About 1,000 Saudi Arabian soldiers have reportedly entered Bahrain at the invitation of the Bahraini royal authorities in order to quell protests that have been raging there for a month.
A Saudi military source has confirmed the development to Reuters. The Saudis are reportedly in Bahrain to protect government facilities.
About 1,000 Saudi soldiers have entered Bahrain early on Monday morning through the causeway to Bahrain, the source told Reuters.
They are part of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) force that would guard the government installations.
The GCC is a six-member regional bloc which includes both Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
Reportedly, Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa, Bahrain's crown prince, formally requested the Saudi intervention.
Abdulrahman bin Hamad al-Attiya, the secretary general of the Gulf Cooperation Council, said that safeguarding security and stability in one [GCC] country is a collective responsibility.
Bahraini officials have also confirmed the story.
Forces from the Gulf Cooperation Council have arrived in Bahrain to maintain order and security, Nabeel al-Hamer, a former information minister and adviser to the royal court, said on his Twitter feed late on Sunday, according to Reuters.
GCC forces will arrive in Bahrain today to take part in maintaining law and order, wrote the Gulf Daily News, which is linked to Bahrain’s prime minister.
Their mission will be limited to protecting vital facilities, such as oil, electricity and water installations, and financial and banking facilities.
Bahrain’s ruling Sunni minority elite has faced relentless calls from the country’s Shiite majority to institute massive political reforms. It would appear that Bahrain’s rulers have had enough of the continuing civil disorders.
On Sunday, dozens of Bahrainis were injured after protesters shoved back police and barricaded roads.
Already, a parliament bloc appealed the king of Bahrain to impose martial law in the tiny kingdom.
The parliament bloc's statement requested a three-month declaration of martial law and alleged that extremist movements were trying to disrupt the country and push it toward civil war.
The appeal also seeks a curfew and the dispatch of military units around the kingdom.
The opposition forces in Bahrain say the presence of foreign troops on its soil is tantamount to an occupation.
The Khalifa dynasty of Bahrain is close allies of the ruling al-Saud family of Saudi Arabia