Monday, August 4, 2008

27kms to Pooneryn

Sea Tigers withdrawing from the west coast have started crossing the Palk Strait to India, as Navy operations to cut off the movement was stepped up this week. The Tigers still operate safehouses in Tamil Nadu from where they smuggled in military supplies until recently.

The Army's advance along the A-32 seems imminent. To add to the Tiger's woes, the Navy too has started harassing Tigers, giving them no chance to regroup. The 58 Division (TF-1) of the Army has 27kms left to reach the strategic town of Pooneryn along the A-32 after having advanced 3kms from Vellankula by this evening. Pooneryn is situated 70kms north of Mannar.

By the time they reach Pooneryn, the Navy may very well have exhausted the Sea Tigers at sea. Sea Tigers, at present, can only operate between Nachchikuda upto the Kilali Lagoon. But this is highly limited and vulnerable to attack by Navy operating in the main islands of Kyts, Delft and Mandativu.

In a measure of things to come, the Navy's Special Boat Squadron made a landing on the Iranativu island on Saturday, an unmanned island north of Mannar, following several recce missions. Iranativu is situated to the northwest of Nachchikuda and was used as a mid-way point. Tigers also have a small presence at Kakativu and Irumaitivu, northeast of Iranaitivu.

More operations of this nature will be witnessed in this area in time, as the firepower and manpower of the Sea Tigers continue to dwindle, both on the ground and at sea.

This is the second offensive operation planned and executed by the SBS in three weeks. Small teams of sailors completed night-time recce missions using Combat Rubber Reconnaissance Crafts (CRRCs) prior to the attack. The SBS is trained by the amphibious assault teams of 2 Special Forces.

61 comments:

Sun Tzu's disciple said...

"Sea Tigers withdrawing from the west coast have started crossing the Palk Strait to India"

I guess this is a typo?
It makes no military sense otherwise.
DW,
In the event of a Tiger assault of SAL from the hinterland, is the SLN in a position to a)Provide firepower support b)Land reinforcements/supplies c)Evacuate any besieged troops on the A32?

Asking in view of the shallow nature of the seas there.

Ninja said...

Thanks for the update DW.

So Pooneryn is under SLA artilary range even now.

Going alone A-32, does this mean SLA (57D) will move first along west coast and then to the east while the rest move north?

This will create more fronts to fight and thus more harvest. But atthe same time it amkes SLA more thiner and exposed to more tiger attacks (compared to just moving north as a horizontal line, specialy after mankulam falls.)

SBS is doing a great job. But sad to see no publicity is given. (Compared to when sea-tigers attack some obsevartion post how they do propaganda.)

Ogre said...

We always need to maintain a level of caution in military operations with limited resources. Although SLA is in a leading position we should not forget our past mistakes:

Source Tamilnet: Jayasikuru Analysis

Victory less assured
[TamilNet, Thursday, 13 November 1997, 23:59 GMT]
The Sri Lankan military's largest military operation is 6 months old today. The much vaunted Operation 'Jaya Sikirui' ('Victory Assured' in Sinhalese) was launched on 13 May 1997, with the stated aim of opening a supply route to the SLA's Jaffna garrison, isolated by a broad swath of LTTE held territory. However things are not going as planned.

The Sri Lankan offensive to open a main supply route (MSR) to the Jaffna peninsula was widely anticipated since October last year, when the Sri Lankan army finally wrestled the town of Kilinochchi from the LTTE after fighting pitched battles for two months, losing more than six hundred soldiers and heavy armour.

Ratwatte & Rohan
Sri Lanka's Deputy Minister Gen. Anuruddha Ratwatte (right) and Lieut. General Rohan Daluwatte in Jayasikurui operation
An estimated forty thousand Sri Lankan security forces can be supplied only by air and sea now. The Monsoon weather, the LTTE's Surface to Air Missiles and the ferocious attacks of the Sea Tigers continue mount severe pressure on the lines of supply to the north the Sri Lankan government is trying to keep open.

Though the publicly stated objective of Operation Jayasikurui was to secure a supply route to the Jaffna peninsula, the Sri Lankan government had other objectives also. These were

drawing the LTTE into open confrontation and breaking its back through superior firepower, thereby securing political kudos amongst the Sinhala people and hence setting the political temperature right to unveil the government's devolution proposals. Strategic analysts also believe that a secondary objective of the operation was to depopulate the Tamil areas between Vavuniya and the eastern coastline, thereby preparing the way for the expansion of Weli Oya (Manal Aru) further into the northern province. Weli Oya is a military zone where thousands of Sinhalese were settled by the Sri Lankan state after forcibly evacuating the Tamils living there in 1984. The SLA therefore ignored the easier route to Jaffna along the Vanni's western coast and began preparations for a major operation along the A9 trunk road which runs through the centre of the Vanni.

