Forces in Ethiopia’s Tigray region said troops from neighboring Eritrea launched a “large-scale offensive” on Tuesday and heavy fighting continued in several areas along the border.
Reuters was unable to immediately verify the Twitter account of Getachew Reda, spokesman for the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
The TPLF has been fighting the Ethiopian federal forces and their allies for nearly two years.
Eritrean troops entered Tigray to support the Ethiopian army after fighting broke out in November 2020 before withdrawing from most areas last year.
“Eritrea is deploying its entire army as well as reserves. Our forces are heroically defending their positions,” Getachew said.
Eritrean Information Minister Yemane Gebremeskel did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
If confirmed, the offensive would mark an escalation in a war that has displaced millions and sparked a humanitarian disaster in northern Ethiopia.
Getachew said Ethiopian troops and special forces from the Amhara region also joined the offensive.
An Ethiopian government spokesman, Legesse Tulu, a military spokesman, Col. Getnet Adane, and the prime minister’s spokesman, Billene Seyoum, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Gizachew Muluneh, spokesman for the Amhara regional government, also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
On Saturday, the Canadian government warned that Eritrea was mobilizing armed forces due to renewed fighting in Tigray.
Yemane confirmed over the weekend that some reservists had been called up, but said the government was not mobilizing the entire population.
The conflict in Tigray resumed on August 24, breaking a ceasefire in place since March. Earlier this month, Tigrayan forces said they were ready for a ceasefire and would accept an African Union-led peace process.