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The UK is set to build a small, £15mn ($23.6mn), naval base in Bahrain – its first permanent facility in the Gulf since 1971 – as American and European military operations against the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) ramp up. The UK already has a naval presence at the Mina Salman port in Bahrain, where it houses four mine-hunting warships. It also supports destroyers and frigates operating in the Gulf from Mina Salman.
The navies of the UK, the United States and other global powers regularly patrol the Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz – the world’s most important maritime chokepoint, which connects Gulf oil production to global markets. The safe passage of ships through these two waterways is the capstone of US and UK regional strategy.
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