The Sri Lanka Army, finally set foot in the district of Kilinochchi last evening as part of a fully mobilized operational army after over a decade. Although Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP) teams have gone well beyond Kilinochchi, a massive mobilization of troops such as this has never entered Kilinochchi in over a decade.
The 58 Division, facing stiff resistance from Tigers at Vellankulam, effectively surrounded the village to cut off the enemy from three directions, in preparation for further operations to come. It was during this course of action that they entered Kilinochchi District by crossing the Vellankulam-Tunukkai road to the east of Vellankulam.
Tigers, taken by surprise at Illuppakadavai, have dug large trenches around Vellankulam in advance to prevent faster mobilization of armour. 58 troops, spearheaded by specially trained bunker-buster teams from 2 Commando, will take the upper-hand soon as the Tigers are unable to resist the Army's small group, armour, artillery and MI-24 attacks launched day and night, field commanders said.
If the LTTE loses Vellankulam, it will expose the grounds of tactical importance (GTI) of Tunukai, Mallavi and Mankulam, thus exposing the A-9 and eventually Kilinochchi. If they lose Vellankulam, the last bastion remaining for the LTTE in the west coast would be Nachchikuda in Pooneryn.
Moving further north to Nachchikuda is not an option for the Tigers as the 53 and 55 could get mobilized at any time. In other words, the loss of Vellankulam, Tunukai, Mantai and Mankulam in that order would expose Kilinochchi and subsequently Pooneryn, thus reducing the Tigers to mere insurgents within a matter of few months unless Prabhakaran comes up with a series of daring attacks, which is unlikely at this point.
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