Troops from the United Arab Emirates are reportedly expected to arrive March 14. Al Arabiya reported that Saudi forces have already entered Bahrain, but these claims have yet to be officially confirmed by the Bahraini regime. The only announcement thus far has come from Nabil al-Hamar, the former information minister and adviser to the royal family, who wrote on Twitter that the Arab forces arrived in Bahrain. An unnamed Saudi official also said March 14 that more than 1,000 Saudi troops from the GCC’s Peninsula Shield military force entered Bahrain late March 13, AFP reported.
The ongoing tensions are exacerbated by the split between Bahrain’s Shiite movement, which became clearer during protests on March 11. The more hard-line faction of the Shiite movement, led by the Wafa and Haq blocs, has been increasing the unrest on the streets in the hopes of stalling the talks between the Shiite Al Wefaq-led coalition’s negotiations with the regime. Military intervention by the GCC countries would mean the situation is increasingly untenable for the regime. The paradox the Bahraini regime faces is that it cannot contain the unrest while trying to kick off talks with Al Wefaq. Al Wefaq finds itself in a difficult position, since it risks losing ground against hard-liners if it appears too close to the regime while Shiite protesters are beaten by the police.