Somali Ambassador to Ethiopia Abdikarin Farah warned Sunday that the war in Somalia is likely to spill out of the Horn of Africa country.
"The war is no longer the war of Somalia, there is a great possibility of spreading across the region," he told journalists.
The ambassador of Somalia's Transitional Federal Government ( TFG) justified Ethiopia's measures against TFG's powerful rival the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC), also known as the Supreme Council of Islamic Courts (SCIC), saying "Whatever action Ethiopia takes against the UIC is justifiable because Ethiopia has an obligation to defend its people. Ethiopia has to defend the integrity of its people."
On Sunday, the Ethiopian military confirmed they have launched a counterattack against the UIC in Somalia, saying that their patience "has been exhausted."
The offensive was launched on UIC positions at Buur Hakaba, Beledweyne, Bandiiradleey and Dinsoor localities in Somalia, according to a statement from the Ethiopian military.
According to reports reaching here from Somalia, witnesses said that Ethiopian fighter jets bombed several areas in central Somalia controlled by the SCIC.
Abdikarin said the UIC is currently calling world Muslims for help in a bid to make the war appear like between Muslims and Christians.
Abdikarin said the UIC, who attempted to march towards Baidoa, where the weak but United Nations-backed TFG is based, are now saying they are fighting against Ethiopians, in order to garner support from the people of Somalia.
As a neighboring country and part of the international community, Ethiopia is responsible and obliged to assist the legally formed TFG, he said.
The ambassador said there is still room to resolve the issue peacefully. However, he said he didn't believe that the UIC, which controls much of the south and central of the lawless nation, is ready to come to the negotiating table.