Free Headline Alerts     
Worldwide Web


Tuesday, March 15, 2011     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Gulf states send troops to Bahrain for first time since Iraq threat to Kuwait in 2002

ABU DHABI — For the first time in nearly a decade, the Gulf Cooperation Council has sent troops to protect a member.


The six-member GCC has sent about 1,000 troops to Bahrain. Officials said the troops, backed by helicopters and armored vehicles, arrived in the Sunni kingdom on March 14 and would protect strategic facilities.

"Forces from the Gulf Cooperation Council have arrived in Bahrain to maintain order and security," Bahrain royal adviser Nabil Al Hamer said.

Secret Gum Disease & Bad Breath Cure, 100% Guaranteed!

Also In This Edition

Al Hamer did not say how many GCC troops arrived and from which countries, Middle East Newsline reported. He said the foreign forces would not participate in missions to control rising Shi'ite unrest in Bahrain.

"Their mission will be limited to protecting vital facilities, such as oil, electricity and water installations, and financial and banking facilities," Al Hamer said.

This marked the first time in nearly a decade that the GCC sent troops to help a member. In 2002, the GCC sent about 8,000 troops to protect Kuwait from neighboring Iraq.

"The deployment of military units stems from the principle of common destiny bonding GCC member states," Bahrain's military said.

Opposition sources said virtually all of the GCC troops were comprised of Saudi nationals. They said they were accompanied by at least 150 main battle tanks and armored personnel carriers.

"We consider that any military force or military equipment crossing the boundaries of Bahrain — from air, sea or land — an occupation and a conspiracy against the people of Bahrain," an opposition statement said.

The United Arab Emirates said it sent 500 troops to Bahrain. No further details were reported.

"The move is in response to a request from Bahrain for assistance and to contribute toward maintaining security and stability," UAE Deputy Foreign Minister Anwar Gergash said.

The Shi'ite unrest was said to have virtually paralyzed Bahrain, regarded as the financial center of the region and home of the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet. So far, Saudi Arabia has led the drive within the GCC to protect the regime of King Hamad Bin Issa Al Khalifa.

"What we are witnessing in Manama is no peaceful protest," Bahraini Prime Minister Khalifa Min Salman Al Khalifa said. "It's wanton, gangster style takeover of people's lives."

Saudi Arabia has confirmed the arrival of the GCC force. Riyad also led a lobbying effort that resulted in a GCC pledge of $10 billion in aid to Bahrain.

"This is not an invasion of a country," White House spokesman Jay Carney said in Washington. "We urge the government of Bahrain, as we have repeatedly, as well as other GCC countries, to exercise restraint."

About Us     l    Privacy     l     l
Copyright © 2011    East West Services, Inc.    All rights reserved.