WASHINGTON — The United States is resuming some arms shipments to Bahrain after most transfers were suspended last year amid a crackdown on political dissent.
The State Department announced Friday the administration would release the military aid shipments because they are necessary for Bahrain’s defense. The announcement follows meetings in Washington this week between Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Bahrain’s Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa.
It also came as Bahraini riot police on Friday fired tear gas and stun grenades during clashes with anti-government protesters following a rally calling for the release of detained activists, according to witnesses.
At least 50 people have died amid Bahrain’s unrest since it began in February 2011.The strategic island nation is home to the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet.