photo: Hamad I Mohammed, Reuters
By Francesco Turso
On Monday, March 14, foreign military forces entered Manama, Bahrain from Saudi Arabia. According to the Agence France-Press, a Saudi official confirmed that more than 1,000 Saudi Troops had crossed the 16 mile bridge that links Bahrain to Saudi Arabia.
The Los Angeles Times reported that the force was apparently sent to help Bahrain’s royal family quell protests by the nation’s majority Shiite Muslims. Demonstrators have formed the words “Game Over” with bricks as they blocked the roads from riot police. Their demands include far reaching reforms from the ruling royal family.
According to Reuters, Nabeel al-Hamer, Bahrain’s former information mister, was quoted on his Tweeter feed as saying, “Forces from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) arrived in Bahrain to maintain order and security.
The Guardian reported that demonstrators clashed with security forces and government supporters on the campus of the main university in the Gulf Kingdom. Security forces used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse about 350, according to the government. They then moved in on Pearl Square, occupied by members of the Shiite majority asking for an elected government and equality with Sunnis.
National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor was quoted, by The Washington Post, as calling for restraint. “The United States is deeply concerned about yesterday’s violence in Manama and particularly troubled by reports that some demonstrators instigated violence, causing serious injuries. We are also aware of reports that Saudi Arabia has sent security forces support to Bahrain and that other GCC countries are considering doing so as well. We urge our GCC partners to show restraint and respect the rights of the people of Bahrain, and to act in a way that supports dialogue instead of undermining it.”