ANN News Desk
From Alliance News HQ in Vancouver
November 22, 2197
By Iris Dunnigan
KORHAL, THEOCRACY OF LIBERTAS- The city of Korhal fell to a coalition of resistance groups fighting the Theocracy after a grueling 87 hour long battle. Under the cover of a torrential thunderstorm, teams of commandos took down several key positions throughout the city. The command structure of the Martyrs of Megiddo (see: Civil War Engulfs Libertas) collapsed under the onslaught. Nevertheless it took nearly a week of fighting to secure the second largest city (pre-war population estimated at 1.09 million) on the planet. Estimates put the casualties at over 10 thousand. With the fall of Korhal, the way to the colonial capital now lays open.
Images from the aftermath proved charges made by the coalition of the Martyrs use of child soldiers (some as young as 9) to bolster their numbers. Some fighters described human wave attacks by said children on their positions. Attempts to subdue them failed on multiple occasions. However, the coalition insisted that it instituted measures to rehabilitate those few taken captive.
While the Theocracy government denied any connection to the Martyrs of Megiddo, its representative accused the Systems Alliance Navy of providing direct military support to the rebels in the form of arms, communications, armor, and that Alliance special forces participated in the fighting. In turn, the Navy denies any direct involvement in the battle, although eyewitnesses observed what appeared to be orbital strikes on pro-government forces positions near the city. Our resident warfare expert explained that under the weather conditions at the time it would be difficult to distinguish between a orbital strike and a surface based artillery strike.
In a related news, Parliament served a subpoena to the Board of Directors of Tiburon Rojo, an Earth based PMC that sent forces to Libertas in support of the Theocracy. Attached to the subpoena was an offer immunity that covered any and all testimony related to the events in question.