Ethiopian fighter jets attack Somalian towns

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Ethiopian Fighter jets have attacked several towns in Somalia and for the first time, Ethiopia acknowledged the presence of its troops in Somalia fighting in support of Somalia's transitional government against the forces of the Islamic Courts Union.

"After too much patience, the Ethiopian Government has taken a self-defensive measure and has begun counterattacking the aggressive extremist forces of the [Islamic council] and foreign terrorist groups. Our defence force has been forced to enter a war to defend (against) the attacks from extremists and anti-Ethiopian forces and to protect the sovereignty of the land," said Solomon Abebe, the Foreign Affairs spokesman for Ethiopia.

The Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi has also stated that the country has been "forced to enter a war" and went on television to make the announcement that the country was at war with Somalia.

The Islamic movement inside Somalia has stated that the Ethiopian government are "cowards" and that any Ethiopian plane spotted will be shot down.

"They are cowards. They are afraid of the face-to-face war and resorted to air strikes. I hope God will help us shoot down their planes," said a leader with the Islamic Movement, Sheik Mohamoud Ibrahim Suley.

There is no word on how many people may have been injured or killed in the airstrikes.