US State Dept. Spokesperson: I've Seen Reports on Calling National Guard Out into Streets in Bahrain
2016-06-22 - 10:27 م
Bahrain Mirror: US State Department Spokesperson John Kirby stressed that he has seen reports that the Bahraini Government has called the National Guard out into the streets. However, he said that he can't confirm these reports.
Kirby said in daily press briefing on Tuesday (June 21, 2016) that the State Department is in touch with the post trying to get a better sense of what's going on.
One of the journalists pointed out that the removal of the military from the streets had been one of the big accomplishments, as it were, of the dialogue and wondered if this is something that Kirby would warn against.
"I think we need to know more about the veracity of the reports before we jump to a conclusion, but you're right - I mean, it was the - it was the use of and presence of, actions of security forces that certainly caused alarm, particularly back in 2011. But again, we just don't know the veracity of these reports, and so I think we're going to reserve jumping to any conclusions or making specific comments about it until we know more about these reports," Kirby responded.
The journalist asked if the State Department is going to wait until Bahrain deploys military forces in streets to do anything.
Kirby denied it, saying: "No, I didn't say that. I said we're looking into it right now; we're trying to figure out ground truth here... then we'll figure out what the next best step is to do there."
"When we lifted some of the sanctions, we left some on the security forces. It's not like we're unmindful of the potential here, but I just don't want to jump to any conclusions," he added.
Kirby was asked whether he did not comment because he thinks that there might be some validity or that it could be that calling the National Guard is okay for them. "It's because we just don't know," said Kirby in response.
"Obviously, we're concerned by the reports, that's why we're looking into them," he said, explaining that the State Department will respond when it is aware of what's going on.
Another question was if there is a scenario in which they could call out the National Guard to go into the street and the US wouldn't have an issue with it.
"It depends on the usage if it was, in fact, happening," the spokesperson said. "Again, I'm not going to speculate about something we don't even know is happening yet."
Responding to the questions regarding the report that the State Department has to submit to the Congress regarding implementation of BICI recommendations, the submission date and the reason behind the delay, Kirby said that there is no update.
One of the journalists sarcastically commented "tick-tock, tick-tock," indicating that time is running out. "As I said yesterday, we're mindful that we're late," Kirby said.
The journalists tried to find out an accurate date "maybe before the 21st?," one asked. "We are working on it very, very hard," said the US State Department Spokesperson, not giving a specific date for the submission, "I suspect that we'll have something done soon."
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