The following ESAT interview with a former Ethiopian captain and trainer will shed some lights into the relatively intensive and devastating air warfare between Eritrea and Ethiopia in the summer of 1998 and late spring 2000. What really happened when Ethiopia unilaterally authorized the bombing of Asmara air force base on June 5th, 1998 with two MIG 23BNs?
What happened in that afternoon when the Eritrean Air force (ERAF) Commander and few of his newly trained pilots unexpectedly responded by attacking Mekelle air force base with a lighter MB.339FD Italian made training aircrafts (Eritrea doesn’t have a single fighter jet at that time)? How does these surprise four attacks by ERAF put almost the entire Ethiopian fighter jets that were lined up at Mekelle air force base out of action? How many Ethiopian pilots injured during the attack? How many aircrafts put out of action in the attack? What happened the next day to the two surviving pilots, Col. Bezabih Petros and Lt. Endegena Taddesse, when they were making a come back to destroy the small ERAF in a revenge attack? Did they return back to their Mekelle base? How Lt. Endegena Taddesse managed to fly back with a damaged fighter jet? Did he survive from the incompetent Ethiopian air defense system that never missed shooting down Ethiopian fighter jets than ERAF’s? How come these decisive attacks heralds the end of air warfare between Eritrea and Ethiopia that later forced Ethiopia to sign a moratorium brokered by the U.S. to not attack each other by air despite Ethiopia’s advantage of 10:1 in military aircraft? How does the Eritrean Aermacchi MB.339FD training jets secured the Eritrean skies until the first batch of 8 most advanced MIG 29As and 2 MIG29 UBs arrived Asmara? How many Ethiopian instructors were there within the Eritrean air force? etc …
The answer for all these unknown unknowns have been explained in the interview by the former Ethiopian captain and trainer, Captain Kinde Damte.