Syrian President Assad and his wife Asma at an aid centre in Damascus, collection donations fo residents of Homs
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Tuesday's Syria, Bahrain (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Cease-fire? 55 Dead on Monday
2056 GMT: A major, shocking headline, and a complete turnaround in rhetoric for the Bahraini regime:
The government of Bahrain cannot guarantee the safety of Formula One teams and spectators at this Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix as violence escalates in the Gulf kingdom, according to the British former police officer who is working on security at the track.
According to John Yates, the British law enforcement official who has been hired by the regime to revamp the Bahraini police, there was a possibility that security at the Formula 1 race could be compromised...
And the Bahraini police could resort to using live ammunition if necessary:
"The police will have all the options you would expect. If the opposition started firing live ammunition, the police would respond with live," he said, adding: "But I don't think that's likely."
This is a complete reversal for Yates, who once said that Bahrain was safer than London.
Yates insisted that the government continues to reform, and though security forces have sometimes overstepped their boundaries, those incidents were limited and being investigated. He denied that police were preemptively attacking villages.
The Ministry of Interior also released a statement today saying that rioters and vandals were arrested after having committed crimes.
However, as we saw today, police responded to the presence of protesters by challenging the crowds with riot police, and only showed restraint when they saw the media. Even with media present, the police still attacked. Other videos, taken over many months, show police randomly patrolling villages, looking for protesters to challenge, sparking reprisal attacks against the police. There does appear to be a pattern of police provocation, and the journalists in Bahrain have seen that with their own eyes.
Of course, there have also been incidents where protesters have used force against police. After 14 months of uprisings, however, and many months of John Yates, the situation has hardly gotten better.
In fact, it seems to be getting worse.