U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet issues alert of potential attack in Bahrain
ABU DHABI — The U.S. Navy has warned its personnel of Shi'ite attacks in Bahrain.
The U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet has issued an alert of an imminent Shi'ite insurgency plot in Bahrain. The navy has expressed concern that Shi'ite protestors could attack Fifth Fleet headquarters outside Manama in mid-February.
"We encourage all personnel to stay current on their knowledge of local events through the use of social media, local radio and newspapers, as well as official command and U.S. embassy information releases," Fifth Fleet spokesman Commander Jason Salata said.
In a statement to the U.S. military's Stars and Stripes newspaper, Salata said navy facilities in Bahrain were closed amid the third anniversary of the Shi'ite revolt in the Gulf Cooperation Council kingdom. They included the closure of the Bahrain School in Juffair.
"Closing the school was one such prudent action," Salata said. "Other actions are up to individual leaders to adhere to guidance released by the navy and the U.S. embassy."
About 4,000 U.S. military personnel were reported to be based in Bahrain, including staffers from the Defense Department. Officials said staffers were allowed to go home early during the three days to mark the anniversary of the bloody battles with security forces in 2011. Bahrain has blamed Iran for supporting and in some cases directing Shi'ite attackers.