Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Military Space News .

Myanmar admits to using jet fighters
by Staff Writers
Yangon, Myanmar (UPI) Jan 4, 2013

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

A government official admitted that the Myanmar military carried out airstrikes against ethnic rebels in Kachin state after previous government reports denied the offensive.

In an interview with Voice of America's Burmese Service, an unnamed government representative said jets were used against fighters of the Kachin Independence Organization.

Earlier reports, including by the BBC, said the director of the president's office, Zaw Htay, claimed that only training aircraft were used in the area and only to resupply soldiers on the ground.

However, video footage shot by the humanitarian agency Free Burma Rangers and shown by the BBC on its website allegedly shows a military plane firing rockets at rebels in trenches.

"The aircraft being used are K8 training aircraft, not fighter jets, that's the information I got from the military," the BBC quotes Zaw as saying.

But the VOA report said the Myanmar government backtracked on its previous denial. The station's source said the army used airstrikes to help regain a base during an increase in fighting that started last week near rebel headquarters in Laiza, close to the Chinese border.

The escalation in fighting in the northern state could be a setback to the government's ongoing reforms to move from a previous military dictatorship to a more open democratic society -- and the lifting of more international economic sanctions.

In particular, the increased fighting and use of aircraft could be a blow to the reform plans of President Thein Sein, a senior junta leader turned civilian politician who won a national election in late 2010.

The BBC said the video footage suggests that the army is going beyond Thein Sein's public instructions to fight only in self-defense.

It also raises questions about how much authority Thein Sein, a 67-year-old ex-general has over the military, which is guaranteed 25 percent of seats in Parliament and continues to be a major player in civilian political life, the BBC said.

Despite the move to a more open and democratic society, the government continues its long-running fight with rebels in several states including Kachin, Karen, Shan and Mon.

The conflicts have been running for most of the years since Myanmar -- formerly called Burma -- gained independence from the British in 1948.

Many of the rebel groups are fighting for more autonomy from the central government and a greater share in the exploitation of natural resources to raise living standards in their regions.

In Kachin state, tens of thousands of people have been displaced when a 17-year cease-fire collapsed in June 2011.

A report by the Irrawaddy news website claims the military also is using helicopter gunships.

Hla Seng, a soldier from the All Burma Students' Democratic Front, an armed group fighting alongside Kachin rebels, said four helicopters, including Mi-24s, fired on KIA bases.

"They (the army) have been attacking us non-stop by using the planes for six days," Irrawaddy quotes Hla as saying.

"Now, they're heating up the war by using jet fighters, helicopter gunships, artillery weapons and chemical weapons," he told he Irrawaddy in a phone call from the region.

Lamai Gum Ja, a Kachin national who heads the intermediary civilian Kachin Peace-Talk Creation Group, condemned the use of airstrikes.

"I think it's inappropriate," he said. "It can harm the peacemaking process."


Related Links

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Protest against Iraq PM blocks highway to Syria, Jorda
Ramadi, Iraq (AFP) Dec 23, 2012
About 2,000 Iraqi protesters, demanding the ouster of premier Nuri al-Maliki, blocked on Sunday a highway in western Iraq leading to Syria and Jordan, an AFP correspondent reported. The protesters, including local officials, religious and tribal leaders, turned out in Ramadi, the capital of Sunni province of Anbar, to demonstrate against the arrest of nine guards of Finance Minister Rafa al- ... read more

Patriot missile troops in Turkey as Syria war worsens

NATO begins deploying Patriot missiles in Turkey

NATO to deploy Patriots in Turkey over next few weeks

U.S. seeks double Israel missile funding

Thatcher 'warned France to cut off Exocets in Falklands war'

Raytheon awarded $254.6 million for Tomahawk missile

NATO says Syria regime firing 'Scud-style missiles'

Raytheon awarded contract for SM-2 production

US drone strike kills Pakistani warlord: officials

US drone strike kills Pakistani warlord: officials

Iran claims shooting down two US-made RQ-11 drones

Elbit Systems Israel Ministry of Defense Approximately $315 Million

China opens its version of GPS to public

Raytheon's US Navy satellite terminals reach Full Rate Production milestone

General Dynamics' 30,000th Combat Search and Rescue Radio Goes to Work for USAF

Europe launches major British military satellite

Fused Reality: Blending Reality and Simulation

Russia may soon draft new law on military service for women

Supacat opens Australian design facility

NGC Provides Attitude Heading Reference For Sikorsky's S-76D Helicopter

Iraq's seen as major arms buyer by 2020

Pentagon welcomes fiscal deal, warns against cuts

US military braces for sweeping budget cuts

Saudi mulls German tank deal: report

Ukraine to tackle frozen conflicts at OSCE

China denies rejecting New York Times journalist visa

Clinton 'raring' to be back at desk next week

Outside View: 10, 9, 8, 7 ..........?

Oh, Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree

Britain to fund graphene research efforts

Synthetic and biological nanoparticles combined to produce new metamaterials

Nanocrystals Not Small Enough to Avoid Defects

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement