Yesterday [Feb. 25], the Egyptian Armed Forces rejected an accusation by a Muslim Brotherhood member that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) conducted a “terrorist” operation that killed 16 officers and soldiers in August 2012. SCAF warned that its “patience will not last very long.” Meanwhile, Ramadan al-Aqsari filed a complaint with the attorney general demanding an investigation into what was said by Ali Abdel Fattah, a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood in Alexandria.
Col. Ahmed Mohamed Ali, the official spokesman for the Egyptian Armed Forces, said on his Facebook page, “The accusation by Muslim Brotherhood member Abdel Fattah that SCAF carried out the Rafah operation that killed 16 officers and soldiers in Ramadan is fiction. ... What he said is an attempt by some political and religious currents to cause discord between the army and the Egyptian people and score gains for the political current that he belongs to, especially given that the army is respected and appreciated by all the Egyptian people while the Muslim Brotherhood’s popularity is declining.” He stressed that the Egyptian army, in its ideology and traditions, embraces it soldiers and does not accept that even one of them gets harmed and that the Egyptian army condemns such rumors and irresponsible statements that infuriate the members of the military, warning that “the patience of the military institution will not last long.”
He also demanded “a clarification and a formal apology from the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood” and denounced the lack of an official statement from the group condemning what Abdel Fattah said “especially that it was a deliberate attempt to harm the military establishment. The armed forces have never been a militia affiliated with a political current.”
Al-Watan reported that Aqsari filed a complaint, No. 615, with the attorney general to investigate Abdel Fattah’s accusations, which allegedly harm the military. In a lecture to the members of the Muslim Brotherhood at the Al-Hoda wal-Nour mosque in Kafr El-Dawar in Beheira at the end of January, Abdel Fattah said that SCAF orchestrated and carried out the Rafah operation last Ramadan. Abdel Fattah said, “SCAF orchestrated the Rafah trap for the president, but Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi benefitted from it to purge the army.” He also said, “Arab countries financially supported Ahmad Shafiq’s campaign. ... $8 billion were spent buying votes for the candidate who ended up losing.” Aqsari demanded that an investigation be opened and that Abdel Fattah be summoned and questioned about his statements, which insult and distort the image of the valiant armed forces.
Elsewhere, the Minister of Defense and Military Production, Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, said that Egypt’s security depends on the combat readiness of the army and the development of its military capabilities. During a meeting with a number of leaders and air force officers yesterday [Feb. 25], he stressed that the armed forces will continue to work to fulfill its sacred task of protecting the homeland and the gains of the people. He praised the heroic role played by the 1st Field Army and the 2nd Field Army in securing the cities of Ismailia, Port Said and Suez, the vital installations and the Suez Canal, and public and private property.
He noted the efforts to secure the border and maintain the security situation and stability in the Sinai. He said that the Egyptian people appreciate the role of the armed forces as they perform their national duties. Sisi underlined the outstanding performance by the Air Force to protect Egypt’s skies and secure its airspace with courage and dedication, stressing that the General Command of the Armed Forces is keen to build and develop the combat capability of the Air Force, and equip it with the latest aircraft, weapons and technical systems.
He called on the leaders and officers at all levels to provide the capabilities that would help train recruits for the tasks and duties assigned to them, since they are the foundation of the armed forces. He stressed the need to maintain the highest levels of training and readiness, as well as to train qualified pilots and technicians to deal with the latest systems and air combat methods, and to pursue science and knowledge to keep up with the latest weapons systems and international training standards.