Myanmar junta threatens nonstop bombing of towns seized by ethnic groups

A junta general threatened to carry out continuous bombing raids on towns seized by revolutionary groups in ethnic states, during last month’s meeting with representatives of an ethnic military alliance in China’s Kunming, reports The Irrawaddy.

The Brotherhood Alliance, which is made up of the Arakan Army (AA), the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) met representatives of the junta’s National Solidarity and Peace Negotiation Committee (NSPNC) at talks mediated by China in Kunming on Dec. 23.

“Even if you can militarily seize towns and villages in ethnic areas, your regions will never be peaceful. We will always carry out air raids using the sophisticated weapons we have,” NSPNC secretary Lieutenant General Min Naing was quoted as saying at the meeting by TNLA second-in-command Brigadier General Tar Phone Kyaw. The TNLA deputy shared Min Naing’s remark on social media with the ironic headline, “NSPNC secretary’s goodwill towards ethnic people and the country.”

Brig-Gen Tar Phone Kyaw confirmed to The Irrawaddy that Min Naing did make the comment at the meeting.

China mediated two rounds of talks between the regime and the Brotherhood Alliance in December.

The Brotherhood Alliance said no agreement was reached at either meeting. Over the past 66 days, since the launch of Operation 1027, the Brotherhood Alliance has seized 12 towns, trunk roads and around 430 junta positions in northern Shan State.

The fact that it has resorted to making such an explicit threat is a sign of the regime’s extreme frustration said military analysts interviewed by The Irrawaddy. And the regime is not limiting itself to threats, but has already committed and is still committing war crimes, they say.

The regime has been conducting air and artillery strikes on towns seized by the Brotherhood Alliance in northern Shan State, resulting in civilian casualties and damage to residential areas including religious buildings and schools.

At least 96 people have been killed and 169 injured in 14 townships in northern Shan State due to indiscriminate shelling and aerial bombing by junta forces, the Ta’ang Women’s Organization said.

Meanwhile, pro-junta Telegram channels have been urging the regime to carry out bombing raids and attacks with sophisticated weapons on towns and outposts it has lost or is losing control of, including residential areas.

In Rakhine State in western Myanmar and neighboring Paletwa Township in Chin State, the AA has seized control of several major junta bases. Besides the air raids, the regime carries out bombardments using artillery and warships on targets in Rakhine State and Paletwa Township, causing civilian casualties and forcing hundreds of thousands of civilians to flee their homes.

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