The rocket attack at Asmara came after a key town in what was called “south Tigray,” came under the control of Ethiopian Defense Forces following an intense battle
November 14, 2020
A day after Bahir Dar City and Gonder were hit by rockets, Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) spokesperson, Getachew Reda appeared on Dimtsi Woyane television to confirm that TPLF carried out the rocket attack.
On the same day, he said that TPLF, he in fact uses the noun Tigray in what seems to be a deliberate effort to project his organization’s propaganda that the war is against Tigray, will continue to carry out rocket attacks in other parts of Ethiopia and Asmara.
Hours later, at least three rockets were fired towards Eritrean capital Asmara. Asmara International Airport was said to be the main target.
TPLF has been accusing Eritrea of “invading Tigray,” – an allegation that the Eritrean government dismissed as utter lies. In fact, there has been an accusation that the former exploited textile factory in the Tigray region to manufacture the Eritrean army uniform, distribute it to its own force, and claim that it has captured the Eritrean Force. But this story is not confirmed by the TPLF spokesperson.
What they have confirmed rather is that they started the war when they attacked and controlled several bases of northern command of the Ethiopian Defense Force, and the action was meant for ” a preemptive strike,” as one of the leading propagandists of TPLF stated when he appeared on Dimtsi Woyane TV on Friday this week, in the face of inevitable attack by the Ethiopian Defence Force with an order from the commander in chief of the army, Abiy Ahmed.
More than 50 percent of the Ethiopian army was based in the Tigray region of Ethiopia. Not just that, key strategic weaponry including rockets and missiles were in the region. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government admitted that some of those weapons fell in the hands of TPFL during the attack on the northern command post.
As the war is escalating further and more towns in western and southern parts of Tigray come under the control of the Ethiopian Defense Force, TPLF is resorting to the rockets and other heavy weaponry it confiscated from the northern command. Ethiopian Air Force carried out a number of strikes in the region with the aim to destroy the weapons, and there was a claim that most of the weapons were destroyed in the airstrike.
Analysts from Eritrea see the attack on Asmara as a desperate effort on the part of TPLF to “internationalize” the war which is basically understood as a campaign to enforce the rule of law in Tigray by bringing key leaders to the organization to justice. Eritrean Press reported that the Eritrean government said it will not respond to the attack “out of respect to the Ethiopian people.”
However, the TPLF accuses that Eritrea is already involved in the war. On Saturday, Debretsion Gebremichael, chairman of the organization and president of Tigray regional state, accused Eritrea of deploying 16 brigades of the army in Tigray region.
“The Ethiopian Army has become a traitor. It is not discharging its constitutional responsibility. It is not defending the country from foreign invasion,” he said. Furthermore, he accused the Abiy Ahmed’s leadership for alleged attack on “Wolkait Sugar factory and Tekeze Dam.” Reports on Ethiopian State media dismissed the claim as lies.
There is no word regarding casualty from the rocket attacks in Asmara Eritrea, and two Ethiopian cities (Bahir Dar and Gondar).
The war is now its eleventh day, and the Ethiopian government does not seem to anticipate a protracted war.
TPLF leaders are vowing that they will carry out more attacks on selected targets in Ethiopia and Eritrea.
The war is causing a humanitarian crisis in the region. As many as 15,000 people have reportedly crossed the border to Sudan, and are now taking refuge in the Hamdayet refugee camp which is said to be only two kilometers away from the Ethiopian border.
The UNHCR said earlier this week that more than 14,500 women and children crossed to the Sudanese border, and service to about 96,000 Eritrean refugees in camps in the Tigray region of Ethiopia is disrupted.
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