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Iran Press TV

Ethiopia's Tigray leader confirms bombing Eritrean capital

Iran Press TV

Sunday, 15 November 2020 11:22 AM

The embattled leader of Ethiopia's Tigray region has confirmed that his forces launched rocket strikes on an airport in neighboring Eritrea, raising fears of wider war in the Horn of Africa.

Debretsion Gebremichael, leader of the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), said Sunday that the rocket strike on the airport in Eritrea's capital, Asmara, was an attack on a "legitimate target" in response to its collusion with the Ethiopian government.

"Ethiopian forces are also using the airport of Asmara," he said.

Gebremichael told Reuters on Sunday that TPLF forces were not only in battle with Ethiopian troops, but were also engaged in fighting with "16 divisions" of the Eritrean army.

He said hundreds of thousands of people of the northern Tigray region were displaced internally by fighting that has featured multiple rounds of government air strikes.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who ordered the army offensive in the restive Tigray region early this month, has denied that Eritrean forces have been involved in the conflict.

In a statement on Twitter on Sunday, Abiy asserted that Ethiopian forces were more than capable of achieving their military objectives in Tigray.

Ethiopian government fighter jets have been pounding targets in Tigray.

Fighter jets "bombed arms and fuel depots as well as other areas that the TPLF junta has planned to use," Ethiopia's air force commander Major General Yilma Merdassa said.

The government sent troops and military jets into Tigray to end a months-long feud with its ruling party, which Abiy accuses of seeking to destabilize Ethiopia.

The prime minister said the conflict would end "as soon as the criminal junta is disarmed, legitimate administration in the region restored, and fugitives apprehended & brought to justice."

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