Bahrain hosts warplane drills with US, Arab allies

Published April 8, 2012 8:54AM (EDT)

MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) — Bahrain's military says the U.S. and eight other countries are taking part in the Gulf nation's largest air force exercises in more than two decades.

The official Bahrain News Agency says at least 100 warplanes will join the drills Sunday, which come amid heightened Western pressures on Iran over Tehran's nuclear program.

Bahrain also is home to the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet. Bahrain says the aerial maneuvers are its biggest since 1988 and include Arab allies, Turkey, Pakistan and the U.S.

Bahrain's Sunni monarchy is facing a nearly 14-month-old uprising by the kingdom's majority Shiites, who are seeking a greater political voice.

By Salon Staff

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