But LTTE had sufficient time to construct its defences, prepare its military machine and plan for contingencies. The LTTE was also able to devote considerable resources to securing more of the strategic east of the island: from October to April, LTTE units decimated Sri Lankan patrols, overran military outposts in the region.

Things were made much easier for the LTTE as the Sri Lankan army has had to pull out a large number of troops from the eastern province, abandoning in the process several key camps. Military observers agree that the LTTE was firmly in control of 80% of the eastern areas of the island by April 1997.

Furthermore, the Sri Lankan government had inadvertently set a deadline to successfully conclude the war : In early 1997, the government promised the Sinhala public that it would 'end the war' by December 1997. Similarly, in a move to maintain international support for its military onslaughts in the island's northeast, the SL government also promised to deliver the 'political package' by November 1997.

The SLA said it expected to capture the 45 miles of the A9 from Vavuniya to Kilinochchi, within 4 months, before the monsoon set in and turned the mechanised assault into muddy chaos.

The SLA launched Operation 'Jaya Sikirui' (Victory Assured) on 13 May 1997 (the date was chosen as it was said to be auspicious, according to the Sinhala Buddhist calendar). Over 20,000 troops, backed by tanks, artillery and air power pushed into the Vanni region.

LTTE units
LTTE Units
The LTTE fought back bitterly. For the first time, the Tigers deployed artillery (captured from the SLA)) and mortars on columns of the Sri Lankan army that were trying to advance on the A9. And Jaya Sikirui stumbled almost immediately. Heavy casualties caused Sri Lankan blood reserves to drop by half within days, prompting urgent appeals for donors.

Stiff Tiger resistance from bunkers and trenches slowed the Sri Lankan advance to a crawl. When the SLA captured the two initial objectives of Omanthai and Nedunkerni towns, the operation was already behind schedule.

As the two columns from Omanthai and Nedunkerni moved towards the obscure village of Puliyankulam in a pincer movement, the LTTE launched its first major counter-attack. LTTE commandos penetrated deep behind SLA lines to smash a major staging area, destroying vast quantities of supplies and killing hundreds of SLA troops. Two other similar (though smaller) LTTE counterattacks inflicted further casualties on Jaya Sikirui later on.

Puliyankulam was meant to be the linking up point for the twin prongs of the SLA assault. The SLA was so sure of its progress that it even went so far as to declare it secured before the troops even reached it.

But LTTE had built very effective defences at Puliyankulam. Straddling the A9 route, the small town was the gateway to further progress along the highway. A few hundred LTTE troops, backed by artillery, beat off repeated SLA assaults for three months, destroying several SLA tanks and inflicting heavy casualties.

map_ottisuddan_1.gif
Stung by the humiliation, the SLA ignored conventional military strategy of bypassing the village and instead launched ever larger assaults upon it. Many were repulsed. After several weeks, the SLA inched forward to reach Puliyankulam railway station (in the west of the village). The rest of the town is still yet to be secured.

Like the garrison of the Alamo in another war, the Tigers defending Puliyankulam had achieved a significant objective: they had irrevocably delayed their enemy's advance. Jaya Sikirui could no longer be completed on time.

Several belated attempts to bypass Puliyankulam (west of the town) were slowed by LTTE ambushes and counterattacks. Attempts to take Kanakarayakulam, further up the A9 were also repulsed.

After a lull, the SLA decided to secure an alternative route through a little known jungle route that ran parallel to the A9, but further east. Pushing north from its positions along the Puliyankulum-Nedunkerni raid, the SLA reached the Mankulum-Oddusudan road (running east-west).

The Tigers launched a major counterattack on the SLA columns strung out in the jungles east of the A9. In 5 days of heavy fighting, over 500 SLA troops were killed and a massive quantity of arms and ammunition captured (including a million rounds of ammunition). 162 Tigers died in this assault.

The accurate picture of the current situation is difficult to ascertain. Both sides are maintaining a studied silence as to the situation in the Vanni. The Sri Lankan government had banned reporters from the war zones (for several years). What is certain is that the A9 between Puliyankulam and Kilinochchi remains in Tiger hands.

