Ethiopia Launches Offensive Against Tigray Forces
Ethiopian government forces have launched an assault against the northern region of Tigray, seeking to recapture the rebellious area. The offensive raises concerns about a more devastating humanitarian crisis within the region. According to the United Nations, the Tigray region is already in the grip of famine due to the year-long conflict. Despite concerns, Ethiopian ground troops launched coordinated attacks from multiple fronts along Tigray’s southern border, according to government and rebel official reports. The attack occurred on Tuesday and consisted of airstrikes, heavy artillery, and tanks targeting main supply routes along with at least three towns: Wegeltena, Geregera, and Haro. The towns are located near Tigray’s border with Amhara.
The offensive ends a cease-fire declared by Ethiopia in June after government troops retreated from the regional capital of Mekelle. The attacks were focused along the main road that acts as the only functional access route into Tigray. According to the Ethiopian government, the troops are fighting to protect citizens from the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and their acts of terrorism. Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has been a longtime US counterterrorism ally and received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019 after brokering a truce to end a 30-year conflict with Eritrea.