After 57 successfully captured MALLAVI and UYILANKULAM on the 22nd of August 08, displaying immense flexibility and manoeuvrability the focus of 57 shifted to the A9 trunk road. The triple assault on the SFHQ-W on the 9th of September 08 at VAVUNIYA made the battleplanners shift their focus towards the A9, which was used to tow the Tamil Tiger heavy guns and possibly to make one of their Zling-143 aircraft airborne.
With the Tamil Tiger main defence line already running from NACHCHIKUDA to West of AKKARAYANKULAM, they set about with hectic preparations to extend their earth bund towards the East of AKKARAYANKULAM to prevent 57 from reaching the outskirts of KILINOCHCHI. To seize the initiative early on from the Tamil Tigers, troops attached to 571 were dispatched with two main objectives at hand:
1. Cut off the AKKARAYANKULAM-TERUMURIKANDI road
2. Thereby cutting off any supplies running towards AKKARAYANKULAM, and encircle the AKKARANKULAM tank thus outflanking the staunch Tamil Tiger defences based west of AKKARAYANKULAM. This also relieves the pressure on 58 Division battling the same earth bund running between NACHCHIKUDA to KARAMBAKULAM.
While 571 is faced with these objectives, 572 from KOKAVIL and 573 from MANKULAM are tasked with cutting off the A9 to prevent the Tamil Tigers from exploiting the A9 to bring vital security installations under its artillery range and bringing in supplies to its VAVUNIYA front. With this move the 57 Division is very well poised to capture two major hubs of the Tamil Tigers. If KOKAVIL is of political value, MANKULAM is of the highest military value for it is a vital junction that connects the A9 to the A34 that runs through dense MULATIVU jungles towards the North East. The overall military gain of this move is the denial of the A9 from KOKAVIL to MANKULAM to the Tamil Tigers. With the cut off of the A9 from the North, the 56 and 62 Divisions further South battling the Tamil Tigers are expected to find a depleted resistance and ease through the territory once the Tamil Tiger defences flood away on its own due to the lack of vital supplies and medevacs.
With one of the priorities being to filter out civilians as much as from the Wanni hinterland before a final onslaught, thus far the battleplanners have left the A9 as a conflict free zone. This is to make sure the civilians moving towards the OMANTHAI entry/exit point to be free of hassle as well as to ensure the smooth flow of humanitarian aid.
With the current developments taking shape on the A9 from MANKULAM onwards, aid agencies are expected to take the A34 towards MULATIVU avoiding the current conflict zones. This move also highlights the likely areas where a major military thrust is likely to take place.
With the Tamil Tigers fast losing its vast swathes of territory it once had, its VIPs and valuable assets are now confined to a limited land area - namely the dense MULATIVU forest. Using the knowledge of Tiger guerilla doctrine, the capability of modern weapon systems/platforms and the laws of elimination, the day of the dreaded decapitation strikes for the Tamil Tigers that will eliminate their once invincible leaders once and for all is not far off. Only time will tell...