The SLA has said that its troops are occupying 'a line' on the Mankulum-Ottusudan road, and that it is preparing to launch the 'final phase' of the operation. The LTTE says that the isolated SLA camps are under pressure. Meanwhile, LTTE units are slipping into areas recently captured by the SLA and staging guerrilla attacks in the rear.

The heavy monsoon rains lashing the Vanni region have further compounded Jaya Sikirui's problems. The SLA has revised its timetable. It now says it will secure the MSR by February 1998.

It has also raised another division (9,000 men) and thrown it into the Vanni and is stripping the east of the island and even the Jaffna peninsula to beef up the Jaya Sikurui troops. There has been a sudden, corresponding surge in LTTE activity on the peninsula.

Throughout the Jaya Sikirui operation, the LTTE has avoided getting drawn into direct confrontations where the Sri Lankan military can easily deploy superior firepower; except in a handful of decisive counter-attacks where the Tigers have surprised the SLA and prevented it from using its heavy weapons successfully.

By contrast, the LTTE has been able to use been able to effectively deploy 122mm artillery (the LTTE is said to have captured 5 of these) and scores of 120mm and 81mm mortars to slow Jaya Sikirui's advance.

Though the LTTE has lost about 750 troops in the past six months, it has replenished these losses with fresh recruits (although it will be six months before they are sufficiently trained to be deployed in battle). The Tigers have also captured a staggering quantity of arms, ammunition and vehicles from the SLA.

Though the Tigers have lost some ground in the Vanni, they are consolidating their grip on the east. Furthermore, analysts say that even if the SLA opened a supply route to Jaffna, the route will be a very expensive to maintain.

The Sinhala populace has been less than impressed with the government's achievements on the battlefield, despite a concerted PR campaign, complete with suitablly inflated Tiger casualty figures. The Sinhala press has become increasingly critical, and even strongly nationalistic papers have ridiculed the government's battlefield claims.

Military columnists and analysts have been united in their criticism of Jaya Sikiru's approach, results and even objectives.

Desertions continue to plague the SLA and the general sense of malaise has extinguished any interest amongst the Sinhala youth for a military career.

The future of the government's peace package, which has been presented to parliament, hangs in the balance The government is threatening to go to a referendum over the proposals and is hastily trying to mobilise public opinion in its favour, a task hampered by the rising price of essentials (due to taxation to fund the increasingly unpopular war).

In effect, none of Jaya Sikirui's have been achieved six months after it was launched (and two months after it was expected to conclude). The Sri Lankan government however, has staked everything on the success of this operation. It is therefore expected to doggedly back Jaya Sikirui, even though with each passing day, victory seems less assured.

Ninja said...

//Sea Tigers withdrawing from the west coast have started crossing the Palk Strait to India//

First part is true: sea tigers are withdrawing from the west. But they can relocate in Pooneryn or move into east or to India. It is surprising how they manage to to cross the Palk straut as it is gaurded by Indian navy. Probably, pretending as fishermen and with the help of elements among indian fishermen.

Sun Tzu's disciple said...

ogre,
anybody mentioning the word " caution" is begging to be labelled a traitor/LTTEr by ' patriots' here:))
But the analysis is a good read, esp as it came BEFORE the Tiger counteroffensive ,then.How prophetic in retrospect!

Ogre said...

I emphasize


WE SHOULD NOT FORGET THE PAST and prepare for any and every eventuality.

THIS IS A MUST

We should remind the SLA about this as well.

I hear all taking about different LTTE then and different army then and now also.....

but LTTE has also increased their fire power 20 times times since Jayasikuru (heck they have bush planes and a small exp copter)

point is we should not forget, how ltte worked the SLA in the 1997...and problem back then was setting arbitrary deadlines and pushing soldiers to the brink of insanity, because it mean death to our boys...

Dear General Sarath Fonseka (or may i call you sarath) remember the above. we both took bullets for our motherland so i am talking to you as a soldier as well....

you know what LTTE has, they have not shown any of that arsenal

where are the guided missiles, SAMs, or are they keeping those to protect the national front?

and again NO dead lines, the euphoria experienced by the masses who do not know WAR can become hostile in a matter of days!

Defencewire said...

STD,
"I guess this is a typo?
It makes no military sense otherwise."

Do not understand the point of your question. Please reframe.

"In the event of a Tiger assault of SAL from the hinterland, is the SLN in a position to a)Provide firepower support b)Land reinforcements/supplies c)Evacuate any besieged troops on the A32?"

