Military Jet Crashes in Eastern Myanmar: Ethnic Resistance Groups Claim Responsibility
November 12, 2023 | by b1og.net
In a recent incident in eastern Myanmar, a military jet crashed in the combat zone of Kayah state. Ethnic resistance groups are claiming responsibility for shooting down the plane. However, this claim is yet to be confirmed. The Karenni Nationalities Defense Force, an ethnic armed group, stated that they shot down the aircraft during heavy fighting near the capital of Kayah state. On the other hand, a military officer from Myanmar stated that the cause of the crash is still unknown. As the search for the aircraft and its two pilots continues, this event highlights the ongoing conflict between the military and local resistance groups in the country.
Military Jet Crashes in Eastern Myanmar
Ethnic resistance groups claim responsibility
A military jet fighter belonging to the Myanmar military crashed in the eastern state of Kayah, according to reports from Myanmar. The crash occurred in a combat zone, and ethnic resistance groups have claimed responsibility for shooting down the plane. However, the military has not yet confirmed this claim. This incident highlights the ongoing conflict in Myanmar and the formation of resistance groups in response to the army takeover in February 2021.
Army takeover in Myanmar in February 2021
In February 2021, the Myanmar military staged a coup and seized power from the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi. This led to widespread protests and a resistance movement against the military regime.
Formation of resistance groups
Since the army takeover, resistance groups have emerged across Myanmar. These groups are loosely organized and aim to oppose the military regime and restore democracy in the country.
Conflict in Kayah state
Kayah state, also known as Karenni, has been a hotspot for conflict between the military and resistance groups. The state has experienced intense fighting and crackdowns on peaceful protests, leading to the establishment of armed pro-democracy forces.
Location of the crash in Kayah state
The military jet fighter crashed in Kayah state, specifically near Loikaw, the state’s capital. This area has seen heavy fighting and is under the control of the military.
Claims of shooting down the plane
The resistance group, Karenni Nationalities Defense Force, claimed to have shot down the plane during the fighting near Loikaw. However, this claim has not been immediately confirmed by official sources.
Confirmation from military officer
A military officer in Myanmar confirmed that one of their aircraft had crashed in Kayah state but stated that they were unsure whether it was shot down or if it crashed due to technical failure. The officer also mentioned that a search for the crashed aircraft and the two pilots onboard was underway.
Search for the crashed aircraft and pilots
Efforts are currently being made to locate the crashed aircraft and the pilots. Details about their whereabouts and safety are still unknown.
Resistance Group’s Statement
Spokesperson’s claim of shooting down the plane
A spokesperson for the Karenni Nationalities Defense Force, the ethnic armed group, stated that they had indeed shot down the military jet fighter. The shooting took place near an area controlled by the military in Hpruso township, resulting in the plane crashing a great distance away from the battlefield.
Attack near Loikaw
The shooting down of the plane occurred during heavy fighting near Loikaw, the capital of Kayah state. Both the Karenni Nationalities Defense Force and the Karenni Army, the armed wing of the Karenni National Progressive Party, claimed responsibility for downing the plane.
Location of the plane crash
According to the resistance group’s statement, the plane crashed in Hpruso township, which is approximately 300 kilometers northeast of Yangon, the largest city in Myanmar.
Damage to the fighter plane
The resistance group’s statement mentioned that the fighter plane was hit by fire from heavy machine guns, resulting in damage to its fuselage and a wing. The plane emitted smoke before ultimately crashing.
Report from Mizzima news site
Mizzima, an online news site sympathetic to the resistance, reported on the incident in Kayah state. According to their reporter on the ground, parachutes were seen floating down from the sky following an explosion and flames from the jet fighter.
Floating parachutes and explosion
Eyewitnesses reported the sighting of parachutes in the air following the explosion and flames. This suggests that the pilots may have ejected from the crashing plane.
Recovery of parachutes and flight equipment
Resistance forces operating in the area found two parachutes on the ground, indicating that the pilots had indeed ejected from the plane. Additionally, Mizzima published photos of one parachute and a flight helmet, along with breathing apparatus commonly used by pilots.
Absence of pilots or bodies
Unfortunately, neither the pilots nor any bodies were found at the crash site. Their current whereabouts are unknown, and it is unclear whether they survived the crash and subsequent ejection from the plane.
Conflict in Kayah State
Intense conflict between military and resistance groups
Kayah state has been at the center of intense conflict between the Myanmar military and local resistance groups. Since the army takeover in 2021, security forces have cracked down violently on nationwide peaceful protests, leading to the formation of armed pro-democracy resistance forces.
Crackdown on peaceful protests
The military’s crackdown on peaceful protests in Kayah state has been particularly severe. Human rights abuses and violence against civilians have been reported, leading to a rise in armed resistance and further escalation of the conflict.
Establishment of armed pro-democracy forces
In response to the military’s actions, armed pro-democracy resistance forces have been established in Kayah state. These forces have joined hands with ethnic armed organizations representing minorities, including the Karennai, the Karen, and the Kachin.
Collaboration with ethnic armed organizations
The collaboration between the armed pro-democracy forces and ethnic armed organizations has strengthened the resistance against the military regime. Their combined efforts aim to restore democracy and protect the rights of ethnic minorities in Myanmar.
Impact of Myanmar Conflict
Displacement of hundreds of thousands of people
The ongoing conflict in Myanmar, including in Kayah state, has resulted in the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people. The violence and airstrikes carried out by the military have forced civilians to flee their homes and seek safety elsewhere.
Lack of defense against air attacks
The resistance forces in Myanmar lack effective defense mechanisms against air attacks by the military. This puts them at a significant disadvantage and exposes civilians to further harm and displacement.
Sources of Myanmar’s military aircraft
Most of Myanmar’s military aircraft, including combat jets, are sourced from China or Russia. These countries also provide other armaments to the Myanmar military. In response to the military coup and ongoing violence, many Western nations have imposed arms embargoes and sanctions on Myanmar and are actively working to block the supply of aviation fuel.
Arms embargo and sanctions on Myanmar
In light of the military coup and subsequent violence, many countries, particularly Western nations, have imposed arms embargoes and sanctions on Myanmar. These measures aim to pressure the military regime and hold them accountable for their actions.
Efforts to block aviation fuel supply
In addition to arms embargoes and sanctions, there are ongoing efforts to block the supply of aviation fuel to Myanmar. This is done to limit the military’s ability to operate aircraft and conduct airstrikes, ultimately reducing the harm inflicted on civilians and the resistance forces.
The military jet crash in eastern Myanmar, claimed to have been shot down by ethnic resistance groups, sheds light on the ongoing conflict in the country. Kayah state, in particular, has been a hotspot for violence and resistance since the army takeover. The impact of the conflict, including displacement and the lack of defense against air attacks, has had severe consequences for civilians. The international community has responded with arms embargoes, sanctions, and efforts to restrict the supply of aviation fuel to Myanmar. This article highlights the complexities of the situation and the urgent need for a peaceful resolution that respects the rights and aspirations of the Myanmar people.