The military campaign in the Esat is now in a decisive phase with the Air Force going flat out against Sea Tigers as part of its strategy to protect the Trincomalee-Jaffna sea supply route.
The military believes that the LTTE would try to disrupt the sea route to pressure the Jaffna-based security forces. `We are taking pre-emptive action,` an official said.
Although Sea Tigers have hidden their assets, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), operating over the LTTE-held territory, had been successful in pinpointing targets.
Israeli-built Kfirs yesterday morning attacked an identified target at Chilawatte, north of Nayaru lagoon as senior military officials asserted that the Sea Tigers could not withstand the increased pressure. According to them another primary objective was to wipe out the enemy`s capability to carry out mid-sea arms transfers. They said that annihilation of Sea Tigers crucial in the military`s overall strategy to defeat the LTTE.
`There has been some strategic thinking. We are determined to knock off their offensive capability,` a senior official said. The military had adopted a two-pronged strategy which envisaged a relentless attack on Sea Tigers and a plan to bolster the firepower of the navy. An official acknowledged that this would not be an easy task. The government recently authorised the navy to acquire a fleet of Heavy Fast Attack Craft. Their induction would greatly improve the navy`s capability, an authoritative official said. The proposed acquisition was crucial in giving the navy a clear edge over Sea Tigers. The navy had not hitherto operated Heavy Fast Attack Craft.
Sea Tigers made several bids to disrupt sea supply route to Jaffna last year.
The military said that adecisive edge could be gained by crippling Sea Tigers.