Friday, August 22, 2008

News Brief: Tunakkai Falls, Troops Poised South of Akkarayakulam

57 Division troops who have been laying siege on Tunakkai for the past couple of weeks, liberated the town from Tiger clutches. The town was defended by a mix of LTTE units, including the much trumpeted Charles Anthony brigade.

The LTTE expended many resources and cadres in defence of Tunakkai and Mallavi. In July, the Charles Anthony brigade was at the receiving end of a SLA ambush (in response to a LTTE counter-offensive) and lost over 80 cadres (31 of whom were recovered by the SLA).

The fall of Tunakkai came with an unexpected announcement that troops are now operating south of the Akkarayakulam tank bund. The Akkarayakulam area is only 12KM south of Killonochchi. The capture of this area has put Killonochchi and Iranamadhu under severe threat of SLA MBRL and Artillery. Once Tunnakai and Uliyankulam is consolidated, we can expect MBRL units to be move to the area to engage Iranamadhu and Killonochchi terror defences.

The SLA will now concentrate on Mallavi town, which will likely fall within the next few days, thus pushing the LTTE further east towards Mankulam. What remains to be seen is if the SLA will move east from Akkarayakulam towards Iranamadhu or further north towards Nallur.

A move eastward will provide many advantages for the army. The capture and destabilization of Iranamadhu area will sever the A9 thus creating a logistical nightmare for the LTTE. With this main artery severed, the movement of LTTE cadres and material from Killonochchi to the Vavuniya sector will be arduous. With the monsoon season approaching, the loss of Iranamadhu would mean that the terrorists would need to use jungle routes to supply their forces in Vavuniya - this will not be a simple task. The LTTE seems to have anticipated a SLA move eastwards in the direction of Iranamadhu as recent news indicates the so called 'Tiger Airwing' is now building a runway south east of Iranamadhu (inside Mullativu jungles). Thus the battle for Killonochchi begins and the LTTE will be forced to respond and commit cadres to the battle or risk losing its 'administrative capital' without denting the SLA offensives.
The LTTE must respond to the SLA offensive soon, without which the SLA will liberate Killinochchi without taking much casualties. This will mean that the SLA will immediately set its sights upon the last bastion of terror - the Vanni.