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The Altis Incident (2035), alternately referred to as the Mediterranean Flashpoint, was a thirty five day war that was fought on both the Republic of Altis and Stratis and Malden.

It was waged between NATO forces and FIA anti-government rebels against the CSAT-backed Altian regime.

Background

In the years following the end of the civil war and signing of the Jerusalem Cease Fire agreement in 2030, an Altian anti-government organisation, called the "Freedom and Independence Army", have formed to overthrow the internationally-recognised Altian government of Georgious Akhanteros.

As early as the late 2030s, there were periodic skirmishes between government troops and the FIA across the country. With the threat of a second civil war looming, the international community was prompted to intervene early, helping to broker a quick (but inconsistent) ceasefire.

To maintain the peace, a deal between NATO and the Altian government would lead to the establishment of Task Force Aegis, a joint American/British force dispatched to prevent further outbreaks of fighting between the two sides.

TF Aegis would initially find itself overseeing the provision of counterinsurgency support for government forces. They were based on the mainland of Altis, but over the course of four more years the scope of Aegis' deployment would change to just providing training for government troops.

In late 2034, Aegis' mandate would be further restricted to just the smaller island of Stratis. The Task Force also suffered more setbacks following the withdrawal of its British component.

By early July 2035, Aegis consisted exclusively of American peacekeepers. The majority of Aegis' combat units were also withdrawn simultaneously, leaving behind engineering and non-combat personnel to dismantle the remainder of NATO assets and SIGINT facilities left on the island.

Early battles

Kavala uprising

Main article: Prologue

A sit-down between representatives from the FIA and the Altian government was arranged to take place in the old capital of Kavala, in the late hours of May 17th, 2034. A large force of FIA guerillas had attempted to use the opportunity to ambush government forces, hoping to incite an armed uprising among its citizens.

The uprising ended in failure following the government's successful crackdown on the guerillas. Disagreements between the peacekeepers of TF Aegis and Altian leaders over the handling of captured FIA survivors however, would herald the start of declining relations between the two sides.

First Siege of Oreokastro

Two months after the failed uprising, a cluster airstrike was carried out by government forces on October 13th, 2034, against the guerilla-occupied village of Oreokastro.

The inhumane strike had led to a further decline in relations, with Task Force officials being quick to condemn the violence. In turn, the Altian government accused the peacekeepers of being "sympathetic" to the guerillas.

Relations between NATO and Altian officials reach a point of no return by late 2034.

The heightened tensions eventually resulted in Aegis' mandate being limited to just the island of Stratis - at the demands of the Altian government. No British or American peacekeepers were permitted to step foot on the mainland.

A few months later, British forces would be pulled out following the UK's Parliament refusing to renew its mandate. In the United States, growing isolationist sentiments amongst the public and outcries against the country's foreign entanglements, would similarly see American soldiers scheduled to follow suit months later.

By July 2035, TF Aegis' combat units were completely withdrawn, leaving behind only non-combat logistics personnel awaiting for the arrival of private contractors to help dismantle remaining NATO facilities.

Stratis Incident

Main article: The East Wind#Episode 1: Survive

On July 7th, 2035, the remaining peacekeepers of TF Aegis were decimated in an unprovoked attack by their Altian counterparts. In what would become known as the "Stratis Incident", the attack swiftly annihilated many of the peacekeepers and destroyed most of their remaining assets. What was left of the survivors retreated into the woods and established a rallying point at the long abandoned Camp Maxwell.

The peacekeepers of TF Aegis are annihilated by the AAF's sudden attack.

From their hidden camp in the woods, the peacekeepers launched constant raids against Altian forces. They struck an abandoned fishing village to flank government forces, attempted (unsuccessfully) to contact NATO MEDCOM by retaking Air Station Mike-26, and assassinated high-ranking Altian officials.

At this time, the survivors were led by Captain Scott Miller and his subordinates from CTRG's Group 14; though they were unaware of the Captain's true identity. They were led to believe that the man was the sole high-ranking NATO official left amongst the survivors.

