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Burma coup resistance notes July 30, 2023
The illegal junta is now on the defensive even at its core bastion of Naypyitaw, which shows the progress of the Revolution.
Ethnic regions :
When junta troops entered two villages of Kyauktaga Township, Kler Lwi Htoo District on July 21, Karen forces detonated roadside bombs and then opened fire for 35 minutes, killing 15 of them or more. Karen army sources say the junta is firing heavy mortars indiscriminately at villages because it doesn’t know where the Karen forces are. (Khit Thit Media 7/22)
Nearby, the Karen army knocked down two high-tension power pylons that supply electricity to the military capital Naypyitaw and to China from a hydro-electric dam in Saw Ti Township. The Karen set off explosions under the pylons on July 23. (KNU 7/24)
The National Unity Government published an update on the July 19 battle in Namza village of Kyauktaga Township, Kler Lwi Htoo District: It is now known that 41 junta troops were killed, including officers, and 20 were hospitalized in Taungoo out of 48 wounded total wounded. Four hundred troops attacked Namza, and the battle lasted an hour and a half. A Karen soldier was killed and another wounded. The Karen seized ammunition including bullets and mortar shells. (KTM 7/24)
Another battle happened in Namza on July 25, when a truckload of 40 junta troops returned after the July 19 battle that they lost. The Karen attacked with roadside bombs and gunfire. When a Karen-allied PDF was clearing the area afterward, it found 7 dead junta troops and six rifles with ammunition. Seven more are in bad condition in Taungoo hospital. (People's Spring 7/26)
Brigade 3 fought yet again for 2 days July 25-26 along the old Yangon-Naypyitaw road; 80 troops including BGF arrived and were attacked by the Karen army and a local PDF. Ten junta troops were killed, and one of the bodies was recovered by the Karen, along with his weapon, grenades, and ammunition. Eight soldiers on the Karen side were wounded. Villagers sheltered in the monasteries. (Mizzima 7/27)
Since Karen army Brigade 3 advanced west of the Sattaung River toward the old Yangon-Naypyitaw highway, the junta is increasing checkpoints along that road in fear of attacks toward its capital Naypyitaw. (Myanmar Now 7/25) It has also now set up defensive checkpoints at all entrances to Naypyitaw, including armored vehicles. (The Irrawaddy 7/28) Karenni defense forces have reportedly been preparing an expeditionary force to carry out attacks in Naypyitaw.
A certain Karen battalion has been highly active in multiple jurisdictions around southern Kawthoolei this past week. The Karen 27th Battalion of Brigade 6 has fought in Dooplaya District, Mon State, and Beit-Tavoy District (which is the territory of the inactive Brigade 4.)
In Dooplaya District’s Win Ye Township, a 4-day battle occurred July 17-21 between the 27th Battalion and an invasion force of 100 junta troops. Eleven from the junta were killed and 10 were injured including two captains. A Karen soldier was killed and 4 were wounded. The 27th Battalion patrols the Ye-Tavoy road in Mon State. (Karen Information Center 7/24)
The 27th Battalion attacked again the following two days, July 22-23 in Thanbuzayat, Mon State, assisted by the White Tiger and Pade Kaw columns. Five junta troops were killed, but so were 2 Karen soldiers. (Khit Thit Media 7/25)
In Beit-Tavoy Township, four junta battalions totaling 300 troops from the Tavoy town area went to Yephyu Township on the Mon State border and were confronted by Karen 27th Battalion as well as the Ye Guerrilla Force PDF for 6 days July 19-24. The PDF says as many as 100 junta troops may have been killed or wounded by roadside bombs, landmines, and gunfire. It says the junta troops were drug addicts and their altered state contributed to their deaths. (Burma Media Consortium 7/27)
Combined forces attacked the junta outpost at Xrotherpler (Payathonsu or Three Pagodas Pass on Burmese maps) using 6 drone bombs on July 28. Initial reports are that about 10 out of the 30 troops there were killed. Xrotherpler is a Thai border crossing point at the southern end of Dooplaya District. The attack was carried out by the Tavoy People’s Liberation force from Beit-Tavoy District, the Mon State Revolutionary Force, the Ye Air Force from Mon State, the All Burma Student Democratic Force, and 2 other Beit-Tavoy PDFs, indicating a high level of cross-district coordination. (Khit Thit Media 7/29)
