687 civilians have been killed, and 458 others injured as a result of the Junta’s Military Council’s airstrikes across the country since the coup in Myanmar, according to a report by Nyan Lynn Thit Analytica, an organization that monitors Myanmar’s political processes.
In the span of over 2 years and 7 months following the coup, the Military Council carried out approximately 902 airstrikes, resulting in the destruction of 86 religious structures, 54 schools, and 26 hospitals, as reported by Nyan Lynn Thit Analytica on October 23.
Between May and August 2023, over a span of four months, the Military Council increased the intensity of their airstrikes, averaging two airstrikes per day and killing
272. Notably the most heavily targeted region was Karenni (Kayah) State, experiencing 71 attacks, followed closely by Sagaing Region with 69 attacks.
“In the 123-day period spanning from May to August 2023, the Military Council conducted approximately 104 days of airstrikes, resulting in daily airstrikes,” reported Nyan Lynn Thit Analytica in a statement.
Presently, it is reported that the Military Council is primarily utilizing the air force for attacks against the revolutionary forces, as there has been a decrease in the strength of the Junta’s troops on the ground.
Karenni State Interim Executive Council (IEC) Secretary-2 U Banyar stated, “In cases where the Military Council lacks the capability to implement the Four Cuts strategy, their primary focus turns to airstrikes and artillery attacks. Any attack on civilians constitutes a war crime against humanity.”
The most devastating airstrikes attributed to the Military Council took place on April 11, 2023, in Pazi Gyi Village, Kanbalu Township, Sagaing Region, resulting in killing up to 165 civilians, including 38 children.
U Than Soe Naing, a political analyst, has stated that taking international action against the war crimes committed by the Military Council is currently a very difficult endeavour,
as ICC (The International Court) has devoted so much of their resources and their attention to war crimes investigations in the Ukraine.
U Than Soe Naing remarked, “Despite calls for the National Unity Government (NUG) and Ethnic Armed Organizations (EAOs) to initiate international action in response to the military council’s airstrikes, no significant progress has been observed. The United Nations lacks the authority, and nations such as China and Russia have shielded the Military Council inside the Security Council.”
Human rights lawyers and Myanmar’s UN rapporteur have argued the UN could actually do a lot more through the UNGA(UN General Assembly)- which could pass a resolution to refer these war-crimes with a recommendation to the ICC to open an investigation .
U Than Soe Naing mentioned that despite the Military Council’s targeting of civilians, he believes it will not impede the revolution. He added that the documentation of past incidents may potentially be used to hold the Junta accountable, once the revolution achieves its goals.
According to a report from Nyan Lynn Thit Analytica, the Military Council employs fighter jets, helicopters, drones, and other training aircraft to carry out various aerial operations. These operations include conducting airstrikes, offering air support during ground offensives, defending military bases and columns, performing reconnaissance, reinforcing troops, and transporting military resources and supplies, among other functions.
The statement highlighted that the Military Council’s airstrikes have escalated year by year from 2021 to 2023, resulting in a significant increase in civilian casualties and damage to buildings.
DMG attempted to reach out to Military Council spokesperson General Zaw Min Tun regarding these statements, but received no response as he did not answer the phone.