"Bahrain's Shiite Muslim opposition on Wednesday demanded that the Saudi-led military force helping to put down protests leave the country immediately.
"The demand underscored the sectarian element of the anti-government movement in the tiny, strategic island kingdom, where majority Shiites are demonstrating for more rights and freedom against a Sunni dynasty that has ruled Bahrain for two centuries.
"About 1,500 troops from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other Sunni-led Gulf states entered Bahrain two weeks ago at the invitation of Bahrain's monarch. The king also declared emergency rule and cracked down on protesters, killing at least 20.
"A senior Shiite opposition leader, Ali Salman, said the foreign troops must leave because the opposition rejects 'any military intervening for any party' in Bahrain. Salman also said Iran shouldn't interfere.
"'We don't want Bahrain to turn into a conflict zone between Saudi Arabia and Iran,' which has condemned the deployment, Salman said at a news conference in the capital, Manama. 'That's why we object to the Saudi intervention. We call for immediate withdrawal of the troops, and we reject Iranian interference.'
"The Gulf Cooperation Council force entered Bahrain earlier this month over the causeway that connects it to Saudi Arabia, with the stated mission of helping keep order.
"Shiites around the Middle East protested GCC intervention. Iranian authorities charged the troops were in Bahrain to enforce Sunni monarchy's oppression of Bahrain's Shiite majority."
Hmm. I wouldn't count on a withdrawal from the GCC anytime soon.