Ethiopian troops Tuesday took Baidoa from al-Shabaab terrorists. This is the premier accomplishment of the Ethiopians since the moved troops across the border into Somalia in November. The Ethiopian forces are the main line moving against al-Shabaab in the north of Somalia. Kenyan troops have been fight al-Qaeda linked terrorsts in the south, while transitional government and a contingent of troops from other African nations (AFRICOM) have seemingly made headway against them in Mogadishu.
The Ethiopian troops met little resistance from al-Shabaab who had moved most of their troops out of Baidoa in the past week. They pulled out of Mogadishu in much the same fashion a couple of months ago.
Baidoa is the largest city in the northern region and its lost is a strategic blow to al-Shabaab who had not faced near the opposition in the north as in the southern region of the country. Al-Shabaab publicly owned up to the loss of the city saying their withdrawal had been a a tactical not wanting to suffer large numbers of casualties the mechanized units of the Ethiopian forces.
It is reported that Ethiopian troops are continuing their journey southward.
The taking of Baidoa came after a strong contingent of the Ethiopian forces moved last week from Luuq district in the Gedo region towards Yeed district in Bakool region.
Informants on the ground in the area report that the Ethiopian contingent is equipped with tanks and other mechanized, military weaponry. There are approximately 2000 troops in the movement.
One must wonder how al-Shabaab with limited finances can continue to fight on multiple fronts. What we could be witnessing is an intentional or forced concentration in the southern regions. This could spell more trouble for Kenyan troops who are already under heavy pressure on the battle field and mounting political pressure at home.