On June 23, the Tigray Defense Forces (TDF) claimed that its air-defense units had shot down a C-130 cargo aircraft of the Ethiopian Air Force (ETAF).
The aircraft was allegedly shot down in the morning, near the town of Gijet in the southeastern part of Tigray Region. Sources in Tigray shared photos showing the wreckage of the cargo aircraft.
Now confirmed that a C-130 carrying troops and ammunition was shot down by the TDF in the vicinity of Gijet this morning. Images taken from the crash site show that the aircraft was totally destroyed. There are no survivors.
This is the third visually confirmed airframe loss. pic.twitter.com/ugl7tg2wQT
— Ethiopia Map (@MapEthiopia) June 23, 2021
Only two C-130 aircraft are known to be in service with the ETAF. Both were supplied by the US to boost Ethiopia’s logistic capabilities.
Getachew Reda, an advisor to Tigray President Debretsion Gebremichael, said that the aircraft was carrying troops and munitions. Everyone who was aboard the aircraft was reportedly killed.
Also on board were military officers with Eritrean camouflage uniforms. With thousands of his forces killed and captured, #theNakedEmperorofEthiopia would stop at nothing to terrorize civilians. Here are snapshots of the remains of the downed plane.#TigrayisPrevailing! pic.twitter.com/Ky8igDVLUH
— Getachew K Reda (@reda_getachew) June 23, 2021
The TDF is a coalition of local Tigray factions, including Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). The coalition was formed last November in response to the Ethiopian government large offensive on the region.
If confirmed, the shot down of the C-130 will be the third loss of an aircraft over Tigray since the outbreak of the war there. On November 29, a Mig-23 fighter jet of the ETAF was shot down by the TPLF. On April 20, the rebel group shot down a Mi-35 combat helicopter.
Ethiopian government forces have been battling the TDF in Tigray non-stop for well over seven months now. Yet, 40% of the region is still in the hands of the coalition. Thousands of people have been killed and millions displaced as a result of the war. Human rights violations were reportedly committed by both sides.
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