Middle East

War, occupation threaten Bahrainis

warBahrain’s opposition groups have equaled the several Arab nations’ invasion of their country with the launch of an ‘undeclared war’ on Bahraini people.

On Monday, the kingdom’s fellow members of the [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council — Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar — dispatched their armed forces to the Persian Gulf island at  Manama’s request to quell countrywide protests at the Sunni-led monarchy’s suppression of the Shia majority.

The Bahraini opposition said in a statement that the invasion “threatens them (the Bahraini public) with an undeclared war by armed troops,” Shiite News reported.

“This real threat about the entry of Saudi and other [Persian] Gulf forces into Bahrain to confront the defenseless Bahraini people puts the Bahraini people in real danger,” they noted.

The oppositionists said they consider “the entry of any soldier or military machinery into the Kingdom of Bahrain’s air, sea or land territories a blatant occupation.”

Demonstrators in Bahrain have been demanding King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa’s ouster and constitutional reforms, with hundreds peacefully camping in the capital’s Pearl Square since February 14th.

The square, which is the epicenter for the rallies, has become known to many as ‘the Martyrs Roundabout,’ in memory of the several people, who died during Manama-ordered suppression of the popular uprising.

On Sunday, the demonstrators pushed to expand their rallies from the square to Bahrain Financial Harbor, the country’s main business center.

Hundreds of the people were reportedly wounded in the security forces’ violent crackdown on the anti-government movements. More than 1,000 people were hospitalized mostly for inhaling tear gas.

The United States, which has its Fifth Fleet deployed to the country, has declined to term the incursion as an invasion.

The US Defense Department claimed it had received prior notification of the recent incursion by foreign troops.

The US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, however, had made an unannounced visit to the Bahraini capital, Manama on Friday.


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