Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Battle of Rozmanici

Romans defeat Illyrians, occupy Kvarner Bay

Posted 08-04-2015, 04:33 local time, by World News Services

FIUME, Istria, Roman Republic (WNS)- After weeks of tensions, the Romans today crossed the border here into Rozmanici and inflicted a heavy defeat on the Illyrian Army. The day's results mean that the Romans have moved their armies southeastward into Kvarner Bay, with provisional bases formed around the area. A Roman military spokesman asserted that the move is only an "occupation" and is not a move to annex territory, but he would not give a timeframe for when Roman withdrawal from the area could occur.

It is unclear what began the buildup to today's battle, but speculation is rampant that the move is tied to Rome's assertions that Illyria is hiding what the Imperium terms are "illicit" weapons from Bactria, part of a greater weapons program within Bactria. Ever since the Bactrians discovered a large lithium deposit near Ghazni in 2011, the Romans have asserted that the Bactrians are using the lithium for its own clandestine weapons program, part of which involves importing the new weapons to the Virtue Federation's "front lines" like in Illyria. The Bactrians and Illyrians both assert the Roman accusations are baseless, being nothing but an attempt at "fear-mongering" by the Romans towards their own people, and claim their interests are purely economical.

Roman-Illyrian tensions are nothing new. The two neighbours have frequently clashed over territory over the decades, mostly because the larger city of Fiume- or Rijeka to the Illyrians- is a valuable seaport. The two nations have signed treaties in the past agreeing to a border just outside of Fiume proper, but the treaties are frequently ignored- Illyrian terrorists have infiltrated Fiume from time to time and the Romans breach the treaty numerous times in response for justice and defensive purposes. Thus, the presence of war in the area is nothing new, but residents here believe the tensions are "different", rising above the simple territorial squabbles.

"This is the first time the Roman Army has actually pushed into Kvarner Bay," said Gaius Raelius, Professor Emiritus in History at the University of Milan, via E-Mail. "Usually the Romans content themselves with occupying the suburbs of Fiume and nothing more, but something has spurred them to push deep into the Bay. It's an excessive grab of territory, so it can't just simply be a 'defensive' move. It's likely tied to lithium."

In 2011, the Bactrians discovered near Ghazni a large reserve of lithium- which it asserts is triple the size of the world's largest known deposits, although independent estimates peg it almost similar in size to the world's largest known lithium deposits, in the Salar de Uyuni salt flats in Bolivia and within the eastern Ural mountains in Roman-held territory. Roman officials long believed that the Bactrian deposits are "too tempting" not to weaponize, given Bactria's extensive uranium deposits. However, the Romans do not believe the lithium is simply being produced for nuclear devices, a known application- intelligence sources that assert that the Bactrian lithium program is geared towards creating novel weapons the world hasn't seen, since Roman officials believe there might not be enough weapon-grade materials within Bactria to make effective use of the lithium deposits. The Bactrians have steadfastly denied the charge, asserting their usage of lithium is simply economic.

In 2012, due to Bactria's new found wealth, it began exports with other countries, almost entirely within the Virtue Federation although some non-aligned countries such as Arlynal and Ophir have received exports, starting massive growth within the Bactrian economy. This didn't cause too much concern until the June 2014 death of a nine-year-old girl from Oman after she drank lithium-contaminated water while on holiday in Sarajevo. After Omani officials confirmed the lithium originated from Bactria, the Illyrians were forced to admit that they had been importing Bactrian lithium, but have insisted, like Bactria, that their interests are economical.

"We had that big 'a-ha' moment in Sarajevo that forced the Illyrians to admit what they were doing," said Raelius, "so you can understand the Romans' concerns. However, the world kept asking them for 'proof' and Rome so far has not been able to provide it. While I won't jump the gun just yet, this move into Kvarner Bay must be an indicator that it has proof, or that it is close to it."

Illyrian officals have decried the Roman move and promised retaliation for the Romans' violation of their soveriegnty, although the Illyrian Kingdom is massively in debt and the Army is currently in disarray, meaning a response isn't likely any time soon.

Meanwhile, the Roman move could be part of a bigger story- or more hot air in a place that already has enough of it.