Tigray regional government leader Debretsion Gebremichael on Sunday confirmed his forces bombed the airport in Eritrea’s capital, Asmara, on Saturday, reported Reuters.
The bombing marks a major escalation as the deadly fighting in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region now spills across an international border.
Gebremichael accused Eritrea of sending thousands of troops and tanks into Tigray in support of the Ethiopian government. He said his forces were under attack on several fronts.
“Our country is attacking us with a foreign country, Eritrea. Treason!,” the Tigray leader confirmed to Reuters, without providing further details or evidence of his claims.
Gebremichael said 16 Eritrean military divisions are currently fighting alongside the Ethiopian government troops against the TPLF forces.
“As long as troops are here fighting, we will take any legitimate military target and we will fire,” said the Tigray leader, denying reports that Tigray regional forces have entered Eritrea.
When asked if TPLF is planning to target Ethiopia’s capital, he said, “I don’t want to tell you, but the missiles are long-range as well.”
On Sunday, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed tweeted that Ethiopia was more than capable of achieving its objectives in Tigray “by itself” without specifically addressing Debretsion’s claims.
Abiy launched a military offensive in the restive Tigray northern region on November 4 after accusing local forces of attacking federal troops based in the northern state.
The Ethiopian government accuses Tigray’s leaders of treason and says the military operations will help in restoring the rule of law. Last week, Mr. Abiy appointed an interim administrator for the northern Tigray state. Eritrea’s government has denied any involvement in the conflict.
The conflict has already killed hundreds of people and threatens to destabilize other parts of Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa. According to the United Nations, at least 20,000 Ethiopians have fled into Sudan so far due to the violence.