By Staff Reporter
November 6, 2020 (Ezega.com) -- Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said the Ethiopian air force has conducted air strikes against the forces in Tigray region and completely wiped out missiles and other heavy artillery systems in the region’s capital and surrounding areas.
In what he called the ‘first round of operations’, Abiy said the national army has made massive offensive operations and pushed the force of the Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF) to the point where it cannot conduct retaliatory attacks.
The missiles and heavy artillery were armed by the Northern Command Post of the defense force and according to the Prime Minister the air strikes against the missiles would deter TPLF from possible use of the weapons for retaliation.
Abiy said the massive operations over the last two days had three objectives: the first was to defend TPLF’s attacks; the second was to rehabilitate the federal police, defense forces and federal institutions that undergo attacks by TPLF and the third was to deter TPLF force from using those weapons and rockets that were armed by north command post near Mekele.
According to the Prime Minister, all the three missions were 100 percent accomplished. He said the military operations will continue until all the TPLF leaders whom he referred to as “criminal full of hubris and intransigence” are brought before justice.
Abiy mentioned nothing about the causalities. There was no immediate response from the Tigray government, while the region is increasingly boxed in by movement restrictions and a six-month state of emergency imposed by the federal government.
Abiy reportedly rejected talks with TPLF despite efforts by the AU to mediate the warring parties.
He asserted that the “large-scale law enforcement operation” has "clear, limited and achievable objectives: to restore the rule of law and the constitutional order.” He described the Tigray region's leadership as “fugitives from justice ... using the civilian population as human shields."
The air strikes have thwarted the intention of the faction to use the rockets that can hit with a range of 300 Km from where they are stationed at Mekele City and other places in the vicinity.
All the military forces of the TPLF at Badme, Tsorena and Zalanbessa were crippled, Abiy added
In a twitter post, he said the operations are aimed “to restore the rule of law and the constitutional order, and to safeguard the rights of Ethiopians to lead a peaceful life wherever they are in the country.”
He added “the Federal Government patiently tried for several months to resolve differences with TPLF leadership peacefully; we tried mediation, reconciliation, dialogue.”
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