Faced with growing armed resistance in several parts of the country, the Tatmadaw, the Burmese army, is preparing to launch the offensive, with the arrival of the dry season in the coming weeks, say observers of the country.
A little over eight months after the military coup of 1is February, which overthrew the government of Aung San Suu Kyi, the People’s Defense Forces (PDF), a nebula of nearly 300 resistance groups, inflict increasing losses on the army: according to the NUG, the “government of” national unity ”at the head of the resistance, 1,562 soldiers were reportedly killed between 7 September, when the NUG declared the « all-out war against the junta », and October 6.
Explosions are a daily occurrence in Rangoon and Mandalay – there were 178 in a month in the country’s economic capital, according to NUG, including a dozen during the October 8 visit of coup leader Min Aung Hlaing. The “resistance” targets convoys using makeshift explosive devices, and has sabotaged more than a hundred telephone relays of the MyTel company, linked to the Burmese army, as well as railway infrastructure.
According to analyst Anthony Davis, specialist in military questions, in Bangkok, of the British magazine Jane’s Defence Weekly, this great offensive, baptized operation “Anawrahta”, name of the founder of the kingdom of Pagan, in the XIe century, must allow the Tatmadaw to “Reaffirm a strategic domination long considered for granted but which, week after week for six months, is crumbling”, he writes on the site ofAsia Times.
Used to waging war against “ethnic armed organizations”, the Tatmadaw now faces combatants in Bamar country (the main ethnic group), especially in the central regions of Sagaing and Magway, but also in long-standing peaceful ethnic regions. , like Chin State, on the Indian border, in the far west.
The army has lost “its eyes and ears”
The Irrawaddy, site of opposition to the junta, reports that the number two, General Soe Win, ordered, on October 13, to the commanders and to all the forces ” annihilate the insurgent people’s defense forces “. Another sign is the appointment, earlier this month, of Lieutenant General Than Hlaing, the feared police chief who carried out the bloody crackdown on the peaceful demonstrations of February and March, as head of the northern military zone. -west, in Monywa, in the Sagaing region.
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