Is Eritrea at War?

Is Eritrea at War?
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The Eritrean–Ethiopian War was a conflict that took place between Ethiopia and Eritrea from May 1998 to June 2000, with the final peace only agreed to in 2018, twenty years after the initial confrontation. As of 2019, Ethiopia still occupies the territory near Badme, including the town of Badme

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed declares that the war in the Tigray Region has entered its “final phase”.

The conflict broke out on November 4 when the country’s central government accused the region’s local authorities of holding “illegal” elections and seizing a military base. Thousands of civilians have fled to neigbouring Sudan as the federal army advances towards the regional capital of Mekelle.

Tigray politicians have claimed that they are under attack “on several fronts” — including neighbouring Eritrea, with which the region shares a long border. As Regional President Debretsion Gebremichael recently told Reuters, “our country is attacking us with a foreign country, Eritrea. Treason!”

Satellite imagery obtained by Bellingcat suggests that the United Arab Emirates air base in Assab, Eritrea is indeed home to drones consistent with China’s Wing Loong II model of armed uncrewed aerial vehicles.

The imagery, provided by Planet Labs, shows a drone with a wingspan of just over 20 metres, matching the features of the drone model produced by China’s Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group.

The UAE acquired Wing Loong II drones in 2017. They have also used the drones to conduct operations in Yemen in the war against various militant groups.

Rocket Attack on Eritrea On November 15, 2020 Is Actually from China in 2015 by Tigray

On November 15, the leader of Ethiopia’s Tigray region, Debretsion Gebremichael, claimed his forces fired rockets at Asmara, the capital of neighboring Eritrea. He described the attack as retaliation for Eritrea’s intervention in the unfolding conflict between Tigray and Ethiopia’s central government, headquartered in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa. There were no reports of casualties from the rocket attack on Asmara.

Multiple sources have confirmed a rocket attack took place, but due to Eritrea’s extremely tight control on media, very few specifics have leaked out.

On November 14, a YouTube channel called “My Views on News,” which has over 10,000 subscribers and 3.2 million views, posted a video about the attack. That video, which currently has over 62,000 views, makes specific claims about where the rockets landed and features a still image, purportedly of the aftermath of the attack, showing large fires.

“The Ministry of Information building, airport, and some residential buildings in Asmara have been hit,” the narrator says while the photo is onscreen.

The claim that the photograph shows the aftermath of the Asmara attack is false. In fact, it was neither taken on the African continent nor in 2020: it’s an Associated Press photo from August 2015, showing the aftermath of a series of deadly factory explosions in Tianjin, China.

On November 15, the U.S. Embassy in Asmara, Eritrea, issued an alert to U.S. citizens in the area.

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