DEBKAfile and DEBKA Weekly have been reporting since last week that Saudi Arabia and the UAR stand firmly behind Egypt’s military strongman Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi.
DEBKAfile reports a weak response to Brotherhood’s call for millions to rally Friday to join in the protest in support of deposed president Mohamed Morsi and against the government crackdown two days ago which left more than 600 dead. No more than tens of thousands of supporters took to the streets across the country Friday. By nightfall, 50 people were reported killed in clashes across the country – in Cairo, Fayoum, Damietta and Ismailia – including 24 security personnel. An officer was killed at one of the checkpoints thrown up to block the demonstrators’ access to Tahrir Square.
The relatively low turnout points to the Muslim Brotherhood’s hard core having decided that avoiding further deadly clashes with the Egyptian military is the better part of valor.
Thursday, Aug. 15, DEBKAfile referred to Saudi support for the Egyptian military ruler in an article captioned: US-Egyptian relations are on the rocks.
When the clashes between Egyptian security forces and pro-Morsi protesters were at their peak in Cairo Wednesday, Aug. 14 – 525 dead and 3,700 wounded to date – President Barack Obama put in a call to Egypt’s strongman, Defense Minister Gen. Abdel-Fattah El-Sissi, DEBKAfile’s intelligence sources report. The US president wanted to give the general a dressing-down much on the lines of the call he made to former president Hosni Mubarak in February 2011 at the high point of the Arab Spring Tahrir Sq demonstrations against his rule, namely: Stop repressing the protesters and firing live ammunition. Step down!