Crossfire War – TEHRAN WATCH – Northeast Africa Theatre: Tehran – Mogadishu – Khartoum – Asmara/Baidoa – Addis Ababa – Washington; Fourth Day of Fighting – Ethiopian Tanks Enter Conflict – War Could Spread Into Puntland
Night Watch: BAIDOA – Reuters reports that a farmer, Mohamed Adan saw tanks moving outside Baidoa where the Transitional Government Forces are based, headed by President Abdullahi Yusuf. “There were nearly 20. I understand some have been sent towards Daynunay while others have gone towards Idaale.” Daynunay is the forward base of the TGF, 12 miles (20km) southeast of Baidoa. Idaale is 44 miles (70km) southeast of Baidoa and is a southern agricultural trading post, the only town the TGF controls. Both sides have claimed to have killed hundreds of enemy fighters but that cannot be confirmed independently. Concerning reports of Ethiopian armor entering the conflict Addis Ababa has declined to comment. [ASHARQALAWSAT]
The Islamists that have controlled the capital Mogadishu since June now call their government the Somali Islamic Courts Council (SICC). One of their deputy spokesperson Ibrahim Shukri announced, “Our troops have not started to attack. From tomorrow the attack will start.” Reports are that it will be an attack en masse on Saturday instead of their firing from a distance. The SICC stated that Ethiopian troops were moving by air and ground toward Galkaayo a strategic central Somali town that is also a foward base used by troops from the semi-autonomous Puntland, the area where the TGF President Yusuf is from. Puntland is allied with the TGF. SICC secretary Ibrahim Suley stated, “We hope fighting will simultaneously start there too. We call upon all Somalis to rise up and join in the jihad against our enemy Ethiopia.”
The Allies can use Puntland as a staging area against the SICC. In addition, with the ports along its coast it should not be too difficult to send supplies.