A report says that following the July 21 capture of a junta mountaintop position near Myawaddy and the Asia Highway, the number of junta troops fleeing their camps in the area has increased. No numbers are given. (The Irrawaddy 7/25) The commander and deputy commander of a junta light infantry battalion were jailed because they refused an order to attack the Karen Cobra Column in Myawaddy on July 21. (The Irrawaddy 7/24) On July 24-25 the junta tried to recapture the lost mountain camp, but the Cobra Column said the enemy couldn’t get near the mountain and had to turn back due to heavy losses. (People's Spring 7/25)
Karen army and allied PDF joint forces bombed a 12-vehicle convoy heading toward Myawaddy in Bilin Township of Kawthoolei’s Doo Tha Htoo District on July 23. Three vehicles were hit, 2 of them disabled, and there were an unknown number of casualties, of which a junta sergeant was killed. (Khit Thit Media 7/24) Also in Bilin Township, the Karen army again drone-bombed a construction team attempting to repair the bridge that was 2/3 destroyed by Karen sabotage on June 29. This was the 7th time construction teams have been bombed, which is why the bridge is still not repaired. (Than Lwin Times 7/25)
In the far south, PDFs on Junsu Island stormed a small police station and sank a boat carrying Pyu Saw Htee terrorists. The police station attack happened on July 25, while the boat sinking was July 20. About 10 police were in the station, but what happened to them isn’t specified. The PDFs shot up the boat, which then motored away and sank near the shore, so its occupants may have swum ashore. (Burma Media Consortium 7/26)
A PDF attack on a junta agricultural sciences school in Launglone Township of Beit-Tavoy District liberated seven school staff including the headmistress and sent them to safety in a Karen-control area. The raid on the school contained some disturbing behaviors on the part of the PDF, however, when they beat some students and teachers for being non-CDM, e.g. collaborating with the junta, and forced them to hold anti-junta banners and chant slogans. A PDF leader for Beit-Tavoy District has said these tactics by a PDF are unacceptable, and that the ends don’t justify the means. (Tanintharyi Times 7/27)
Junta troops entering Kanpetlet Township from Magway Region were attacked by Chin defense forces on July 24. Twenty junta troops were killed, as was a Chin soldier, and 3 Chin were wounded. That convoy has now returned toward Kyauktu, where it is being attacked by Saw Township PDFs. At least 5 troops have been killed there. (Khit Thit Media 7/24)
The junta has been on the offensive in southern Karenni since the 3rd week of June when it lost control of Mese. Starting July 21 it has been driving down the east bank of the Salween River from Hpasaung toward Mese with about 300 troops backed by air strikes and mortar fire. Karenni defense forces had to evacuate 2 villages on July 22, which were then occupied and burned by the enemy. The Karenni continue to fight back. (People's Spring 7/24)
Junta reinforcements are being brought in from Shan State to replace battlefield losses. There have also been clashes along the Pekhon-Loikaw road and in Demawso Township. A Karenni defense officer estimates 3,500 junta troops in Karenni land from Pinlaung Township in the north through Pekhon, Loikaw, Demawso, on down to Bawlakhe and Hpasaung in the south. The Karenni have killed over 1,000 junta troops since the surge that began in February, and heavy fighting is now reported along that corridor. (Burma Media Consortium 7/25)
Witnesses report 70 trucks moving from Phekon toward Loikaw through Mobye, and there have been battles in which the junta has suffered unknown casualties. On July 24, 45 trucks were on the road, and two of them were hit and burned. Other fighting occurred east of Mobye. Junta troops dragged their dead colleagues into a house and burned it.
