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Ten years after the massive Soviet intervention that forced Eritreans to retreat from the outskirts of Asmara;
A decade after the Eritreans had been asked to capitulate, because according to the "wise men of that time" it was "futile and suicidal" to stand in the way of the Soviet machine;
After ten years of bitter fighting which severely tested the unbending determination of the Eritrean people;
The time finally arrived when the Ethiopian army and the encirclement was to be swept away.
Once the effects of draught had been contained, the Eritreans set out to build on the military victories scored in Tesseney, Sahel and the spectacular commando raid in Asmara. In July 1985, the Eritreans liberated the major town Barentu.
The new captured weapons in Barentu enabled the Eritreans to intensify their attacks on the Ethiopian army.
Towards the end of 1985, the Ethiopian army mounted its last attack in Sahel by dropping air-born troops. This attempt failed disastrously.
On March 1988, the Eritreans launched an attack on the largest concentration of elite Ethiopian troops stationed on a single front - the "Nadew Command" on the Nakfa front.