The Captain convinced the survivors into thinking that NATO MEDCOM had dispatched reinforcements to relieve them. In an attempt to "establish" a beachhead for the landing force, the survivors of TF Aegis were tasked with launching an assault on the harbour town of Agia Marina. However, they were routed when CSAT paratroopers, arriving from the mainland, overran their positions and wiped out the majority of TF Aegis' survivors.

Only one participant would end up surviving the ill-fated assault; then-Corporal Ben Kerry of TF Aegis, after an AAF air patrol intercepted and destroyed TF Aegis' escape vessels. CTRG Group 14 did not directly participate in the attack but would later incur a casualty after one of their operatives was split off from the main team. The operative would later perish from his injuries after arriving on the Altian mainland.

Later stages

The unprovoked assault against TF Aegis had not gone unnoticed by NATO's leadership. In response to the attack, several battalions from both the United States Army's 7th Mechanized Brigade Combat Team, 111th Infantry Division (7th MBCT, 111th ID) and the 21st Brigade Combat Team (21st BCT) are assembled to respond to the CSAT-backed Altian government's act of aggression.

However, NATO high command deliberately withheld the counterinvasion and delayed the 111th's deployment for sixteen days. According to some NATO officials this was due to budgetary issues, though no official explanation was ever provided to the public. Additionally, the delay continued in spite of both BCTs being mobilised and ready for deployment less than two days after the Stratis Incident.

NATO assault on Malden

Main article: Stepping Stone

On July 23rd, the United States Navy's Sixth Fleet (Carrier Strike Group 14) began sailing towards the strategic island of Malden.

Located off the coast of north-western Africa and due west of the Straits of Gibraltar, the microstate held vital airbases occupied by Chinese and North African CSAT forces. To ensure that NATO's invasion of Altis would go smoothly, the bases had to be secured first to forcibly remove CSAT's air dominance over the Mediterranean Sea. The 21st BCT would be left responsible with leading the attack on Malden.

Carrier Strike Group 14 commences aerial bombardment of CSAT positions on Malden.

The presence of Chinese forces raised concerns that the scope of the operation could potentially widen if American and Chinese troops came into conflict. Fortunately, the Chinese government downplayed such concerns, insisting that they would remain neutral and even offering to allow NATO observers at their airbase north of La Trinité.

However, the North African garrison (Scimitar Regiment) remained wary of NATO intentions and refused to stand down, vowing to attack NATO forces the instant they stepped foot onto Malden's soil.

In the early hours of July 24th, a combination of heavy airstrikes and naval artillery bombarded the coastal town of Le Port. Light infantry from the 21st BCT proceeded to secure Le Port after its anti-air defences were neutralised, and several more companies were soon brought ashore to reinforce the existing ground elements.

Having seized Cancon, the 21st BCT forces Scimitar Regiment into a full retreat.

As dawn approached, the 21st concentrated its efforts on seizing the city of Cancon to the west of Le Port. Recon elements scouted ahead of the main assault force and neutralised a firebase on Cancon's outskirts before proceeding to demolish a vital CSAT munitions dump.

Minutes later, the 21st's troops attacked the city. With information provided by pro-NATO Maldenians, they were able to seize a casualty collection point, a small naval harbour south of the city, and destroyed numerous outposts along the city limits.

By noon, the 21st's primary mission changed to seizing the cities of Houdan and by extension, Dourdan, north of Cancon. The Scimitar Regiment assembled the remainder of its armoured platoons and mechanised infantry companies to repel the Americans encroaching from the south. NATO recon elements once again intercepted several reinforcements west of Houdan, while the 21st's main elements focused on destroying another supply dump to its east and cut off Scimitar Regiment's MSR.

Despite lacking heavy armour support, the 21st was able to take Dourdan successfully.

The 21st encountered a major setback when several of its mechanised infantry and tank platoons became lost after driving in the wrong direction. They were not able to link up with the main assault force by the time they found their headings, and forced the 21st's mechanised infantry platoons to engage Scimitar Regiment's tanks unsupported.

In spite of their setback, the 21st were able to achieve their objectives and eliminated the bulk of Scimitar Regiment's ground forces. Both sides fought in bloody house-to-house combat and after almost an hour, the battle ended in a total victory for the 21st.

