The Tahrir Powder Keg


Islamist protests in support of Morsi are being planned for later this week, and while there have been continuing clashes between anti-Morsi protestors and security forces, the mixing of rival mass protests in Tahrir Square could ignite an explosion of violence. If that happens, Ashraf Khalil warns:

[I]f the violence spirals out of control, will the army step in? So far, the military has not tipped its hand publicly. After more than a year of running the country, the army basically withdrew from public life in August after Morsy won a power struggle with the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces and sent Defense Minister Hussein Tantawi and his deputies into early retirement. But speculation has grown over the military’s stance on things and Air Force jets have been flying low over multiple areas of Cairo for several days. 

Coverage of yesterday’s anti-Morsi protests here.

(Photo: Protesters face Egyptian riot Police during clashes on Omar Makram street, off Tahrir Square, on November 28, 2012 in Cairo. Police fired tear gas into Cairo’s Tahrir Square, where several hundred protesters spent the night after a mass rally to denounce President Mohamed Morsi’s assumption of expanded powers. By Gianluigi Guercia/AFP/Getty Images)