US can use military bases in Bahrain where the US Navy's Fifth Fleet is headquartered.
The military pact also allows the US to train Bahrain's military forces, according to a report released by the US Congressional Research Service.
The development comes as the Al Khalifa regime continues a brutal crackdown on popular anti-government protests in the Middle Eastern country.
In mid-March, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates deployed their military forces in Bahrain to assist the Manama regime in its brutal crackdown on protests in the tiny Persian Gulf sheikdom.
The Al Khalifa regime has also been engaged in arresting rights activists, opposition figures, journalists, former lawmakers, senior clerics, doctors and nurses.
Both the United Nations Human Rights office and Amnesty International have condemned the Bahraini regime's brutal crackdown on and detention of peaceful anti-government protesters.
The United States also has supported the repression of peaceful protests in the tiny Persian Gulf state.