The Americans suffered minimal losses while Scimitar Regiment's entire tank force and supporting infantry elements were wiped out in the siege and failed counterattack. What was left of Scimitar Regiment then opted to surrender to the Americans, leaving the skies of Malden - and by extension, the rest of the Mediterranean Sea, open for NATO aircraft and clear for the 6th Fleet to sail on to Altis safely.

NATO invasion of Altis

Main article: The East Wind#Episode 3: Win

At the insistence of NATO's high command, the 6th Fleet's invasion was delayed yet again for unexplained reasons. Sixteen more days would pass until August 8th, when the 6th Fleet was cleared to carry out its planned invasion of the Republic of Altis and Stratis.

Stratis was the invasion force's first objective. Lacking the manpower to repel the massive assault force, the small garrison of Altian troops were easily overwhelmed. In less than twenty four hours, those that did not fight to the death opted to surrender instead, with Stratis quickly falling to the Americans. The main base on Stratis was repurposed into a forward operating base just as the 111th rallied its mechanised elements for an assault against the central airport on the mainland.

FIA guerillas launch a pre-emptive strike against the artillery battery at Poliakko.

The 111th landed the majority of their ground troops on the western regions of Altis. Airstrikes continued to pummel defensive fortifications along the northern and eastern coastline, paving the way for amphibious units to land for assaults on the airport and against the city of Dorida in the east.

The remaining elements proceeded to seize other cities in the west, such as the old capital of Kavala and the AAC airfield. However unbeknownst to the Americans, the FIA guerillas - once regarded as enemies, had actually helped paved the way for the invasion force by clearing the towns of Therisa and Poliakko.

Gunships were mistakenly dispatched to both locations to eliminate the guerillas, until the pilot of one helicopter urgently reported back that U.S. troops were firing on friendlies. The air assault was called off temporarily, though other elements of the 111th continued their respective attacks.

The NATO strike force at Dorida is annihilated by the 1st MechRgt.

However, the attack on the airport and Dorida fared worse than expected, and the 111th's advance elements were easily defeated by joint Iranian/Altian troops defending both locales. The amphibious strike force at Dorida was decimated by the AAF's elite tankers from the 1st Mechanized Regiment, and were literally driven into the sea.

The 111th temporarily withdrew to their secured lines around Neochori and other western border cities, while awaiting for further reinforcements and reconsidering their plan of attack. A small forward airbase was also established at the AAC airfield.

Second Siege of Oreokastro

Main article: Remnants of War

NATO helicopters dominate the skies above Oreokastro.

On other fronts, the AAF were being constantly pushed back in the face of overwhelming NATO firepower and widespread attacks by FIA guerillas. In an attempt to buy time for retreating AAF units in the south, the commander of the AAF's 3rd Support Regiment, Major Thanos Gavras, opted to carry out a diversionary manoeuvre in the country's far north-west.

They set up an outpost at the abandoned village of Oreokastro and in the process, lured several of the 111th's ground and air units into attacking their position. U.S. gunships shot down all of the 3rd's transports, while the remainder of the Regiment's personnel were decimated by a combination of attacks by FIA guerillas and 111th's ground troops.

They ultimately succeeded with their diversion but it came at a heavy price as almost all of the 3rd's personnel were killed. Only two survivors managed to flee from Oreokastro; Maj. Gavras himself, and his adjutant, Lieutenant Kostas Dimitriou. They managed to hold out inside the church against a coordinated assault by FIA/NATO ground forces. Afterwards, AAF command dispatched a rescue helicopter to evacuate both survivors.

Operation Steel Pegasus

Main article: Steel Pegasus

Altian and Iranian defenders continued to dig into their positions at the airport. The 111th's commander opted to initiate a second offensive, designated Operation Steel Pegasus, but this time on the eastern coast of Altis. Unlike their previous attempt on the eastern coast, the 21st would be leading the attack this time.

Last minute reports of a CSAT submarine lurking off the coast completely rules out an amphibious assault. Rather, the assault plan changes to relying on a more risky air assault via VTOL transports.

The 21st would be divided into two elements, and would be inserted at landing zones designated LZ Blazer due east of Chalkeia, and LZ Mustang, which was located to its south. The 21st's recon elements were covertly inserted prior to the landings to secure the western flank for both LZs.

