Morsi Advisor: Coup Underway in Egypt

Anti-Morsi protestors react to the president's televised speech. (Credit: Reuters)

Anti-Morsi protestors react to the president’s televised speech.
(Credit: Reuters)

Hours after the deadline given by the Egyptian military to President Mohammed Morsi to reach an agreement with opposition has passed, national security advisor Essam El-Haddad claims that the military is staging a coup to oust Morsi. In a statement, El-Haddad said, “For the sake of Egypt and for historical accuracy, let’s call what is happening by its real name: military coup[.]” Morsi is reportedly working in a barracks in suburban Cairo and has chosen to stay there, as soldiers and military vehicles staged a parade near the presidential palace.

Both the military and the Muslim Brotherhood, which supports Morsi’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP,) have pledged to die in the struggle if necessary. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces posted a statement on its official Facebook page saying,

It is an honour for us to die rather than that anyone should terrorise or threaten the Egyptian people…We swear to God, we will sacrifice even our blood for Egypt and its people to defend them against any terrorist, radical or fool.

Meanwhile, Morsi’s spokesman Ayman Ali said,

It is better for a president, who would otherwise be returning Egypt to the days of dictatorship, from which God and the will of the people has saved us, to die standing like a tree…Rather than be condemned by history and future generations for throwing away the hopes of Egyptians for establishing a democratic life.

The U.S. State Department was unable to confirm that a military coup was underway, but expressed that it was “very concerned” about the events. At least 16 people died and about 200 were wounded on Tuesday when gunmen opened fire on a pro-Morsi demonstration.