Karenni forces are saying that the junta’s “monster column” has become a “ghost column”, basically wiped out. Infantry Battalion 708’s 200 troops became known as the “monster column” for their sequence of gruesome massacres, beheadings, and rapes committed in Sagaing Region. PDFs counter-attacked and killed over 40 of them, and in May it was transferred to Kawthoolei’s Kler Lwi Htoo District where the Karen army killed more of them. Most recently it was part of the massive redeployment into Karenni State, where it saw action in Demawso Township, and where the Karenni say LB 708 is now dead. (Ayeyarwaddy Times 7/26)
The two pilots of the K8W fighter jet shot down in Karenni State on June 30 are now known to be dead. They were given posthumous medals by the junta dictator for meritorious bombing of civilians. (Khit Thit Media 7/27)
The Kachin army counter-attacked junta reinforcements moving along the Bhamo-Myitkyina road on July 25 and forced them to turn back. (People's Spring 7/25) That was one of 3 clashes along that road. About 1,000 junta troops have been pounding away at Namsanyang village on that road, trying to get near the free Kachin capital of Laiza. Intense fighting continued there, and jets bombed Namsanyang village a second time on July 27, but caused little damage and no casualties. (People's Spring 7/28) In southwest Kachin State, the junta has brought in 30 Pyu Saw Htee amateur militia to Shweku Township to augment its depleted forces. (Kachin News Group 7/25)
In Homalin Township, Kachin PDFs fought a 3-day battle against junta troops and their ethnic Shanni proxies at Naung Po, July 22-24. The PDFs say they killed 80 junta and Shanni troops. Afterward, instead of burying their dead, the enemy put them in bags and threw them in the Uru River to float away. (Ayeyarwaddy Times 7/26)
The Ta’ang ethnic army (TNLA) attacked a junta convoy on the Lashio –Hsipaw road and has been fighting the junta in Muse Township on the Chinese border in northern Shan State for at least three days, killing a few troops and provoking an air strike that destroyed a village market but caused no deaths and only one civilian injury. (Hsan Loi Voice 7/26) Then on July 27 a junta helicopter attacked a Ta’ang base near Lashio, but no damage is reported. (Than Lwin Khet News 7/27)
People’s Defense Forces (PDFs)-----------------
PDF forces destroyed a rail bridge on the Mandalay-Myityina line on July 28. A video shows charges exploding and two bridge sections dropping into a river. The junta used this line as a resupply route. The junta has been burning villages along the railway route to protect it. (Burma Media Consortium 7/28)
About 100 junta troops who were heading toward Shwebo Township from Mandalay were ambushed in Wetlet Township on July 21. Forty of the troops were on foot in the vanguard, and the PDF says 20 were killed and 8 wounded. (Myaelatt Athan 7/22)
Two days later, troops and Pyu Saw Htee terrorists were on their way to loot and burn Therapin village in Shwebo Township when PDFs attacked them with roadside bombs followed by gunfire, killing about 10 of them. (Khit Thit Media 7/24)
The civil war spread to a new area when PDF forces attacked the junta police barracks in Khampa, at the northern end of the Sagaing/Chin border next to India on July 22. The battle lasted several hours, and the next day the junta brought in 2 helicopter loads of reinforcements, but dropped them off some distance away for fear of the helicopters being hit. As the troops were making their way from the drop-off site toward the battle, the PDFs intercepted and attacked them, killing at least 16. About 5,000 local residents fled into the jungle, to Kalay town, or into India. (People's Spring 7/24)
A junta demining team cleared a roadside bomb on the Pakokku-Yesajo road in Magway Region on July 22, but then got blown up by another one. Five were killed out of the group of 15. (People's Spring 7/24)
The NUG published combat statistics for Sagaing, Magway, and northern Shan regions during the month of June: In 374 confrontations, resistance forces killed 417 junta troops and wounded 527, while 47 resistance soldiers died and 143 were wounded. The Revolution forces seized 48 weapons, 25 drones, and ammunition from the junta. (People's Spring 7/26)
The Saw Dragon Drone Force PDF is recruiting international and remote volunteers to help with drones, manufacturing, air defense, and military technology. If interested, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Karenni soldiers involved in the fighting following the junta’s massive redeployment there say that many of the dead troops they are finding are from support battalions, not usually sent to the front line. It is a sign of the depletion of the junta army. Support personnel are not trained for combat. (Ayeyarwaddy Times 7/26)
Gen. Ko Ko Maung, the overall junta commander of the northern region who was arrested last week, has been formally replaced. Gen. Soe Hlaing will try to succeed where his predecessor failed, attacking the Kachin army and trying to regain control of the strategic Bhamo-Myitkyina road near the Kachin free capital of Laiza. (Myaelatt Athan 7/23)
The head of the notorious Insein Prison was fired and replaced after an internal investigation found staff donating money to PDFs to fight the regime. One staff member donated 1.1 million kyat (over US$300) and was arrested. (Chindwin News Agency 7/25)
During the first half of 2023, 39 junta officers ranked colonel and above were given senior positions in civilian government agencies such as banks, municipal governments, construction, industry, tourism, economy, transport, health, etc. A CDM government analyst says the junta doesn’t trust civilian managers and wants direct control. He also says management by officers with no relevant skills is a major reason the national economy is being destroyed. (Mizzima 7/25)
The junta has been forcibly conscripting youth to attend “anti-terrorist” training (meaning anti-PDF, or pro-terrorist) in Naypyitaw, but 5 women escaped and fled while going for a medical examination on July 23, reportedly due to sexual harassment . CDM soldiers say recruits are subject to drugs and alcohol and sexual abuse during training. (Myaelatt Athan 7/26)
The junta kidnapped over 20 local young men in Jonpyaw Township of Irrawaddy Region on July 18 and forced them into military training. Troops “arrested” the youths on the trumped-up pretext that they had communicated with PDFs, then abducted them and cut their communications with their families. (Ayeyarwaddy Times 7/23)
The junta detained around 50 civilians arriving for work at the port of Tavoy (Dawei) on July 22, made the women sit in the street, then beat and tortured the men, questioning them about supposed PDF connections. The men were fishermen. The troops beat their faces bloody and kicked them with boots. (Tanintharyi Times 7/23)
A 9-boat junta supply convoy carrying supplies for troops in Kachin State is steaming up the Irrawaddy River from Mandalay, firing mortars into riverside villages as it goes. Junta troops are also burning and destroying villages along the river in Maddaya Township of Mandalay Region and kidnapping civilians in order to try to prevent attacks on the boats. (The Irrawaddy 7/25)
Three leaders of the Butalin Township Student Union were abducted and shot dead by the junta sometime this week. Their bodies were found in a field. (Burma Revolution 7/29)
The junta is conducting urban demolition again, this time destroying 1000 homes in Chanmyathasi Township of Mandalay. The junta arbitrarily declared the homes to be on private land; they were built 15 years ago. (Khit Thit Media 7/22) The destruction of entire neighborhoods adds to the burgeoning urban homeless population that is already swollen by refugees from burned villages in the countryside.
