Huenya, Xiomera race to secure islands

Regional rivals’ warships exchange fire off Netlcoātl Islands

Huenyan and Xiomeran warships exchanged fire with each other this afternoon, as the regional rivals raced to secure control over the Netlcoātl Islands in the wake of the dissolution of the government there.

A Huenyan naval task force deployed an expeditionary team on the main island of the small chain in the early hours of the morning, occupying the capital Citlamina. The Huenyan expeditionary force, consisting of Federation Army soldiers and Federal Police officers, quickly routed a group of Xiomeran nationalists who had seized control of government buildings in the capital.

As the Xiomeran nationalists retreated, a Xiomeran carrier battle group that had been deployed nearby dispatched a small contingent to evacuate them to another island in the chain that was also under the control of the nationalists. Huenyan defense officials allege that the Xiomeran warships fired upon Huenyan vessels as they were staging the evacuation from Citlamina. For their part, Xiomeran defense officials insisted that the Huenyan ships fired first. The resulting exchange of fire resulted in light damage to a Xiomeran destroyer and three Xiomeran sailors injured, according to the Imperial General Staff. The Huenyan Defense Department reported heavy damage to a Huenyan frigate, with one Huenyan sailor killed and four wounded. The exchange of fire is the second such incident this month between Huenyan and Xiomeran warships, after a similar incident in the Gulf of Epeloc on June 15th.

The Xiomeran ships reportedly retreated to the westernmost island of the chain, where they dropped off the retreating Xiomeran nationalists. Huenyan defense officials allege that the Xiomeran ships have also deployed an Imperial Army amphibious assault group on the island and are occupying it. Xiomeran officials would not comment on the allegation. A de-escalation hotline between the two countries came into use again today to implement a cease-fire between the two fleets. With Xiomera now apparently occupying one of the Netlcoātl Islands while Huenya occupies the other two, however, experts worry that tensions will remain high in the area. Protests have broken out in both Chuaztlapoc and Tlālacuetztla over the latest incident between the two countries.

The current status of the Netlcoātl Islands. Xiomera controls the island in orange, while Huenya controls the others.

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