The SLAF has thrown almost all its assets in support of the largest ever operation launched against the LTTE.
The action spearheaded by the Katunayake-based jet squadrons and Mi-24 helicopter gunships operating from bases situated near the area of operations had caused immense damage to the enemy, a senior SLAF official said.
Responding to The Sunday Island queries, he said that operations had been primarily directed at LTTE fortifications, gun positions, communication facilities and units deployed against 57 Division and Task Force I (TF I) attempting to liberate the Iranamadu-Kilinochchi-Paranthan stretch of the A9 road.
But the SLAF had been also called in neutralize a new threat on TF I posed by Sea Tiger units operating from Elephant Pass. The LTTE had moved some of its assets to Elephant Pass to launch boat raids on TF I positions north of Paranthan-Pooneryn road.
The official said that Mi-24s had successfully engaged LTTE boats in the Jaffna lagoon and thwarted their attempts to harass TF I troops pushing towards Paranthan.
Jets carried out seven missions up to 4 p. m. yesterday with two directed at LTTE boats on the Mullaitivu beach.
`We engaged them at 5.05 a.m. and 5.35 a.m. in close proximity to a foreign cargo vessel Farah Three that had run aground,` the official said.
The enemy craft were some of those involved in a major confrontation with the SLN a few hours before following a successful naval action that sank a large LTTE vessel off Mullaitivu, he said.
The three jet squadrons comprising Kfirs (No 10), MIG 27s (No 12) and F7s (No 5) and Mi 24 had conducted 53 missions since December 6, the official said.
Among the targets were bunkers, earth bunds, heavy machine gun and mortar positions, fortified defences, underground bunker complex north of Iranamadu LTTE airstrip, communication facilities and reinforcements.