If the assault happens on land, with 6 Divisions mobile, there will be enough logistics to handle evacuations. There is no bottleneck on the ground from where troops are now, upto EP. Firepower support from the sea is not explored, even necessary as the Army moves forward with its own artillery and rocket units. Large vessels cannot be docked in shallow northwestern coast.

Amphibious landing of troops occurred during Balavegaya. It can happen again, but entirely upto the planners. If such a thing happens, it too will focus on pooneryn, but troops will come from the North.

Ogre said...

enough said

always think...what can LTTE do to reverse SLA gains, either politically or military...

protect those areas first.

----------
sunTD: In regards to malavi..head on assault is useless, just outmaneuver it...LTTE does not have enough troops to cover the area...so put the usual ground package with some air assets as well. no need to sac more lives of SLA boys.

when you have a big buffalo in your way snarling at you...and you dont have a large enough caliber bullet to hit it...you just shoot its legs off...simple!

Shan said...

Ogre

you're repeating your posts and someone else is guarding your flank

Ogre said...

DW ...dont post operational detail and analysis....please machan!

Ogre said...

shan:

sorry about the repeat...didnt mean to.

STD is not guarding my flank...

I have lived a long life to tell you from experience the problems we encountered.

right now we move columns after small groups/assault teams move up this keeps the masses Out of range for enemy arty.

Sun Tzu's disciple said...

DW,
I meant to ask if the highlighted statement was a typing error--as they should be withdrawing up the coast and not to India:)

Ogre,
I think you overdid this:)
"
you know what LTTE has, they have not shown any of that arsenal "

Other than their wily tactics I dont think they have any hidden arsenal.

Ninja said...

We have talked a lot about jayasikuru etc. Main difference I see is SLA used conventional war startergies which is known to LTTE and LTTE used their own stratergies. It was about brain.

Ogre said...

but now what LTTE is trying to do is force SLA in to conventional status...

Malin said...

Guys Yes, OGRE has a great point.. because we always talk about what SLA will do next but we rarely think what are the options availble for the LTTE.

we are waiting for an major counter strike but just waiting that to happen.
Its time to think from LTTE pespective, put your self in the VP shoes and think where SLA is at weakest.

BUT CAN WE TALK ABOUT WHAT LTTE WOULD DO?

because we dont want to give them ideas to attack against us do we? Our Ideas may be crazy but it still they run the risk of helping the enemy..

BE VERY CAREFUL OF WHAT YOU SAY HERE.. SPECIALLY POPLE WHO HAVE INSIDE INFO.

Defencewire said...

STD,
If you ran a smuggling ring from point A to B and you lost B, where would you go? to A or C?. A in this case would be India, because that's where the smuggling originates from and C would be, for example, Chalai in the northeast coast, which is still safe for Tigers. But this would not serve their purpose of smuggling. However, from point A, or india, they can still smuggle in goods to, say nachchikudah, kakativu, etc as fishermen.

thambala said...

I thought the attack on Iranathivu was by RABS??????

LKDOOD said...

LNP is not working

LKDOOD said...

DW

thanks for the update

assasinrajive said...

some body tell me where the hell this pooneryn is? pls tamil nadu..?

assasinrajive said...

LK DOOD..? HIKPULA..?

assasinrajive said...

...SOME TOP Notch IN LTTE GOT injured and seeking to come to Colombo for medical treatment ,..

is there any truth in this ..??

LKDOOD said...

assasinrajive said...

LK DOOD..? HIKPULA..?

August 5, 2008 1:41 AM

what ??????????????

LKDOOD said...

no news on any top leader injured

Panhinda said...

Sun-Tzu,

/*
In the event of a Tiger assault of SAL from the hinterland, is the SLN in a position to..
*/

my... that is indeed lofty goal! if Tiger attack from 'hiterland', which other Tiger is left to protect the hinterland? After all, that hinterland is also under siege!

Moshe Dyan said...

thanks DW for the update.

i read that tigers are basing in KERALA not TAMILL NADU???

although we are witin the MAXIMUM arti range of poonaryn, it means little bcos we cannot attack 27km with ACCEPTABLE precision on MOVABLE tiger arti. tigers can bcos they don't care about civilians, but we cannot. anyway it is of high importance as it still allows the REACH although we may not fully exploit it.

ninja,
"Going alone A-32, does this mean SLA (57D) will move first along west coast and then to the east while the rest move north?"

this concern was raised earlier.

