Ethiopia Air Force airstrike on Thursday targeted missiles and rockets in in Mekelle areas of Tigray region. It will continue, said the prime minister, advising the public to avoid target areas
November 6, 2020
In a televised speech on Friday on the national television, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said that the first phase of the military operation in Tigray region of Ethiopia is completed.
He said airstrikes in the Mekelle area and other selected positions in the region obliterated heavy weaponry including rockets and missiles which the TPLF was intending to use.
The entire military operation is aimed at capturing the”greedy junta,” a new expression he used to denote top Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) leaders. Implied in his speech is that the operation is not aiming at the entire TPLF organization. There had been unconfirmed reports that there is a split within the organization.
The Prime Minister also claimed that the military operation in the past two days was hundred percent successful and that intended goals had been achieved.
He shared with the public as to what were in the “to do list” when the operation was launched following the TPLF attack on the northern command :
1) Stopping unfettered attacks in different directions against people, infrastructure, and the defense force. There were no extensive defense forces where and when the TPLF launched the attack. Now, we troops that were in different parts of Ethiopia are directed to the northern part of the country and logistical supply is finalized,he said.
2) To rescue the defense force and the federal police following the unexpected attack, and rescuing important weaponry that were in selected places in the region like Tsorena and Zalambessa.
3) To weaken the capacity of the enemy force, to use his expression, to launch similar attacks. The aim was to hamper accessibility to short range missiles and rockets. The airstrike operation was organized with the aim to destroy them, and that has been achieved, he claimed.
Furthermore, PM Abiy Ahmed said that the TPLF force along Dansha front (western Tigray adjacent to Wolkait) is annihilated and the area is now under the control of government forces.
He also made another claim : TPLF is now in a position that it can not launch additional attacks.
From circulating reports on social media, it seems that there is causality from both sides but no official figure is disclosed.
TPLF leaders did not contest that they have lost strategic locations but they admitted that there was fighting in western Tigray.
Debretsion Gebremichael, chairman of TPLF and president of Tigray regional state, announced on Thursday that his force is in possession of weapons that could wreak havoc to distant locations.
On the other hand, there have been reports of interest in having negotiation with the Federal government but Abiy Ahmed ruled out that option- perhaps on grounds that it would bring him into a collision course with the public as the attack on the defense force has outraged Ethiopians from all walks of life.
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