Saudi Arabia has moved decisively to bolster Bahrain's embattled royal family, sending military forces across the causeway linking the two kingdoms after violent weekend pro-democracy protests by Shia demonstrators all but overwhelmed police.
Although the deployment on Monday was at Bahrain's request and came under the guise of the Gulf Co-operation Council, whose other members also sent troops, it marked another stage in Saudi Arabia's reluctant emergence as the key regional policeman, at a time when the Arab world faces unprecedented turmoil, The Guardian reports.
Mohammad al-Maskati, president of the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights, said several of his fellow activists had seen the troops arriving.
The opposition statement said it considered the arrival of any soldier or military vehicle "an overt occupation of the kingdom of Bahrain and a conspiracy against the unarmed people of Bahrain.", New York Times informs.