NO; not according to available info. SLA is moving from COAST TO A9 now (although the FDL is COAST TO COAST- EAST TO WEST). there is no room for tigers flank attack SLA.

ogre,
the important thing is to EXTINGUISH LTTE's fighting capability by killing the maximum. this is the VITAL lesson #1 from jayasikuru. recent rapid advances are kind of worrying as they didn't produce a sizable HARVEST.

panhinda,
well said, mate!!

Moshe Dyan said...

i expect trouble today as the crap ceasefire has ended.

the diaspora-based thinking (the diaspora are the bread winners of the LTTE) forces them to display some barbarianism NOW.

TropicalStorm said...

Moshe

I thought Pooneryn also had a well established camp the LTTe captured from the SLA. That could be easily targetted using long range guns, after aerial surveillance.

I would also assume the LTTE would want to keep their heavy guns where they can be defended effectively against SLA marauder units. That should make them keep them within close distances so that they can be defended with minimum man power.

Also looking at Pooneryn on Google maps, there seems to be very little civillian life. Or am I mistaken?

Sun Tzu's disciple said...

"my... that is indeed lofty goal! if Tiger attack from 'hiterland', which other Tiger is left to protect the hinterland? After all, that hinterland is also under siege!"

DW team deemed it reasonable to respond in detail while you played the usual smart-ass kid as usual.
Even truly professional armies discuss worst-case scenarios, and wargames where they delegate some of their best generals to play the Devils Advocate.
If that makes you happy then go on..

TropicalStorm said...

Small team attck, then surge-and-purge seems to have worked really well so far.

But as the SLDF closes in on K'chchi teh LTTE is very likely to optimize all defensive tactics including packing civillians in like sardines to work as an impenetrable human shield.

Sri lankan leaders need to play a greater role in talking to those people to try and get them to move out of harm's way soon. Such an effort must be given wide publicity, especially in local and foreign media as well.
That way, any civillian casualties that are caused by their choosing to stay cannot be reasonably blamed on the SLG.

Waiting till the last moment to air drop leaflets will not address the IC concerns that will become a big issue soon.

wijayapala said...

STD,

"* I have never seen a ' granny' of either sex in genuine war casualty photos of either party( or even non-casualty ones).It seems like cheap propaganda--which by default demeans the SLA as having trouble defeating conscripted grannies."

You clearly have not seen enough photos. Will you settle for grandpa?

http://www.sankathi.com/content/nikalvukal_full.php?subaction=showfull&id=1209378225&archive=&start_from=&ucat=14&

The SLA for obvious reasons does not want to show bodies of dead grannies. And the purpose of Granny Brigade is not to fight the SLA but merely to slow it down.

Moshe Dyan said...

TS,

yes; the poonaryn camp fell to the LTTE without much noise. but they are operating on a large stretch than the camp.

smaller units in a larger stretch.

this makes it is impossible for SLA to launch arti attacks to DESTROY their arti positions. of course SLA can launch harassing fire. but given civilian movement around the area, SLA will not launch 20km+ arti attacks on poonaryn. (the higer the range the higer the error margin).

as regards civilians...

spot on. this is EXACTLY what they are trying to do. i blame it on SLDFs not following a "PREDOMINANTLY-KILLING-STRATEGY".

tigers call it a tactical withdrawal. come to think of it, IT INDEED WAS in a VERY NASTY sense. withdraw from open battlefield, hide among civilians and attack. unthinkable for a civilised army.

UNFORTUNATELY the govt will be blamed for higher civilian casualties and civilian DISPLACEMENT.

Bhairav said...

Sinhala media portrays this SLA landing in this thread picture as modern day landing of Normandy.

If LTTE have enough ammunition, especially artillery shells, they can turn the tables. Most of the fresh SLA troops are new recruits who might learn the rookie lessons when Tigers turn into their arty. There is no secret that LTTE hierarchy plays the game according to old jeyasikkuru blueprints which are I would say outdated for today's game that requires decisions on the fly. Depending on old jeyasukkur blueprints would be suicidal for LTTE except using it as reference.

Ninja said...

--Granny brigade-- This is an auxiliury force. Probably they don't fight in the battle field. Rather they perform some duties in LTTE areas so that other caders can be sent to FDLs. This is my guess.

--Photo list-- Who maintain that photo list? LTTE? In that list there is no birthday but the deathday. BY looking at the photos we can guess a lot of child soldiers are there.

