Saudi troops enter Bahrain to help quell anti-regime protests
Source: Press TV
The United Arab Emirates has sent around 500 police forces to neighboring Bahrain following an invasion led by Saudi Arabia to crack down on Bahraini protesters.
“The Bahrain government asked us yesterday to look at ways to help them to defuse tension in Bahrain,” Emirati Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan said on Monday.
“We have already sent roughly around 500 of our police force who are there,” he said at a gathering of Group of Eight foreign ministers in Paris.
The deployment came after UAE decided to join the Persian Gulf contingent sent to Bahrain to help the tiny kingdom in its deadly crackdown on protesters.
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said that the UAE decision to join the contingent reflects the determination of member states of the (Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council to “close ranks in face of any danger.”
In addition to Bahrain and the UAE, the council includes Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
Saudi Arabia earlier said that it also answered Bahrain's request for support, shortly before Bahrain's state television aired footage of troops from the council's joint Peninsula Shield Force crossing King Fahd causeway from Saudi Arabia.
Bahrain's opposition, however, said it considered any foreign military intervention to be an “occupation” and called on the international community to act to ensure the “protection of the people of Bahrain from the danger of foreign military intervention.”
Opposition protesters are demanding far-reaching democratic reform in the country which has been ruled by al-Khalifa dynasty for more than 200 years.
The king has offered dialogue and a new, empowered parliament and other reforms but the opposition has refused to sit down to talks until the government resigns.