Reports out of Bahrain indicate that the army, which recently “secured” downtown Manama (the Bahraini capital) from protesters, opened fire into a crowd – with machine guns. It’s being described as a “bloodbath”.
The ruling royal family of Bahrain is Sunni, whereas the majority of the population, apparently mostly impoverished, are Shiite.
This is an extremely delicate and unfortunate situation for the United States, which has friendly relations with the Bahrain monarchy and bases the Navy’s 5th fleet (Persian Gulf) there. Whether this has been incredibly ill-advised like many other US political alliances in the Middle East is a large topic for another day, and probably another blog. For the time being, though, if this report is true the advent of such violence in a very turbulent situation is extremely worrying for people all over the world, and especially in the US, not to mention a terrible tragedy for the victims.