Burma

A Must-Read Guide to Myanmar Junta’s Deadly Air Strikes

By The Irrawaddy 18 November 2022

Since shortly after the coup, the Myanmar military regime has been consistently launching air strikes across the country in an attempt to crush local resistance forces it designates as “terrorist” groups.

As the junta is losing the ground battle, the aerial bombing campaign has sharply escalated in recent months with near daily attacks in the resistance strongholds of Sagaing and Magwe regions and Kayah, Karen and Chin states.

Using helicopters, jet fighters and surveillance drones, the junta has also deliberately and indiscriminately attacked civilian targets in those areas, inflicting heavy casualties on local residents including children.

According to the parallel National Unity Government (NUG), the junta carried out 268 air strikes targeting the civilian population across Myanmar, including in ethnic areas, between October last year and September this year. The strikes have killed at least 155 civilians,  injured 190 and destroyed houses and religious buildings.

Here are some signifficant stories from among those our reporters have filed on the junta’s indiscriminate aerial bombings over the past year. They reveal the shocking toll of the junta’s air war and provide analysis and examination of the threats it poses.

Russian Su-30s Add Wings to Myanmar Junta’s ‘Man-Eating Tiger’

Newly delivered fighter jets thought to be spearheading deadly campaign against civilian targets, including concert bombing that killed over 100.

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Myanmar Junta Shelling Kills Teenager in Sagaing

Resistance groups say they are hunting for the regime troops who seized 14 villagers after the artillery raid.

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Death from Above: How to Combat Myanmar Junta’s Escalating Air Campaign?

A defense professor and a Myanmar Air Force defector analyze the regime’s strategy of indiscriminate air attacks on civilian targets.

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Gen. Tun Aung: The Top Gun Directing Myanmar Junta’s Brutal Aerial War

Regime’s air force chief has launched indiscriminate bombing campaign against civilian targets in bid to crush nationwide resistance.

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Losing the Ground Battle, Myanmar Junta Takes to the Skies

Campaign of deadly air strikes intensifies as regime troops suffer setbacks on land.

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Myanmar’s Vengeful Regime Takes Aim at Kachin Insurgents

Will the regime’s deadly air strike on a civilian concert in Hpakant draw ethnic armed organizations closer together to fight a common enemy?

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Death Toll from Myanmar Junta’s Air Strike on Concert Rises to 75

More victims are succumbing to their injuries as regime troops block access to medical treatment, according to Kachin Independence Army.

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Child Victims of Myanmar Junta Air Strikes Recall Their Deadly Ordeal

The surviving children have vivid memories of seeing their friends killed by junta helicopters; many now feel terror at the sound of aircraft.

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Give Myanmar’s Resistance What It Needs to Shoot Down Junta Helicopters

Unlike their ethnic allies, newly formed resistance forces in central Myanmar lack an anti-aircraft capability. Supplying them with one could be a game changer.

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Myanmar Military Air Strike Kills Junta Soldiers Held Prisoner in Rakhine

Regime personnel captured by the Arakan Army were killed and wounded when junta jets bombed the cells where they were detained.

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Depayin School Massacre a War Crime, Myanmar’s Parallel Govt Says

The NUG’s Human Rights Ministry has issued a statement identifying the victims, including seven children, and one of the military units involved.

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Myanmar Military Defector Reveals How Junta Killed Sagaing School Kids

Captain Zay Thu Aung said the regime helicopter pilots who attacked a school last week would have seen the children they killed.

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Myanmar Junta Shelling Kills Child in Kachin State

Regime troops on an island in the Irrawaddy River shelled villagers on the riverbank in response to a resistance attack.

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Myanmar School Massacre: ‘The Lives of Our Children Have Been Sacrificed’

Eyewitnesses and relatives recall the Myanmar military’s horrific air and ground assault on a school in Sagaing that left 11 children dead and many injured last Friday.

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The World Must Act to Stop More Myanmar Children From Being Killed

The horrific massacre of nine children and six adults at a school in Sagaing Region shows that the junta’s terror campaign will spare no one.

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Myanmar Junta Bombs Bangladesh Border Zone After Outpost Attack

The regime launched air strikes after the Arakan Army killed 19 police officers at a border outpost in Maungdaw Township, Rakhine State on Wednesday.

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Child Killed in Myanmar Junta Air Strike After Resistance Ambush

A Sagaing Region resistance group estimated that it killed around 40 regime troops in an ambush.

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Myanmar Junta Uses Air Strikes to Relieve Trapped Troops in Kachin State

Large numbers of regime troops are reportedly pinned down in the jade-mining hub of Hpakant.

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Six AA Fighters Killed as Myanmar Regime Bombs Outpost in Karen State

Two junta jets bombed an Arakan Army base in an area controlled by the KNLA near the Thai border Monday, killing and wounding AA troops and destroying buildings.

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Myanmar Regime Sorry for Junta Jet Intrusion into Thai Airspace

The incursion happened one day after a meeting between the coup leader and a Thai military delegation to discuss border stability.

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Myanmar Junta Using Massive Air Strikes to Defend Strategic Outpost

Junta jets have entered Thai airspace while flying multiple missions as regime struggles to defend strategic outpost near Myanmar-Thailand border.

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Myanmar Regime’s Reliance on Air Power a Sign of Weakness: US Security Expert

The junta’s forces ‘can no longer win on the ground,’ says Burmese-American scholar and former US Army lieutenant colonel Dr. Miemie Winn Byrd.

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Girl, 7, Among Three Civilians Killed as Myanmar Junta Bombs Camp for War Displaced

Her sister, 18, and a man in his 50s were also killed as the regime continued its indiscriminate air and ground attacks in Kayah State.

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The Worst Myanmar Regime Air Strikes on Civilians

The attacks have displaced nearly 200,000 civilians, breaching the Geneva Convention and international law that prohibits aerial attacks designed to terrorize civilians and destroy their property.

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Junta Airstrikes Kill Over 10 People and Displace Hundreds in Upper Myanmar

With regime forces unable to travel by road in parts of Sagaing and Magwe regions, the Myanmar military is resorting to indiscriminate airstrikes on villages.

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