State-owned Al-Ahram claimed that anger broke out in top military circles following rumours on Sunday that Abdel Fatah El-Sisi, Minister of Defence, is to be dismissed. However, a military spokesperson denied issuing any statements about such a rumour.
Al-Ahram reported that anger arose among military officers and high-ranking officials in response to rumours that President Mohamed Morsi will dismiss his defence minister. Sources inside the military told Al-Ahram that they reject attempts to destabilise the military as an institution, describing whoever launched the rumour as “playing with a fireball which could explode, leading to unpredicted results”.
However, a statement was issued on the military spokesperson’s official Facebook on Monday, asserting that only the military spokesperson is responsible for issuing statements related to the military.
The statement denied that any statements on the rumour were issued by the military. It called on citizens and media outlets to be accurate when reporting military-related news.
According to Al-Ahram, the military source mentioned that military figures are upset at perceived attempts to blacken their reputation among Egypt’s citizens, adding that several groups have accused the military of crimes it did not commit. The source described the military institution as “a national institution that fulfils its promises and maintains the stability of the country”.
The source played down the possibility that the president’s office was the source of the rumours, adding that the presidency knows such behaviour would be “political suicide,” according to statements in Al-Ahram.
“The military is stronger than any political party or faction, and the supreme leader’s [El-Sisi] statements asserting that the military’s loyalty belongs to the people of Egypt are firm fundamentals that will never change,” added the source.
The source explained that since the dismissal of Field Marshall Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, military personnel have become unwilling to allow intervention in their affairs.
The source warned that the policies of some political groups encouraging protests in front of the Ministry of Defence could result in dire consequences.
“The military belongs to the people, and is owned by them. It protects them, and takes only their side,” concluded the source.
The presidency could not be reached for comments on the rumour.