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‘Operation 1107’ – Myanmar Insurgency in Action

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‘Operation 1107’ - Myanmar Insurgency in Action
Pic: Arab News

The Myanmar Army is reported to have lost control of critical towns along the Myanmar-China border. This is a matter of concern for India. According to reports, rebel forces have seized control of Khampat, a town in Sagaing Region on the India-Malaysia border on the road connecting Moreh, a border town in Manipur State in India.

The Northern Action – The Tripartite Alliance Gaining Ground in The North

The Brotherhood Alliance, a tripartite military grouping of Ethnic Armed Organizations (EAO) comprised of the Arakan Army (AA), Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), and Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), have launched a series of offensives in the Northern Shan and Kachin States, seizing several military bases and controlling communications in this area.

The Kachin Independence Army (KIA), which operates in Shan State, has also joined Operation 1027, which refers to the start date, October 27th. According to the Irrawaddy, the Brotherhood Alliance has captured more than 120 junta locations, including military, junta-affiliated militia, and police outposts, as well as government offices, since the operation began on October 27. They have also taken control of armoured vehicles and artillery. These reports have not been independently verified.

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Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, the head of the Myanmar Armed Forces as well as the newly constituted Government State Administrative Council, has said that the military will initiate counterattacks against the Brotherhood Alliance’s “Operation 1027” in northern Shan State. According to the Irrawaddy, Colonel Aung Kyaw Lwin, commander of the 99th Light Infantry Division (LID), is the first divisional-level leader to die in battle since the 2021 coup.

Separately, the military has accused the KIA of destroying and blowing up civilian infrastructure like as public trains, roadways, and bridges.

The Tatmadaw frequently warned the KIA not to assault its bases, but the KIA ambushed minor bases commanded by platoon-level personnel with overwhelming forces and… The KIA was warned not to participate in the ongoing conflicts in Shan State (North). Still, it was discovered that the KIA had defied the warnings of the Tatmadaw and had joined in the skirmishes, according to an official release.

According to reports, fighting has now moved to the Sagaing and Magwe areas as local People’s Defense Forces join the resistance onslaught, setting up ambushes against military reinforcement convoys.

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According to the Irrawaddy, the Brotherhood Alliance has filled Facebook with photographs of camps and stacks of weaponry and ammunition that they have captured, as well as images of surrendering regime soldiers.

The Chinese Angle

China has called for an “immediate” truce in Shan State, where a billion-dollar train connection in China’s Belt and Road development project runs. According to Wang Wenbin, a spokeswoman for China’s foreign ministry, Beijing “expresses strong dissatisfaction with the escalation of the armed conflict and the casualties caused to Chinese personnel.” The People’s Republic of China, he stated, “has lodged a solemn protest with relevant parties” and that it is “paying close attention to the conflict situation in northern Myanmar.”

“China once again demands that all parties involved in the conflict in northern Myanmar immediately cease fire,” Wang said in a statement.  According to ground sources, one Chinese person was killed and two others were injured after the military shelled the town of Laiza, which is home to the headquarters of the ethnic armed organization the Kachin Independence Army.

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While fighting has been reported between the Myanmar army and various resistance forces including the Peoples Defence Force and the Ethnic Armed Organizations in October, the EAO claims that this fighting spilt over into areas along the Myanmar-China border, cutting off communications. This aroused worries, with China urging all parties to avoid violence and return to the bargaining table.

Indo-Burmese Border

Pic: Myanmar Now

According to a report in Myanmar Now, anti-regime armed factions have taken control of Khampat, a town in the western Sagaing Region near the border with India, citing Myanmar’s civilian National Unity Government (NUG). According to Myanmar Now, the NUG announced in a statement published on November 7 evening that the town was conquered after a four-day attack by an alliance of anti-junta troops commanded by the NUG-led People’s Defence Force (PDF) and the Kachin Independence Army. This report could not be validated independently.

Khampat is a vital town on the route that connects Moreh and might lead to the closure of the Indian-Myanmar axis.

Fighting Close to Nay Pyi Taw

Following the success of Operation 1027, Karenni armed organizations conducted assaults in Mese Township, Karenni State, under the banner of Operation 1107. According to Myanmar Now, the Karenni Nationalities Defence Force (KNDF), the Karenni National People’s Liberation Front (KNPLF), the Karenni Army (KA), and the PDF, which functions as the military branch of the constitutionally mandated National Unity Government (NUG), have begun a coordinated operation.

“They established an outpost at the station to provide additional security for the Border Guard Force battalion.” “Our combined forces launched Operation 1107 with an attack on that outpost,” KNPLF spokesperson Lawrence Soe was cited as saying by Myanmar Now. “With this escalation of our operations, we are following up on the previous offensive and the capture of Mese,” the KNDF information officer explained. The operation was conducted to support Operation 1027, in which the Brotherhood Alliance took control of over 130 minor checkpoints in Shan and Kachin states.

This comes as the Brotherhood Alliance has pledged to expand Operation 1027 across the country. In its press release, it said: “We will soon launch more effective, joint operations along with other armed revolutionary groups throughout the country.”

Several resistance groups, including the People’s Defense Forces (PDFs), the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), the Bamar People’s Liberation Army, and the Karenni Nationalities Defense Force (KNDF), have already coordinated attacks with the northern Shan State operation, and the same has now occurred in Karenni or Kayah State.

Also Read: Coup in Myanmar: implications for India

While the EAOs and PDFs claim significant progress, connecting and coordinating the enormous number of operations to bring a coordinated strategy to converge on Nay Pyi Taw will remain difficult.

Nay Pyi Taw next to Fall

While the Brotherhood Alliance and the KIA’s takeover of multiple locations is a big disturbance, it is uncertain whether the Myanmar Army will retake these positions because it has only initiated air attacks so far.

However, to pose a significant challenge to the Myanmar administration, Nay Pyi Taw, the capital and junta stronghold, must be threatened.

Some EAOs have already operated near the capital; whether the Brotherhood coalition will move southward remains to be seen.                                                                   

Meanwhile, in the two years since the coup, there has been widespread violence in Mon State, Karen State, Mandalay Region, Bago Region, and Sagaing Region. The Sagaing area was claimed to have seen the most intensive combat.  According to research released in June this year by the Institute for Strategy and Policy—Myanmar, at least 8,640 people have been dead since the 2021 military coup.  According to a new analysis from the Peace Research Institute Oslo, at least 6,000 people were killed in the first 20 months after Myanmar’s military takeover.                                                               

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Vipul Tamhane
Vipul Tamhane
Vipul Tamhane is an Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Terrorist Financing (AML/CFT) specialist with expertise in international business, and Commercial Law. He is a visiting faculty at Pune University's Department of Defence and Strategic Studies, where he teaches Counter Terrorism to Masters and Postgraduate Diploma students. He is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Diplomacy Direct, an upcoming national-interest think tank dealing with counter-terrorism, national security, geopolitics, and international diplomacy.


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