After the Egyptian Army's earlier ultimatum warning of intervention if political forces do not find a solution within 48 hours, the Army has issued another statement insisting that it is not threatening a coup, but merely pressuring political leaders, comparing it to the role played by the military in 1977, 1986, and 2011. (Link is in Arabic.) The food riots of 1977 and the police conscription riots of 1986 were cases of brief military operations domestically because internal security forces were outnumbered, but in 2011 SCAF took over and ran the country for more than a year, which to many would seem like a coup. But not to worry: we're told that a military coup would be against Egyptian Army doctrine.
Also today, it looked more and more as if the Army was openly siding with the demonstrators. After the initial announcement of the ultimatum, Army helicopters flew over Tahrir Square with giant flags. Internal Security Forces clashed with the personal bodyguard of Muslim Brotherhood Deputy Guide Khairat al-Shater, and the state media suddenly showed a tilt towards the protesters. In the provinces, the Army took over the governorate headquarters in Fayyoum, ousting the Morsi-appointed Governor.
In an even stranger development, the Egyptian Presidency announced that Morsi and Prime Minister Qandil had met with Defense Minister General Sisi, and posted this photo to the Presidency's Facebook page:
reports citing a military spokesman as denying that Sisi met with Morsi at all today.
Morsi, meanwhile, has bumped a scheduled statement until tomorrow. The tone of the pro-Morsi rally has been defiant, but there is also speculation that he might agree to a referendum on new elections. We'll see.
Meanwhile, the countdown continues towards a possible military Definitely-Not-a-Coup-Just-an-Intervention.