Myanmar Spring Chronicle – January 23 Scenes
MoeMaKa, January 24 2023
Increasing airstrikes on places that are not direct military targets
In recent months, the military council has conducted airstrikes not only for air support in times of armed battles, but also for targeting the headquarters of armed groups, places where the leaders of the armed groups are assumed to reside, and places assumed to be bases of the armed groups. It can be seen that airstrikes are being used more strategically.
The airstrike on the commemoration of the establishment of the KIA at Hpakant was one of the airstrike incidents with the most casualties. At least 60 people were killed in that incident, including officers and members of the armed group in KIA Brigade-9 near Hpakant, as well as singers, entrepreneurs, and town residents.
The KIA would not have expected that the military council would launch such an air attack on a concert to commemorate the establishment of the KIA, which was sponsored by a KIA brigade. The military council generally knows where the headquarters of the ethnic armed groups are located and generally does not launch attacks both on the ground and by air upon the headquarters of the ethnic armed groups such as KIA in Laiza, KNU, NMSP, KNPP, etc. So, the ethnic armed groups have not prepared large-scale security for this. Recently, an airstrike on the Victoria Camp, which is said to be the headquarters of the Chin National Front ethnic armed group known as the CNF, on the border with India, killed 5 people and damaged the buildings. India’s Foreign Ministry has issued a statement saying that India is concerned about the bomb falling into the river on the border between the two countries.
Recently, the house of a military commander of the DKBA, who often attends ceremonies related to the nationwide ceasefire agreement called the NCA and peace talks, was attacked by air once again. Although the DKBA group did not participate in the fighting with the military council, it can be said that such an attack was a warning attack or giving pressure because there is suspicion that some of the DKBA’s subordinate battalions took part in the battles that occurred in Kyainseikgyi Township last month when the KNU, PDF, and other Karen armed groups tried to attack and occupy the military council camps and bases.
A few months before these events, an aerial attack on a metal production mine of KNU in Mekkatha Village in the Payathonzu area killed about 3 people, including a Chinese national.
Recently, there have been incidents of aerial attacks on a refugee camp in a village in Mindat Township, Chin State, and a house where food and medicines are stored for the camp.
When considering these events, the military council employed airstrikes to target ethnic armed groups’ bases, commanders’ residences and businesses, and important military leaders, whom they assumed were their enemies, in addition to using them to aid or gain an edge during the conflict.
There have been many attempts to fracture the organization into divisions prior to these incidents, but there have been relatively few targeted attacks and assassinations of individual leaders.
It is not known precisely why the military council has changed its strategy and tactics, but it must be noted that it is propping up the situation of increasing losses with these methods.