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Anti-government protests prompts 'growing panic' in Saudi Arabia

Also, if Yemen would dissolve into a civil war, as much as half of Yemen's population of some 24 million people may flee to Saudi Arabia, which, sources say, would overwhelm the kingdom's capacity. After all, the Saudis largely failed to manage the refugee crisis in the 2009-2010 war with the Houthis. It was a war that made the Saudis very unpopular with a majority of the Yemeni people. Similarly, the Saudis have been so concerned that the Shia Arabs will gain the upper hand in Bahrain, they recently dispatched 1,000 troops there, along with troops from the United Arab Emirates. The goal was to help the Bahraini regime put down the increasingly violent Shiite riots. Bahrain is the headquarters for the U.S. Fifth fleet and also is a base for sensitive eavesdropping equipment to listen to what is going on in Iran. The U.S. investment also helps explain why the U.S. has not condemned the Bahraini regime for its crackdown on the demonstrators or criticized Saudi Arabia for sending in its troops there. To one Middle East analyst, the Saudi regime's assertiveness in the face of a threat to its own existence may indicate how much the U.S. has been marginalized in Middle East developments.

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