Ethiopian Forces Rain Drone Terror On Tigray

After suffering heavy losses to the Tigrayan forces, Ethiopia’s military has taken the war to the skies, launching drone strikes on Tigray’s capital, Mekelle.

At least 10 people were killed when two drone strikes hit a residential area on Wednesday.

Five died at the scene of the strikes in the Midre Genet neighbourhood, while the others died en route to the hospital, said Kibrom Gebreselassie, the CEO of Ayder Referral Hospital.

A surgeon at the same hospital told Al Jazeera that the first bombing injured two women. Then a second strike moments later targeted “the people gathered to help and see the victims”.

Gebreselassie told Reuters that a wounded man had been brought to the hospital after an airstrike the previous day.

He said that his hospital is in critically short supply of resources needed to save the wounded.

Since fighting first broke out in November 2020, a blockade has prevented almost all aid from entering the northern region of Tigray. The UN now estimates that over 90% of the population there is in urgent need of humanitarian aid.

A ceasefire was called in March this year, in which some aid was allowed to enter the region, but food, medicine, banking services, telecommunications and agricultural services remained largely cut off.

The peace held until 24 August, when conflict broke out on several fronts. The Tigrayan Defence Force (TDF) and the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) gained significant ground on federal and Amharan forces, capturing several territories, including Woldiya in Amhara.

Neighbouring Eritrea is the closest ally of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and shortly afterwards sent in thousands of troops to fight the TDF.

Losing the war on the ground, Ahmed took the fight to the air, using drones imported from Iran and Turkey to target residential areas.

Amidst the fighting, leaders of both sides agreed to peace talks which were held in Djibouti over the weekend. The outcome of these talks remain unclear, but their onset has done little to calm the bloody war that has engulfed the embattled nation for the past two years.

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