The majority of the 21st's transports are shot down by heavy AA fire.

In the early hours of August 9th, the majority of the 21st's airmobile cavalry took off from the 6th Fleet's carrier. Almost immediately, the plan begins to suffer a major setback when a significant number of transports are shot down by heavy AA. Though LZ Blazer's troops had mostly managed to avoid incurring too many losses, the same could not be said for LZ Mustang.

What remained of Mustang's units rallied under their sole surviving officer, Third Lieutenant Jeremy Collins. At the same time a mechanised Altian unit, dispatched from the capital Pyrgos, was inbound to intercept the scattered Americans. Despite the setback, Collins' group managed to break through the AAF's blockade and linked up with the rest at Blazer, though they were partially held back by Mustang's insistence on ferrying their wounded to Blazer first.

The Battle for Chalkeia begins.

The combined elements of the 21st were finally able to assault Chalkeia, though the 21st's recon elements had sighted a second platoon of Altian tanks racing towards them from Pyrgos. After a brief struggle involving an earlier-than-expected attack by Altian reinforcements, the 21st was able to seize the city in spite of their heavy losses.

Chalkeia's capture forced the AAF to divert many elements from the 1st Regiment to prepare Pyrgos' defences. The main airport's garrison was now understrength and almost exclusively defended by Griffin Regiment. Simultanously, they were preparing to launch a surprise attack against NATO forces at Neochori on that exact same day.

CSAT counteroffensive

Three identified NATO AA positions; Point Starfire, Omicron and Kilo, were marked for demolition by Griffin's advance recon units. To sow further havoc in NATO lines, additional elements inserted via boats along the coast to raid the AAC airfield. The raids prevented the Americans from employing their helicopters, while the destroyed AA positions enabled Griffin's own gunships to fly over NATO lines with impunity.

Fortunately for the Americans, FIA guerillas were present in the area to drive off Griffin's gunships with their own anti-air launchers. The AAC airfield was still locked down however, forcing the Americans and their allies to retake Neochori's border defences without air support.

The main airport comes under heavy NATO bombardment.

A platoon of CSAT tanks and IFVs attempted to counterattack, but were not able to drive off the Americans and were wiped out in the process.

The next morning, the 111th had managed to assemble its heavy artillery pieces and could now weaken the airport's defences significantly. By noon, the airport would fall into the hands of the Americans. What was left of Griffin Regiment opted to either retreat eastward or surrender to NATO forces.

Siege of Pyrgos

The capture of the airport now paved the way for an assault on the capital of Pyrgos. The 111th's main force was assembled on the outskirts of the city, while heavy artillery continued to shell the city's defences from afar.

At the request of their guerilla allies, the 111th's commander agreed to temporarily halt their bombardment to avoid further collateral damage. Ground troops were forced to move into the city and clear each street without fire support.

The 111th breaks through AAF defences east of Pyrgos.

The situation was further complicated by the presence of multiple tanks, which the AAF had repurposed into stationary gun turrets to deter NATO forces. Though the tanks delayed their advance temporarily, the 111th nonetheless succeeded in taking the city after an hour of fierce fighting.

The AAF's defensive lines had been broken on the eastern side of the city and NATO ground forces quickly flooded into the gap. Their supply lines were now cut in two, with one half consisting of scattered companies from the 1st Regiment forced to retreat south to Panagia, while the other half - with the rest of the AAF, retreating to Kalochori in the north-east.

Battle for Kalochori

The capture of Pyrgos resulted in the AAF's eastern elements being forced to pull back to Kalochori. The Altians shored up their defences, while the 111th split its forces into two elements. The majority of the 111th's heavy armour would be sent south towards Selakano, while its motorised and mechanised infantry would continue pushing further to the north-east.

The 111th's mechanised infantry elements continue their push north-east.

The opening phase of the battle began with U.S. airstrikes targeting the AAF's remaining AA defences at the solar farm south-west of Kalochori. Ground troops were ferried in via helicopters and seized the solar farm before moving onto the town itself. An AAF supply depot had been buried deep within the town's centre, which made assaulting its position particularly difficult for NATO forces.

