Five Killed in Bahrain Protests

Three protesters and two security officers were killed Wednesday as demonstrators clashed with the military, comprised not only of Bahrainis but also troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The deadly crackdown came only one day after President Obama telephoned both King Abdullah and King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa of Bahrain to warn that “the need for maximum restraint” is needed. Witnesses to Wednesday’s crackdown reported that military helicopters and tanks rolled into the street, with one man saying “it really felt like a war, not a police operation.” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters in Cairo that the Bahraini situation is “alarming.” Bahrain remains a strategic problem for the U.S.: Not only is the Navy’s Fifth Fleet located on the island, Iran has historically claimed the tiny kingdom is a part of its country, while Bahrain has traditionally allied with Saudi Arabia.