February 27, 1982
On February 16 the Ethiopian armed forces launched Operation Red Star, a military offensive aimed at isolating the Eritrean opposition and rebuilding the war-torn territory. Ethiopian troops in Eritrea number 120,000, and they are backed by MiG 23 jet fighters, MI-24 helicopter gunships, T-54 tanks and heavy artillery supplied by the USSR. The government in Addis Ababa has made few comments on the war since the original announcement of the campaign on January 25. Mohammed Siad Barre, the spokesman hereof the Eritrean Peoples’ Liberation Front (EPLF), asserts that the Ethiopians have suffered almost 11,000 killed or wounded in the three-week old war.