Heavy artillery was used to thin down the defenders before U.S. troops moved in to secure what was left of the supply depot. In response to the attack, an armoured company of Altian troops attempted to retake Kalochori. They were quickly destroyed by a combination of gunships, artillery and drone airstrikes.

Fighting at Kalochori proved to be especially brutal for both sides, with many Americans and even more Altians falling within minutes of the battle commencing. Unlike previous clashes between NATO forces and the AAF, the fighting at Kalochori was extensively covered by news networks.

Battle for Panagia

Main article: Altis Requiem

Although fought to a standstill, the AAF's overwhelming losses results in a partial victory for the 111th.

Remnants of the 1st Mechanized Regiment were forced to consolidate with other survivors from Pyrgos. Their sole priority was the defence of Panagia, though they were expected to be overrun regardless of their success.

The 1st were divided into two elements protecting the western flank and northern side of the city. Expecting heavy resistance, several tank platoons from the 111th were assigned with breaking through the AAF's defences.

The first wave of attackers easily decimated and advanced through the northern defensive line, but were simply not able to breach Panagia's western defences. The battle ultimately ended in a stalemate for both sides due to unsustainable losses for the AAF (despite technically holding out on both fronts).

Battle of Ioannina

The AAF suffer a decisive defeat after their remaining forces collapse on all fronts.

While the battle for Panagia continued to rage, NATO forces in the north-east were more successful and had cornered the AAF - notably Altian leader Col. Akhanteros, at the village of Ioannina in the far north-east.

The 111th's scouts scanned the AAF's defensive perimeter and identified all key positions for artillery. The Altians' defences were decisively broken and were finally mopped up by U.S. jets moments later.

Facing defeats on all fronts, Akhanteros declared to NATO forces that the AAF would be capitulating at last. In a formal notice issued directly to the NATO commander, Akhanteros' terms of surrender would effectively spell the end of the Altian regime on the noon of August 10th, 2035.

Aftermath

Representatives from NATO, CSAT, the reinstated civilian government and former leader Akhanteros, at the post-war peace talks being held at the old capital of Kavala.

The surrender of Akhanteros' hardline AAF resulted in two outcomes: the restoration of a civilian-led Altian government and the demilitarisation of the Altis Armed Forces. In light of their success, the FIA has similarly disbanded and one of its former leaders even chairs a prestigious role within the new cabinet.

A joint peacekeeping deal between both NATO and CSAT is due to be signed. Akhanteros is also likely to face trial for his conduct against the FIA in the years leading up to the war, along with questions over his responsibility in ordering the unprovoked attack against NATO forces.

Nonetheless while brief, both the Stratis Incident and NATO's response have proven to be extremely costly for all sides. Many towns continue to remain littered with Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) leftover not only from the previous civil war, but also from the careless usage of cluster ordnance and landmines throughout the fighting. The town of Kalochori was one such example, having suffered immense damage in the final stages of the conflict. By the war's end, much of the town was completely destroyed.

The flashpoint has ignited yet another debate amongst NATO members regarding the funding of "questionable" peacekeeping operations. With a projected cost of over four billion dollars from the destruction of SIGINT facilities and the deaths of hundreds of American soldiers, the flashpoint has proven itself as a critical turning point in testing the alliance's fragile integrity.

Furthermore, many unanswered questions - particularly the circumstances surrounding the cause of the Stratis Incident, remain highly classified and have yet to be revealed to the public. The possible involvement of British special operations has also been questioned, though the United Kingdom's government has thus far continued to deny all allegations.

See also

Armaverse conflicts
1980s Soviet occupation of Nogova (1982)Malden Islands Crisis (1985)Takistan Civil War (1988-1992)
2000s Sahrani Conflict (2006)Chernarussian Civil War (2009)
2010s Operation Arrowhead (2012)Operation Crimson Lance (2012)
2020s Altian Civil War (2026-2030)
2030s Altis Incident (2035)
NOTE: Conflicts fought in spin-off titles, non-canon expansions/DLCs, lone skirmishes between isolated groups or conflicts without significant details are deliberately excluded.
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