Well this certainly wasn't good. Tern's Intelligence agents in Tikirt had alerted him to the massing of armored, infantry, and air forces in that newly-lost city by the Republic, and Tern had analyzed it and sent up a report, an accurate report at that, that the Republic was preparing for a push towards Rywekh in the northeast, or for the ion cannon to the north. When the Rebels started moving, their trajectory put them on course for Rywekh, and the Imperial commanders on the ground had reacted appropriately to the nearly two hundred thousand men and vehicles moving towards them. What had escaped everyone's notice, including the Intelligence agents in Tikirt, was the relatively small armored column which split off from the main body and headed due north, towards the mountains. In fact, it was not even until the reports from the defending Stormtrooper battalion at the ion cannon came in to the Citadel that anyone even knew that an Armored regiment had split off. Thinking of it now, and looking at the updated reports and brief holofeeds from the ion cannon, Tern was furious. What in hell were his agents doing? Yes, the massive force moving towards Rywekh had likely drawn all of their attention, but an entire Republic Armored Regiment? That was over two hunrdred tanks and other vehicles! How did they miss that?
Tern was a veteran Intelligence officer, and his mind immediately knew what the next order effect was: a naval assault. He had to admire the Rebel plan for its effectiveness: drawing the Empire's attention with a false ground attack at Rywekh while taking out the ion cannon to allow their Navy to begin their own offenseive, having been locked away from the planet for weeks at a time. Opening a channel to Vice Admiral Kreel's flagship, the Vanguard, Vasilus reached one of comm officers. "This is Major Vasilus of Imperial Intelligence. The planetary defense ion cannon is under assault by Rebel forces. Inform Vice Admiral Kreel to prepare for a naval assault." The comm officer acknowledged, and Tern closed the channel. It would now be up to the Navy to fend off the Rebel fleet and try to keep the balance of power. Already, Tern was preparing a report to Marshal Thompson, to recommend a course of action to ensure the Rebels could not use the ion cannon against them.