Saudi Arabia Sends 1K Troops Into Bahrain
Opposition groups call move war threat
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Mar 14, 2011 1:26 PM CDT
Bahraini anti-government protesters set up makeshift roadblocks in Manama on March 13, 2011.   (Getty Images/AFP PHOTO/JAMES LAWLER DUGGAN)
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(Newser) – More than 1,000 troops from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries entered Bahrain today to protect important oil and power facilities, a Saudi official tells the Wall Street Journal. The move comes a day after violent protests rocked Bahrain, notes Reuters, and mostly-Shiite opposition groups are likening it to a declaration of war. “We consider the entry of any soldier or military machinery into the Kingdom of Bahrain's air, sea or land territories a blatant occupation,” said a statement from the opposition, which fears “undeclared war by armed troops.”

“The force will work under the directions of the Bahraini government and protect vital facilities like oil and power,” said the Saudi, adding that “Saudi Arabia took part” in the troop deployment because, like Bahrain, “it is a (Gulf Cooperation Council) member and cares about the regional security.” The US has urged “our GCC partners to show restraint and respect the rights of the people of Bahrain.”