Bahrain backs Israeli airstrikes on Iranian forces as 'self-defence'

Bahrain backs Israeli airstrikes on Iranian forces as 'self-defence'
2 min read
27 August, 2019
Bahrain's foreign minister on Monday appeared to back alleged Israeli airstrikes on Iranian-backed militia forces in the Middle East, defending the military action as 'self-defence'.
Bahrain and other Gulf states have found common cause with Israel over Iran tensions. [Getty]

Bahrain's foreign minister on Monday appeared to back alleged Israeli airstrikes on Iranian-backed militia forces in the Middle East, defending the military action as "self-defence".

Israel has reportedly struck targets in three different countries within the past two days, widening its military campaign against Iranian-backed forces.

Late on Saturday, the Israeli army launched strikes in Syria to thwart what it said was an impending Iranian drone attack.

Just hours later, Lebanon's army said two Israeli drones had violated Lebanese airspace over south Beirut, and the Iran-backed Hezbollah movement said one damaged a media centre it runs.

On Sunday, a purported Israeli strike killed a commander from the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF), or Hashd al-Shaabi, near Iraq's desert western border with Syria.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun and the powerful PMF militia in Iraq both declared the strikes on their countries as "declarations of war".

Bahrain's Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa took to Twitter to throw his support behind the Israeli military strikes.

"Iran is the one who has declared a war on us, with its Revolutionary Guards Corps, its Lebanese party, its Popular Mobilisation Forces in Iraq, its Houthi arm in Yemen and others," he wrote on Twitter.

"So one who strikes and destroys the piles of their ammunition is not to blame. That is self-defence," he added.

Khalifa also tweeted a picture of Article 51 of Chapter 7 in the United Nations charter, saying it "clearly affirms the right of states to self-defence against any threat or aggression."

Bahrain's foreign minister had also voiced support for Israeli strikes against Iranian targets in neighbouring Syria earlier this year, saying "every country has a right to defend itself."

Al-Khalifa also hinted at normalising ties with Israel during an unprecedented interview to an Israeli television channel.

Jordan and Egypt are the only two Arab nations to have signed peace deals with Israel.

But Bahrain and other Gulf Arab states have found common cause with Israel due to their tense relationships with Iran.

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