The Bahrain ‘police’ play with their latest toys on 14th February 2012:
These are Turkish-built Otokar Cobras, a light armoured car assembled using an American HUMVEE engine and drive-chain:
The Cobra is a cheap machine, supplied to forces in such as those of Bangladesh, Pakistan and the Caucasian CIS republics. It’s chief advantage is its relative lightweight combined with 4×4 manouverability. As such it’s often used in open country, as a reconaissance vehicle or to deploy small groups of special forces.
However, it’s lack of turning circle and vulnerability to attack from overhead make it unsuitable for use in urban combat situations, especially in narrow “zanqahs”, where it could prove to be a liability to both to the safety of innocent bystanders and its crews.
Presumably, the regime’s idea is that painted ‘police’ blue and fitted with deafening sirens and dazzling lights it’d have the effect of psychological intimidation. I fear all the fish-out-of-water Cobra will do is further ratchet up the level of tension and violence.
Below is a photograph of Bahrain ‘police’ in a Turkish-built Otokar Kobra harassing mourners today in Jidd Hafs, at the funeral of a protester killed by ‘police’. Water cannon, CS gas and baton rounds were used.
Let’s start writing to Turkish President Abdullah Gul of the Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi), which highlights its Islamic commitment to “justice” (adalet):
Writing to Gul in Turkey and to your local Turkish embassy will help.
Let’s also write to Kudret Önen, CEO of Otokar, LET’S GET THOSE BAHRAINI VOICES HEARD! Bahrain aches for justice and development, Otokar aren’t helping!