--Pooneryn-- Mulathiv town is cleary within SLA arti range. But they didn't fire so far. So we can expect SLA don't fire arti on Pooneryn either from that far. Reason may be now SLA has diviated from conventional warfare, to avoid unnecassary civilian casualties and they have different stratergies.

Ogre said...

Moshe dyan

"
ogre,
the important thing is to EXTINGUISH LTTE's fighting capability by killing the maximum. this is the VITAL lesson #1 from jayasikuru. recent rapid advances are kind of worrying as they didn't produce a sizable HARVEST."


This was the also the plan of Jayasikuru, thus the reason why A9 was used at that time instead of A32 along west coast.

clearly Jayasikuru did not have enough resources (or we gave it away...to LTTE directly or indirectly..you know what i mean)

LTTE is waiting for the right moment to strike...

they generally waiting for two reasons....resource thin out of Navy (protecting west coast..leaves east coast open now, and waiting for certain navy commander alignment...some are weaker than others)....
conversion of SLDF attack in to conventional attacks. which we are seeing more now...

this leaves my to believe that LTTE may try to land a large consignment of arty/supplies on the east coast...they are also apparently rebuilding the arms where house ships (converted 80-100 ton trawlers - > cargo ships)

since the so call (moronic) LTTE ceasefire is done with they will now try to blast some economic/military/civilian targets down south...if you think clearly on top of tiger list is Air power...is LTTE waiting for migs to arrive?

Moshe Dyan said...

ogre,

agree in most part.

BUT "EXTINGUISH LTTE's fighting capability by killing the maximum" was NEVER on the agenda of jayasikuru. the main aims were to secure road and land.

jayasikuru A9 <> 2008, A32 as the former had no "DEPTH" while the latter has it. BUT dangerously there are similarities brewing up lately.

in fact none of CBK's war strategies (from op. LEEP-FORWARD? to 2001 "residual" op.s) included "killing" as the "main course" if you look carefully.
they were ALL about securing land to FORCE the tigers to the negotiating table.

a ROUGH numerical explanation:
war deaths from 1983-94 = 50,000
average = 4,545

war deaths from 1994-2001 = 15,000
average = 2,143

i share all your concerns.

we are not much different to jayasikuru if we don't start HARVESTING b4 it is too late. as i have pointed out REPEATEDLY, we have to bust LTTE's 4Ms.

1. men
2. material
3. machines
4. methods

we cannot substantially extinguish and keep it that way 2, 3 & 4. but we have a good chance of extinguishing 1. tigers don't have jaffna & batti NOW that produced more than 95% mahaveers. vanni population growth is in the negative. child soldiers, grandmas, civilians are increasingly used to cover these weaknesses.

there was some hope after a recent speech by SF that we are moving into a MORE killing strategy. but it didn't happen to the level i expected.

i know we cannot go back to january 2008 again, BUT if you ask me there are HEAPS of opportunities to maximise the harvest of (dead) tigers.

even if tigers don't counterattack, their HIGH density among ppl makes it very difficult for our future op.s

Rover said...

Folks,

This is what I think.

When we first started the Vanni offensive, the length of the active FDL was roughly 130 kms. Due to the distinct conical shape of the area of interest, as we move North, the length of the active FDL will fall (now it is about 100 kms). Furthermore, the LTTE cadre is being concentrated to a smaller area, mingling with civilians.

Army's strategy has been to keep the staging areas/camps/troop concentrations out of the reach of the LTTE's big guns by using small teams well ahead of these high soldier density areas.

But if our active FDL is shortened, while LTTE troops are concentrated, it will get harder for the small teams to operate (as their success depends on stealth). And since the terrorists are mingling with the civilians, it will get harder for us to operate our arti.

As I said before, LTTE will love reduce our mobility (like in the Muhamali FDL), where we can't send scouts/attack team ahead of the troop masses.

Theepan, who is an arti specialist, I believe, was inserted by the LTTE into Mannar-Vavuniya sector sensing a bogging down of the SLA formations, where Arti can be put to good use.

So I am sure it is the correct decision to extend our active FDL by moving up roughly 30 kms along the A32. As I said earlier, by doing this, we are only realistically exposing only a single (right) flank to the LTTE. This will help us to make small team excursions into LTTE territory, and following up on pretty much the same techniques that have been successful for us.

Sure, extending the FDL will open up opportunities for the LTTE as well. But the party that exploits these situations will be the eventual winners. In Moshe's words, it will create more opportunities for harvesting.

