On the 22nd of February, fighter jets of the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) bombed a sea tiger installation in Kiranchchi, west of Kilinochchi. The tigers, as usual claimed that the SLAF jets raided a civilian settlement and presented many photographs of the dead (which included infants) to prove their claim. However latest intelligence reports suggest that a sea tiger base actually was hit in the air raid.
According to naval intelligence sources, the base housed a number of LTTE sea tiger crafts. At least 10 sea tigers have been killed in the bombing and another 12 more have been wounded. Among the dead are a senior female sea tiger cadre (Lt. Colonel rank) who was in command of one of LTTE's larger attack crafts (Surali), a LTTE major and a lieutenant . Exact amount of damages caused to sea tiger assets are not available as of now.
According to our sources, there have been civilian casualties in this air raid. However actual casualty figures seem to be far less that what pro LTTE media initially claimed.
As far as we know, the Air Force does not intentionally target civilians in their air raids. The Liberation Tigers are exploiting this 'weakness' of the SLAF to their advantage. From ammo dumps to sea tigers bases, the tigers are moving their military machine to areas with civilians presence. The Air Force uses multiple intelligence sources to confirm the coordinates of a target before it launches fighters to destroy it. Even with precision bombings on these coordinates, civilians living nearby could also be harmed due to the area effect created by the powerful bombs. By moving their bases into populated areas, LTTE assumes the frequency of air strikes to decrease; SLAF will be reluctant to strike the target fearing civilian casualties and even if they do, tigers will turn their losses into a gain by highlighting the civilian deaths in a bid to win the sympathy of the international community.