It was early evening when Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed put out a Tweet proclaiming that the military operation had been “completed” – all that remained was a policing operation to capture the leaders of the TPLF.
But what happened next suggests that the Tigrayans retain a serious military capability.
The Eritrean capital, Asmara was hit by missles after the fall of Mekelle.
The US Embassy in Asmara put out this message on their website.
“Security Alert – U.S. Embassy Asmara, Eritrea
Message: At about 10:13pm on November 28 there were six explosions in Asmara.
The Embassy again advises all U.S. Citizens in Eritrea to continue to exercise caution, remain in their homes (when not at work), conduct only essential travel, and to remain situationally aware of the ongoing conflict in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia. US Citizens not in country should avoid travel to Eritrea.”
This would suggest that the Tigrayans managed to move missile launchers away from Mekelle, and that they are still able to strike targets deep inside Eritrea. If this is confirmed then this war would appear to be far from over, and nowhere near the police operation suggested by Prime Minister Abiy.
There are unconfirmed reports of heavy fighting between Tigrayan and Eritrean forces inside Eritrea this evening. Troop movements are also reported inside Eritrea.
While Tigray has faced offensives from Ethiopian Federal Forces, supported by Amhara militia, from the South and East, they have also faced attacks from Eritrean divisions from the North.
The Ethiopian military are reported to have been reinforced by Ethiopian troops flown into the Eritrean capital, Asmara, as well as Ethiopian troops who fled into Eritrea when the Tigrayans seized the Northern Command on 4 October.