Saturday 16 December 2017

Saudi security forces move into position for 'day of rage'

Robert Fisk in Riyadh

SAUDI ARABIA was yesterday drafting up to 10,000 security personnel into its north-eastern Muslim Shia provinces, in fear of next week's "day of rage" by what is now called the "Hunayn Revolution".

Saudi Arabia's worst nightmare -- the arrival of the new Arab awakening of rebellion and insurrection in the kingdom -- is now casting its long shadow over the House of Saud.

Provoked by the Shia majority uprising in the neighbouring Sunni-dominated island of Bahrain, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia is widely reported to have told the Bahraini authorities that if they do not crush their Shia revolt, his own forces will.

The opposition is expecting at least 20,000 Saudis to gather in Riyadh and in the Shia Muslim provinces of the north-east of the country in six days, to demand an end to corruption and, if necessary, the overthrow of the House of Saud.

Saudi security forces have deployed troops and armed police across the Qatif area -- where most of Saudi Arabia's Shia Muslims live -- and yesterday would-be protesters circulated photographs of armoured vehicles and buses of the state-security police near the port city of Dammam.

Although desperate to avoid any outside news about the extent of the protests abroad, Saudi security officials have known for more than a month that the revolt of Shia Muslims in the tiny island of Bahrain was expected to spread to Saudi Arabia. (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent

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