Myanmar: Rebels Claim to Have Shot Down Fighter Jet
The Karenni Nationalities Defence Force (KNDF), a Myanmar-based insurgent group, has reportedly claimed responsibility for downing a fighter jet in Kayah State in the east of the country on Saturday during clashes with the military....
The Karenni Nationalities Defence Force (KNDF), a Myanmar-based insurgent group, has reportedly claimed responsibility for downing a fighter jet in Kayah State in the east of the country on Saturday during clashes with the military.1
Previously, Junta spokesperson Zaw Min Tun said that the jet went down due to a technical error and that both pilots had successfully escaped and were in contact with the armed forces.2
The incident comes as a coalition of ethnic armed groups has launched an unparalleled offensive against the military, overrunning 100 military outposts and displacing at least 50K people in the northern parts of the country.3
According to the KNDF, its heavy machine guns targeted the jet's fuselage and wing, causing it to crash near an area controlled by the military in Hpruso township, far away from the combat zone.4
As many Western nations maintain an arms embargo against Naypyidaw, most combat aircraft and artillery in Myanmar's military come from China or Russia.4
While there are no records of rebels ever being able to shoot down warplanes previously, an ethnic armed group is believed to have downed a helicopter in May 2021.5
Narrative A, as provided by NST Online. This is a significant achievement for the resistance forces in northeastern Myanmar, which until now, have had no effective defense against air attacks. This incident is part of an ongoing offensive that has given the Junta a serious problem, cutting off trade routes to China and threatening tax revenues. If the regime can't mount a decisive response, it will be considered a sign of significant weakness.
Narrative B, as provided by Al Jazeera. The rebel alliance in the northeast is seriously threatening Myanmar's military regime, and the leadership is feeling the heat. The president has admitted that, if its military can't contain the situation, the rebels could break the country apart. The junta must therefore target efforts on the rebel-controlled areas and regain control over the border regions in order to reassert stability in the country.