There are of course other dividends that come out of having control of the Western seaboard. These are:

1. Prevention of refugees trying to go to TN, India (that could create a huge political backlash, which will eventually stall our military manouvers)

2. Prevention of smuggling of armaments and supplies for the LTTE.

3. Opening of a surface road to JF. Ect.

Pulutta said...

http://www.sankathi.com/content/nikalvukal_full.php?subaction=showfull&id=1209378225&archive=&start_from=&ucat=14&

Is there any one who can read this?

I read only the pictures and the dates, but that is all you need to get an idea on what is really going on out there in Wanni.

Panhinda said...

Hey STD, it seems I have touched a raw nerve. May I suggest a bout of Buddhist Meditation to calm your nerves. Also, stop being rude and calling me names. Didn't your mommy and daddy send you to a finishing school?

wrt to 'smart arse' comment, I will have you know the architect of the current military strategy is I. Yes, you may not believe me, and I really do not care. I suggested movement along A32 instead of a9. I suggested small teams/multiple frontiers long time ago in another forum. The forum pundit there did not think it will work at that time. I bet he is regretting his comments now.

Pulutta said...

And there are more..........

http://www.sankathi.com/content/karthikai_pookal.php

I'm really fed up with the education we had, we shld have been given a good education on Tamil,

HMMMMMMM...........

Moshe Dyan said...

rover,

good points.

having considered the dividends of controlling the west coast,

i'm against sending a thin column along A32. we should continue the BROAD northward movement.

of course it doesn't stop small teams operating beyond FDLs.

the possibility (and effectiveness) of arti attacks is anyway high. this will be THE issue in time to come. SLAF (MORE) and firefinders (LESS) should be on their toes.

if SLA don't move in columns, tigers cannot shell them and isolate them.

wijayapala said...

Rover,

"Theepan, who is an arti specialist, I believe, was inserted by the LTTE into Mannar-Vavuniya sector sensing a bogging down of the SLA formations, where Arti can be put to good use."

Bhanu is the LTTE's artillery expert. Theepan is just a field commander like Jeyam and the defected Karuna. The LTTE has been using artillery in combat for over the past year.

Sun Tzu's disciple said...

"Also, stop being rude and calling me names."
very funny:))

"I will have you know the architect of the current military strategy is I"
That explains it:))

Sun Tzu's disciple said...

Wijaypala,
"Will you settle for grandpa?"

But where are they? All photos appear within legal military age.There are serving SLDF Generals who appear the same age if not older.

"And the purpose of Granny Brigade is not to fight the SLA but merely to slow it down."
how do you slow down an armed and invading army without fighting??
Are you talking about Makal padai for guarding villages? Sounds like your Home Guards to me.

"The SLA for obvious reasons does not want to show bodies of dead grannies"
what is that obvious reasons?

Rover said...

Thanks Moshe,

I agree that moving too far north in a thin column would be a bad idea. But it will help as a lure to draw out the terrorists from the populated areas (if they don't come out, they can say good bye to Pooneryn). Thus a good time for harvesting without really harming the civilian population.

Yes I agree with your point, the SLAF and SLN will have a huge responsibility in keeping the ground forces safe.

Rover said...

Wijayapala,

My mistake, Theepan is the commander of the LTTE arti regiment. I expected the arti regiment commander to be a arti specialist, perhaps he is not.

thambala said...

Guys!

I heard from a rare contact some dark shadows are going after theepan. Anyone can confirm this?

perein said...

Wijayapala-
Is it possible you to translate what's on below link please?

http://www.sankathi.com/content/nikalvukal_full.php?subaction=showfull&id=1209378225&archive=&start_from=&ucat=14&

LionHeart said...

Hey DW,

Do u know any reason for the sudden rush of SLDF? earlier the main objective was killing as many tigers as possible. But now it looks like capturing LTTE held areas.

Virus alert said...

"bhairav said...
Most of the fresh SLA troops are new recruits who might learn the rookie lessons when Tigers turn into their arty."
The thing is this, these fresh troops will be supported by the highly trained and highly experienced elites.(Commandos and Special Forces) They will not enter into combat unless the LTTE movement in the areas ahead of the FDL has been reduced. This way freshers will get more experience and later will be involved in high risk missions as well.[ not like in the LTTE where they send the freshers(mostly boys and girls) first and the so called elites last]

I believe that STF should be given the opportunity to defend and hunt down any LTTE buggers from the recently captured areas. That way more SLA troops can support the offensive and we will be much less vulnerable to counter attacks. Even if the LTTE will be successful with their counter attacks we will be able to recounter them quite easily. But that isn't a possibility at the moment(LTTE counter attacks being successful)

lankaputhra said...

