Ethiopian Force Ambushed by Al-Shabaab; Massive Response Expected
January 19, 2019 (Ezega.com) - Ethiopian National Defence Forces were ambushed by al-Shabaab forces in Somalia this week, according to AP report. Ethiopia is preparing for a massive offensive in return.
The Ethiopian forces were on peacekeeping convoy in Somalia when the attack by al-Shabaab happened. According to reports, the ambush occurred when the Ethiopian convoy was traveling from Burhakaba to Baidoa in Somalia's southwest.
Al-Shabaab claimed several Ethiopian troops were killed in the attack. Al-Shabaab also claimed responsibility for the deadly hotel assault in Nairobi and deadly attacks on forces inside Somalia.
The Ministry of Defense confirmed that Al Shabaab attacked a convoy carrying Ethiopian soldiers who were on a peacekeeping mission in Somalia, according to the Reporter.
The ministry said the Ethiopian defense force effectively defended itself and al-Shabaad has been weakened as a result.
Ethiopian forces are preparing for a "massive offensive" in response, according to the report.
Ethiopia contributes troops to a multinational African Union peacekeeping mission. It also has troops in Somalia independently under Ethiopian army command.
However, Ethiopia has sharply reduced its military presence in Somalia compared to what it was a decade ago.
Al-Shabaab, which was formed more than a decade ago, was greatly weakened and retreated from many places it once held in the face of sustained attacks from African Union peacekeeping forces.
Eritrea was belived to have been one of the early supporters of Al-Shabaab. Eritrea is now at peace with the central government in Somalia.