Bahrain Roundup 2020: Hillary Clinton Emails Reveal Many Details on Entrance of Peninsula Shield Force, Participation of Hamad bin Jassim
2021-01-22 - 1:44 am
Bahrain Mirror (Roundup 2020): The US State Department published in October 2020 an email correspondence involving former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, which includes many details about the period when the popular movement was launched in Bahrain, and the various events that followed. The correspondence addresses the King of Bahrain's request for Saudi intervention in his country, his orders for the use of excessive force, and the participation of Saudi forces in the bloody attack on the Pearl Roundabout in 2011. The emails also contain details concerning the Crown Prince's call for dialogue, as well as confirm that the King requested the intervention of Saudi forces prior to the crown prince's initiative, and emphasize that Qatar's intervention was at an American request.
Correspondence "C05778464UAE" sent by Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman (March 13, 20211) said: "Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed just confirmed to me that the UAE and Saudi Arabia are sending troops into Bahrain, which he says was requested by the Bahraini government. I also have requested Saudi Ambassador Adel Jubeir to get back to me with the Saudi explanation. He confirmed that troops are on the causeway to Bahrain and will enter Bahrain." He adds "I asked what he expected to accomplish. The basic answer is that the UAE is responding to the call to restore order (...) the other GCC countries would not stand by and watch others take Bahrain hostage."
In another correspondence "C05787272" (March 16, 2011), Feltman said that the Peninsula Shield Force took the king's permission to use excessive force. "During the early morning of March 16, 2011, according to individuals with direct access to the security forces of Saudi Arabia, the government of Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa al Khalifa privately told military advisors to Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz that the 1000 man Saudi security force which entered Bahrain on March 13 should shoot to kill, if needed, to aid overwhelmed Bahraini security forces in dispersing anti-government demonstrators. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) will send in 500 police officers to support of this GCC operation."
According to a confidential email (March 14, 2011, issued by the Bahraini Embassy in Manama under "C05778571", "The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Peninsula Shield Force, currently including only Saudi elements, departed King Khalid Military City in northeast Saudi Arabia along with the Third Riot Control Battalion of the Saudi Arabia National Guard and are now crossing the King Fand causeway into Bahrain. Consulate General Dhahran confirms the causeway is now closed to regular traffic."
Email "C05778586" sent on the same day stresses that "Post confirms a second wave of military vehicles entered Bahrain via the causeway, including armored vehicles, Humvees pulling trailers, 18-wheel trucks, fuel trucks, and various utility vehicles headed to a training area south of Isa Air Base."
"Saudi troops here; UAE and Kuwaiti troops are coming," read email "C05778573" by Feltman (March 14, 2011).
Correspondence "C05778736" from Joseph LeBaron to Jeffry Feltman (March 15, 2011) spoke about Qatari participation. "A senior GOQ military contact confirmed today that the GCC Peninsula Shield contingent deployed from Saudi Arabia to Bahrain includes Qatari troops normally stationed in Saudi Arabia as part of Peninsula Shield. The contact said Qatar has approximately 100 troops in Peninsula Shield. It's not yet clear whether all 100 will deploy to Bahrain."
With respect to the efforts exerted at that time, Jeffery Feltman said in correspondence "C05778611" (March 14, 2011): "Hamad bin Jassim and Saud al Faisal are both here, cloistered with the King and Crown Prince. I have a call in to Hamad bin Jassim. Al-Wefaq leaders (including Ali Salman) don't seem to understand the situation has fundamentally changed, with the entry of the GCC. They are still talking about what they need to take the Crown Prince up on his dialogue offer. We sat with them for two hours, and the conversation was the same we've had before. Foreign Minister says I'll see the crown prince tomorrow. We've got some ideas on general principles to lower tensions we'll share with him."
US embassy employee Janet Sanderson said in correspondence "C05777682" (March 17, 2011) that the Bahraini government ignored them. In her email to Feltman she says I have "attempted to contact Foreign Minister urgently (and has reached his staff) but he has not returned her call. Attempts to reach Minister Interior and Mukhabarat have also been unsuccessful. She suspects that they are avoiding her. UK ambassador hasn't been able to talk to any senior officials since an earlier call last night with Minister Interior."