Ethiopia’s prime minister on Friday said his government has carried out airstrikes against the forces of the country’s well-armed Tigray region, asserting that strikes in multiple locations “completely destroyed rockets and other heavy weapons” and made a retaliatory attack impossible.
Abiy Ahmed’s evening announcement marked another escalation in clashes this week that experts say could slide one of Africa’s most powerful and populous countries into civil war. The conflict pits former allies in the nation’s ruling coalition, with the federal government and regional government now regarding each other as illegal.
There was no mention of casualties in what Abiy called the “first round of operation” against the region’s government, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front. He said the air force destroyed heavy weapons in Tigray’s capital, Mekele, and surrounding areas, alleging the TPLF “has the desire to use them.”