that is not limited to the small island off Saudi Arabia,
but extends throughout the Persian Gulf region, home of most Arab oil wealth.
The Sunni al-Khalifa family has ruled Bahrain since 1782
despite a clear majority of the population being Shia.
There have always been tensions between the two communities,
with the Shia accusing the royal family of packing the higher echelons
of the security forces, government and business community with Sunnis.
The Iranian government is giving support to the Shia population
while Saudi Arabia and Pakistan side with the Sunni al-Khalifas.
Add to this that the US Navy's 5th Fleet is based in Bahrain, partly to counter Iranian influence in the Strait of Hormuz ...
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