Ethopia says it is halfway to Mogadishu

Reuters/Washington Post:

Ethiopia said on Tuesday it was halfway to victory against Somali Islamists and could seize their Mogadishu stronghold within days following a week of war in the Horn of Africa.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said his forces supporting Somalia's weak interim government had killed up to 1,000 Islamist fighters. There was no independent verification of that. The Islamists also claim to have killed hundreds.

He said a well-armed force of between 3,000 and 4,000 Ethiopians had "broken the back" of the Somalia Islamic Courts Council (SICC) around the government's south-central outpost Baidoa, and that the Islamists were now in "full retreat."

"We have already completed half our mission, and as soon as we finish the second half, our troops will leave Somalia," Meles told a news conference in the Ethiopian capital.

That is a pretty optimistic assessment of the current situation. Clearly the Islamist religious bigots are a mismatch when it comes to weapons systems and organizing fighting ability. A quick Ethiopian victory would be a real set back to the jihadi movement and that is a good thing.

Bill Roggio's round up has the Islamist in near full retreat. There plan is to begin hit and run raids on the Ethiopians, but if Ethiopia quickly withdraws, that may be a problem.


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