The LTTE now controls about 4,000 sq km - or just six percent of Sri Lanka’s land territory. And the population under its control is said to be about 250,000 - a mere 1.25 percent of the country’s total.

http://www.sindhtoday.net/south-asia/9243.htm

Ranil said...

"Do u know any reason for the sudden rush of SLDF? earlier the main objective was killing as many tigers as possible. But now it looks like capturing LTTE held areas."

I'm assuming this is not the case. probably SLDF is still using same tactics of trying to kill as many but i think the tigers are not able to hold onto vast areas on multiple fronts and have no choice but to retreat to "safer" areas...
The heavy casualties will come once the tiger concentration is high on a particular area and as multiple fronts converge and form denser but narrow fronts...
this will make our buys more vulnerable to indirect fire like arti and motars

Rover said...

Confirming my earlier concerns, we are now beginning to see a greater usage of arti fire correlated to insertion of Theepan. We have lost a fairly large number of our boys in Mallavi to arti fire.

Moshe Dyan said...

rover,

yes. you are right. this theepan bugger needs to be handled pretty soon.

strangely SLAF action is lacking severely.

Moshe Dyan said...

in fact Mi-24s have attacked today an area north to captured area in the west cost.

but still no SLAF action around mallavi after last friday.

promax said...

Hi Guys
According defence lk video, we are despatching long range artillery fire to Ponarian, that sounds really cool. I think this will help to prevent any LTTE attacks from Ponarian to Palali using their big guns.
http://www.defence.lk/videos/20080804_Wanni.wmv

What’s happening at Malavi front? It’s awfully quite, or is there a new blackout as speculated by SF from LNP
Cheers

Moshe Dyan said...

promax,

the video said SLA is attacking TOWARDS northern tiger areas IN THE DIRECTION of poonaryn.

isn't it??


i said earlier today.

"although we are witin the MAXIMUM arti range of poonaryn, it means little bcos we cannot attack 27km with ACCEPTABLE precision on MOVABLE tiger arti. tigers can bcos they don't care about civilians, but we cannot. anyway it is of high importance as it still allows the REACH although we may not fully exploit it.

smaller units in a larger stretch.

this makes it is impossible for SLA to launch arti attacks to DESTROY their arti positions. of course SLA can launch harassing fire. but given civilian movement around the area, SLA will not launch 20km+ arti attacks on poonaryn. (the higer the range the higer the error margin)."

LKDOOD said...

here is a picture of theepan(2006)

http://i37.tinypic.com/91grir.jpg

Ogre said...

by the way Task force 2 is still lagging behind, they have so many troops...and LTTE fighting hard to keep them south of palmudey (west of A 9)

this is why LTTE is able to use malavi as a staging ground to keep 57 busy, hammering them with arty.

and again this leaves 58's flank exposed so when moving up LTTE will try to hit them on the side...either reinforce task force 2, or change thier commander! ( i know the area is a bit disadvantageous geography...but common...need to move up )

Mohammed said...

News just in from Defence.lk:

"SLAF MI-24 helicopters raid LTTE gathering place

Sri Lanka Air Force MI-24 Helicopter gun ships carried out close air support mission targeting LTTE gathering place in 5 1/2 Km north of Vellankulam this afternoon, 05 August.

Air Force spokesperson, Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara, speaking to defence.lk said that the air sorties were carried out around 2.00 PM to assist the ground troops advancing northwards along the A-32, Mannar - Poonaryn, main road.

It is observed that the LTTE terrorists withdrawn after loosing their strongholds located along the western cost in Vidattaltivu, Illuppaikkadavai and Vellankulam areas have reorganized in this targeted area to make resistance for the advancing troops".

Its about time too! Read between the lines, looks like we are facing stiff resistance.

onecountry said...

tamilnet has another picture of a fallen hero. They say that they dont know the details of LTTE casualties, but did not deny having any.

About Us

We are a Non-Political Group of Defence Experts Sharing Our Knowledge For the Good Of Our Country. This is a Voluntary Effort. We Report to No-one But You.

Contact US

You can contact us by e-mail on defencewire@gmail.com and on defence_wire@yahoo.com.

Disclaimer

DefenceWire or its editors are not responsible for the opinions expressed by the contributors to this website.