Ethiopia Bombs Airports, Somalis Mobilize

The war entered a new phase in war-torn Somalia with the Ethiopian attacks on airports.

Ethiopia Bombs Airports, Somalis Mobilize
Ethiopia warplanes bombarded two Somali airports on Monday, December 25, including the one in the capital Mogadishu, while angry Somalis were being mobilized to join resistance against the Ethiopians.

"The airport has been hit. A MiG jet dropped something," Abdirahim Adan, Managing Director of Mogadishu International Airport, told Reuters.

"We are still trying to assess the damage, but one person has been injured."

Ethiopian aircraft also bombed out the runway of Baledogle airport, 90 kilometers to the northwest of the capital.

The Ethiopian-backed interim government blessed the bombardment.

"Anywhere terrorists use to bring in arms and ammunition deserves to be hit," government spokesman Abdirahman Dinari said.

Ethiopian troops drove the Islamic Courts of Somalia (SICS) fighters out of a flashpoint close to the border.

"We have taken control of Beledweyne and our forces are chasing the terrorists," Yusuf Dabo Geed, an interim government said.

Residents of Baladwayne, 700 kilometers from the capital, said Ethiopian troops had taken control on Monday after aerial bombing raids on the northern town and other frontier outposts.

"We have killed more than 60 Islamists, wounded others and captured some as prisoners of war," said the official.

The interim government also decided to close all land, air and sea borders.

"After a cabinet session, we have decided to close borders for security reasons," Dinari said.

The bombings came one day after Ethiopia admitted for the first time its troops were fighting in Somalia and began attacking the SICS fighters across a 400km front line along the border.

Home to about 10 million largely impoverished people, Somalia has lacked almost all the trappings of a functional state, such as national systems of education, healthcare and justice, for the past 15 years.


The powerful SICS, now in control of Mogadishu and much of southern and central Somalia, condemned the air strikes.

"We call on the international community to act soon about this violation," said Sheikh Mohamed Ibrahim Bilal, a top SICS commander.

The SICS accused Ethiopia of targeting civilians.

"The airport is used mainly by civilian flights," said Abdi Kafi, a senior SICS official.

"This latest attack has come at time when so many people are traveling to attend hajj. It is a shocking attack."

The SICS, which has been steadily gaining more grounds and power since seizing Mogadishu from US-backed warlords in June, had re-opened Mogadishu's port and airport, where a "Let us build Somalia together" sign hangs high.

Both had been closed for over a decade.

Since the SICS started issuing visas, flights to and from Kenya and Dubai have been full of curious investors and returning refugees.



Somalis are mobilized to fight the invading Ethiopian troops. (Reuters) 

Many angry Somalis were signing up to join the SICS in fighting the Ethiopian troops.

"People are flocking to the mobilization centers and they will be transported to the frontlines," an official in a SICS volunteer center in Mogadishu told

Many mosques throughout the war-torn country have turned into mobilization centers, and imams are championing the "jihad" efforts and raising money for the efforts.

Students in several schools and universities have signed up to defend their homeland after the SICS postponed school exams to allow willing students to fight the invading troops.

"Was I supposed to wait the soldiers of Habasha to invade my house? asked student Abdullah Hasan.

He told IOL he volunteered to fight so that his country wouldn't become "a new Palestine" occupied by what he described as "Africa's Israel," in reference to Ethiopia.

Hasan joined 600 other volunteers in a truck making their way to the frontlines.

War drums also paralyzed life in the capital, as shops and markets were closing doors.

Residents lamented the recently-found peace they have been enjoying since the SICS came to power.

"Our fear is that the ongoing war will shatter our security and jeopardize the future of our children," one Somali woman told IOL.

Thousands of terrified civilians were fleeing the conflict that was raging on several fronts.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16