Myanmar rebels hit junta’s new capital Naypyidaw with Ukrainian-style kamikaze drones

Myanmar’s anti-coup forces have launched an unprecedented drone attack on military targets in Naypyidaw, the remote capital built in secret by a previous military regime.

The National Unity Government (NUG), which includes elected politicians removed from office in the February 2021 coup, said its People’s Defence Force carried out a synchronised, coordinated attack on Thursday on key targets in the city, a stronghold of the armed forces.

“This was a success. This drone attack was long-range and a stronger attack than normal. We have plans to do more,” NUG spokesperson Kyaw Zaw said, without specifying whether targets had been hit.

“This is a time when the junta is forcing conscription and causing fear for the people. With this attack on their nerve centre, Naypyidaw, we want to highlight that they don’t have a safe place.”

The military regime acknowledged the attack and said it destroyed or seized more than a dozen drones.

Military-run Myawaddy TV said 13 fixed-wing drones were shot down and there were no casualties or damage to property.

Myawaddy did not mention what the targets were but broadcast an image showing nine small drones, several of which were damaged. Of the 13 drones, four carried explosives, the report said.
Myanmar was plunged into crisis when Senior General Min Aung Hlaing seized power from elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi, claiming without evidence that there had been widespread fraud in the election that returned her to office in a landslide.

Hundreds of thousands took to the streets in protest and when the military responded with brutal force, some civilians took up arms, joining forces with ethnic armed groups that had been fighting the military for decades.

The military, which is under Western sanctions but has support from Russia, has come under intense pressure since the end of October last year when a powerful coalition of anti-coup armed groups, launched a surprise offensive taking control of multiple military outposts and key towns in the north and west.

More than 2.8 million people have been displaced as a result of the fighting, while more than 18 million people are in dire need of humanitarian assistance, according to the United Nations.

In an interview uploaded on the NUG’s media channel late on Thursday, a senior official said the home of Min Aung Hlaing had been targeted in the attack which used 30 drones. Military headquarters and the city’s airbase were also targeted.

“They have spent millions of dollars on a complex defence system, including air defences. It is the place where the military council assumed no attack could happen,” said permanent secretary Naing Htoo Aung.

“That this three-year-old defence force was able to attack that kind of place shows a big step forward in the revolution.”

Initially, smaller drones with lighter payloads were used, but now the opposition groups are using more sophisticated systems to drop explosives on military targets. Anti-coup groups frequently post videos on social media of their drone attacks.

The military has been accused of widespread human rights abuses including repeated air attacks on civilians, and burning down villages.

On Thursday, the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a resolution that for the first time called for UN members states to refrain from the export, sale or transfer of jet fuel to Myanmar.

© 2024, GDC. © GDC and Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.