Myanmar Rebels Launch Successful Assault on Military Camp, Expanding Nationwide Offensive

In a brazen pre-dawn attack on Monday, a group of determined Myanmar rebel fighters launched a successful assault on a hill-top military camp in Chin State, marking another significant front in the escalating nationwide offensive against the ruling junta. Led by a 22-year-old rebel fighter known as Suan, the assault involved dozens of comrades who cut through the camp’s fencing wire and entered the premises. The rebels were met with immediate gunfire from junta soldiers, leading to a grueling battle that lasted nearly 12 hours.

The attack on the Khawmawi military camp, near the border between Myanmar and India’s Mizoram state, resulted in a major victory for the grassroots insurgency that has been brewing in Chin State since the military coup in 2021. The rebels, belonging to the ethnic Chin community, revealed that they utilized drones to drop bombs on the military bases, while the junta soldiers fought back fiercely, including occasional mortar fire.

The intense battle saw most of the junta soldiers fleeing the camp before the rebels even entered. However, around 20 soldiers chose to stay and fought vigorously against the advancing rebels, inflicting casualties on both sides. According to two Chin rebels, at least nine fighters from their ranks and six junta soldiers lost their lives. The rare ground-level accounts of the battle by Suan and his comrade Lawma, who were wounded and evacuated to an Indian hospital, provide invaluable insight into the expanding resistance against Myanmar’s military junta.

The uprising against the junta gained momentum in late October when three ethnic minority insurgent groups launched “Operation 1027,” a coordinated offensive that targeted junta troops in Shan State, near the country’s border with China. The offensive resulted in the capture of several towns and military outposts. Moreover, the Arakan Army, a part of the Three Brotherhood Alliance which orchestrated the offensive, opened another front against the military in western Rakhine State. The resistance movement has also achieved successes in Kayah State, along the Thailand border.

The junta spokesperson, Zaw Min Tun, admitted that the military was facing heavy assaults on multiple fronts, referring to the insurgents as “terrorists.” In response, the junta has accused insurgents of using drones to drop bombs on military positions throughout Myanmar. One of the Chin fighters revealed that their drones, capable of carrying up to 6 kg (13 pounds), were smuggled in from abroad, becoming a crucial asset in their operations.

As a result of the assault, 43 junta soldiers sought shelter in India and were subsequently returned to Myanmar. Meanwhile, the Zokhawthar border crossing witnessed heightened security, with Indian paramilitary soldiers guarding one side while armed Chin rebels stood on the other, proudly displaying the Chin flag.

FAQ

1. What is the nature of the ongoing offensive against Myanmar’s junta?

The ongoing offensive is a coordinated effort by various ethnic minority insurgent groups to challenge the military junta’s authority. They have launched attacks on multiple fronts across the country, targeting junta troops and capturing towns and military outposts.

2. How did the rebel fighters achieve success in their assault?

The rebel fighters employed drones to drop bombs on military bases, disrupting the junta soldiers’ defenses. This provided them with a significant advantage in launching their assault. The rebels also engaged in close combat with the remaining soldiers who chose to stay and fight, resulting in casualties on both sides.

3. What role do drones play in the insurgency?

Drones have become a valuable asset for the rebels, allowing them to carry out airstrikes and drop explosives on military positions. These drones are often smuggled in from abroad and can carry a significant amount of payload, making them a formidable tool in the rebels’ operations.