Sri Lanka: The Great War At Sea


September 14, 2007: Fighting intensified in the last week. The army was able to detect and stop several LTTE infiltration attempts in the north. The LTTE is trying to do what the army LRRP (Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol) units are doing, by sending small units of fighters into government held territory, to attack headquarters and supply centers. The LRRPs are better trained and more successful so far. The LTTE attempts appear to be with poorly trained gunmen. At sea, the navy believes it has now destroyed all ten of the LTTEs large gunrunning ships, with an air force/navy operation that caught and sunk three LTTE cargo vessels 600 kilometers off the southeastern coast. Nearly fifty LTTE "Sea Tigers" were killed as well. It was believed that three disassembled small aircraft, and much more military equipment, was on the three ships. The government apparently knows where the ships picked up their military equipment, but is not discussing the subject for the moment. Apparently, the investigation into who was supplying the weapons is still underway overseas. Meanwhile, twenty smaller LTTE boats moved out from a northern base, to attack navy patrol boats. Air force bombers joined the navy to sink most of the LTTE boats. The air force also bombed the LTTE naval base.

Government forces have achieved an intelligence advantage over the LTTE, and used it to foil LTTE attempts to go on the offensive. The losses mount to over 100 dead a week (plus several hundred wounded), most of them LTTE. The LTTE has lost much support from Tamils in southern India, and among the overseas Tamil community. But the LTTE is still a formidable force in northern Sri Lanka, and is trying to get a guerilla war going in eastern Sri Lanka, where the government regained control earlier this year.


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