Sunday, July 21, 2024

Junta Intensifies Their Battle to Recapture Strategic Shan Town Conflict

Must read

The Junta is deploying jet fighters to carry out airstrikes in the intense fighting zones of Hopong and Hsihseng townships in southern Shan State, alongside a notable increase in the use of drone-bomb tactics.

To recapture Hsihseng Township from the control of the Pa-O National Liberation Army (PNLA), the Junta has escalated its efforts with intensified airstrikes, shelling, and accelerated drone attacks.

The Junta’s military strategy in southern Shan State and its determination to recapture the loss of the strategic township of Hsihseng is totally different, to the coup regime’s response to a series of losses in northern Shan State to the 1027 Brotherhood Alliance offensive. In the north, the Junta lacked the capacity to recapture any townships given its serious manpower problem.

Another factor is the Pa-O/PNLA anti-junta forces lack any strong allies among other EAOs in southern Shan State, with RCSS still sitting on the fence and collaborating with the almost moribund Junta- led NCA according to a BNI analyst.

Heavy fighting continued in Hsihseng on March 19, with the Junta launching intense aerial bombardments, a local told SHAN.

“At around 1:00 am, a plane dropped bombs, resulting in the heaviest bombardment Hsihseng has ever seen. The fighting continued until around 6:00 am, with school buildings in Aung Chan Thar ward also engulfed in flames”, he said.

The escalation of airstrikes and drone attacks has led to a notable increase in the destruction of homes, schools, and other civilian infrastructure unrelated to combat.

The Junta’s propaganda Telegram channels are disseminating the message that drones are primarily employed for counterattacks and reconnaissance in Hsihseng and Hopong.

Pro-Junta channels reported that on March 15, the Junta dropped bombs on PNLA troops in Kyaukkachar village, leading to casualties.

Regarding the claim, Shan Herald contacted PNLA’s information officer, but has not yet received a response.

According to the latest update from the Pa-O Youth Organization (PYO), between January 21 and March 16, the Junta carried out 425 airstrikes and 2,120 artillery barrages during the clashes in Hsihseng, Hopong, and Loilem townships.

A military source in Hsihseng commented that the Junta’s increased reliance on drones to conserve manpower might be a strategy to address the heavy casualties suffered during ‘Operation 1027’ in northern Shan State.

The source remarked, “It seems that the Junta is heavily dependent on airstrikes and drone attacks, due to significant setbacks in recent battles and a high casualty rate among ground troops. This reliance on air superiority reflects their desperation. However, we must remain vigilant against their aerial threats, as the destructive potential of a 500-pound bomb cannot be underestimated.”

The anti-Junta revolutionary forces have also engaged in drone warfare. On February 19, in the vicinity of Hsaikhkawng and Loiput villages, over 20 members of the Junta-aligned Pa-O National Organization (PNO) sustained injuries when drones bombed the area where PNO troops were positioned.

During two months of fighting in southern Shan State, approximately 50 civilians, including children and women have been killed, with 64 others sustaining injuries.

Leave a Comments

- Advertisement -SHAN's App

Latest article