Political and economic-------------------
The junta announced that it will issue 20,000 kyat bank notes starting July 31. The largest denomination until now has been 10,000 kyats. The money has lost 65% of its value since the coup, so the new 20K notes will be worth less than the 10K notes were before the illegal power seizure. Since issuing new bank notes means printing money and thus inflation, the kyat’s trading value has already declined over 300 kyats to the US dollar since the announcement. Typically, the junta’s response is more force; it has been imprisoning gold dealers and dollar traders who sell at higher prices after the 20,000 note announcement, but that hasn’t stopped the exodus from kyats. (Than Lwin Khet News 7/23) The National Unity Government has declared the 20,000 kyat notes to be invalid since the junta has no authority to issue currency; the notes will not be accepted anywhere after the Revolution.
The NUG’s new Spring Bank reached its goal of 1,000 new accounts opened during one weekend. Traffic to the website was so heavy that it had to shut down briefly for an upgrade on July 26. (People's Spring 7/25) This contrasts with 2/3 of customers of junta-controlled banks stopping their account activity.
According to a report from Switzerland-based Global Initiative think tank, Burma has the 3rd highest crime rate among 193 nations, after the DR Congo and Colombia. This is due in large part to Burma’s top position in illegal drug production, as well as rampant human trafficking and smuggling of contraband timber, jade, gold, and other natural resources. All of these have accelerated after the lawlessness of the February 2021 coup d'état. The report says junta officials are deeply involved in the illegal drug trade. (Mizzima 7/24)
China has been training Pyu Saw Htee terrorists in Shan State. At a junta training center in Muse in northern Shan State, Burmese trainers occupy the ground floor while Chinese occupy the second floor. They train pro-junta militia members, then send them to Sagaing Region to fight PDFs. A group of 35-Chinese-trained militia operatives was sent to Sagaing in June. (DVB 7/26)
120mm mortar rounds manufactured in the junta’s weapons factories have been found in use by Russian troops in Ukraine. Ukrainian weapons trackers found and photographed the Burmese shells in July. (Mizzima 7/26) The Russian military is doing so poorly in Ukraine that the usual weapons flow has reversed direction. The silver lining is that is means fewer mortar rounds available for use in Burma.
The illegal regime was again handing out medals like candy to its supporters on July 25. Among the decorated cronies were 26 senior Buddhist monks from the conservative wing of the religious establishment. Junta army and police officers and cronies from banks and companies were also among the lucky prize winners. Collaborationist performing artists were previous winners. These medals are normally reserved for military officers, so it is significant that the senior monks are receiving them. (Than Lwin Times 7/25) Part of the religious establishment has always allied itself to whatever military regime was in power; these monks will face some reckoning when their benefactors are toppled and junta backers are brought to justice.
The junta is rumored to have moved Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the de facto head of state before the coup d'état, from solitary confinement in a Naypyitaw prison to a residence in that city this past week. There is no confirmation yet. (Chindwin News Agency 7/25)
Household supplies donated in huge quantities by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees after Cyclone Mocha in May are showing up for sale in markets around Sittwe in Arakan State. The refugees say they are selling the items because they need money more than they need these items. (Burma Media Consortium 7/25)
Tokyo Metropolitan University has signed a memorandum of understanding and collaboration with Tavoy University. Tavoy University is currently under junta control, meaning that, like other educational institutions, it has suffered a brain drain and loss of students from the CDM strike, and is likely employing unqualified instructors to fill the gap. The Japanese university is thus abetting and legitimizing the illegal regime. (Tanintharyi Times 7/26)
- စီၤ ထံဆၢ