Report: Myanmar Air Force targets civilians, clinics and schools
88.4% of Myanmar’s townships have experienced violent armed conflict, says the report
The Myanmar Air Force carried out airstrikes and bombings against civilians and civilian physical infrastructures such as schools, clinics, places of worship, residential homes and villages, says a new study.
Canada-based the Associates to Develop Democratic Burma Inc (ADDB) revealed the information in its 44-page report on Thursday, marking the 61st anniversary of Myanmar's first military coup led by the late General Ne Win on March 2, 1962.
The report offers the first-ever comprehensive documentation and insight into how the embattled Myanmar regime under Min Aung Hlaing has made an unprecedented break with the Air Force's decades-old philosophy of using airstrikes specifically against military targets as part of a counter-insurgency operation.
The junta now portrays any civilian, politician and activist who support the nationwide resistance as terrorists.
Since the coup two years ago, Myanmar military leadership have, with alarming frequency, deployed fighter jets, helicopter gunships and artillery to strike civilian targets including Christian churches, Buddhist monasteries, schools, clinics and hospitals.
Media Monitor Collective (of Myanmar or MMC-M) notes that 88.4% of the country's townships have experienced violent armed conflict.
Since the coup in February 1, 2021, at least 24,065 civilians have been arrested or detained, 2,750 citizens killed as the direct result of armed conflicts, including air strikes and mortar shelling.
The leaked military document also reports 12 out of 14 administrative states or regions under siege.
Since February 1, 2021, over 11,000 incidents or cases of organized violence against and by the regime were documented. Of these, nearly 760 were air strikes against villages, refugee or IDP areas and armed conflict regions.
The heavy troop losses Myanmar army has suffered is definitely a factor in the coup regime ramping up its use of air strikes to nearly 400% in the second year of the unsuccessful coup whose legitimacy has been universally rejected by virtually all international governments and organizations including the Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean).
The ADDB Special Report echoes Saifuddin's view and urges the leaders of the regional bloc to consider concrete accountability measures including the prevention of ASEAN-based companies from supplying Myanmar military with lethal assistance and related support, such as the sale of aviation fuel.
Harn Yawnghwe, the founding executive director of ADDB Inc., makes a broad appeal for the immediate cessation of violence.
The report is drawn from the research and documentation by different organizations, such as the Karen National Union, Chin National Front, Kachin Independence Army, Karenni National Progressive Party, the Salween Institute for Public Policy, as well as Karenni human rights organizations, and the Free Burma Rangers, a humanitarian NGO.
Additionally, the ADDB report draws on the Myanmar military's leaked document of the December 23 meeting of military security chiefs.