The fighting is intense – probably the most intense conflict anywhere in the world, with tens of thousands of troops clashing along the northern Tigray border with Eritrea. There are battles on a number of fronts including Rama, Tserona and Zalambessa.

We know that Ethiopian troops have been flown into Eritrea in large numbers, to join the attack and that heavy weapons (tanks and artillery) have been seen moving towards the fronts from Afar. But how is the fighting going?

Here’s an assessment

The Tigray Defence Forces (TDF) are under intense pressure. They are being pushed back, i.e. they are not giving up any area willingly. Rather, they are fighting for every square inch.

They have managed to inflict very heavy losses on the Eritrean and Ethiopian Defence Forces, but the coalition is determined to push forward regardless of the extent of their losses.

Eritrean and Ethiopian troops pushing towards Shire (bottom right in yellow). Source: Ethiopia Map

Shire is under imminent threat of being captured, but the TDF will put everything on the line to keep it from falling, as the capture of Shire would mean the territory all the way to Adwa would also be vulnerable to falling.

The TDF has a genuine chance of checking the Eritrean and Ethiopian advance, but the situation is both delicate and costly in terms of casualties.