Saudi Arabia is preparing to intervene in neighboring Bahrain, after a day of clashes between police and protesters. Bahrain’s crown prince Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa is expected to formally invite Saudi forces into his country, as part of a request now being considered by the six-member Gulf Co-operation Council. Hundreds were injured after police fired tear gas and charged protesters who had occupied Manama’s financial center on March 13.
Unprecedented protests are also breaking out in Saudi Arabia itself, two days after an online call for a “Day of Rage” campaign was successfully suppressed by a massive police presence. In Riyadh, hundreds of family members of people who have been imprisoned without charge peacefully rallied in front of the Ministry of Interior. (The Guardian, March 14; WP, March 13)