Myanmar used Russian-made aircraft in civilian attacks: Report | Weapons News

Myanmar Witness said an open source investigation found that the Yak-130 was armed with missiles and cannons.

Myanmar’s military has been accused of using a Russian-made Yak-130, a two-seat jet trainer with ground-attack capabilities, against civilians, as it sought to quell protests. government’s counterpart.

Myanmar Witness, a London-based group that specializes in gathering evidence of human rights abuses in Myanmar, says it has been able to verify the open source investigation multiple times in which unguided missiles and 23mm cannons have been used in construction areas.

Myanmar Witness said: “Myanmar Witness has verified the repeated deployment of the Yak-130 – a sophisticated Russian-made two-seat jet trainer with documented ground attack capabilities – in Myanmar. “. “During this investigation, reliable reports and geolocation revealed the use of Yak-130 in densely populated areas.”

Among the recent incidents, video shared on Facebook last month showed at least one Yak-130 making two passes and launching several unguided missiles towards the ground. The second video shows at least one Yak-130 making at least five passes and firing about 18 unguided missiles.

The attacks are believed to have taken place south of Myawaddy Town in Southeast Karen State, where ethnic armed groups have long fought for autonomy and have provided militia training and support was established to fight the February 2021 coup.

The Myanmar witness has geolocated the two videos and said they were shot just 200 meters from the Thailand-Myanmar border.

It also verifies an incident in February 2022, when at least one Yak-130 was identified participating in an operation west of Loikaw, in Kayah state, also on the Thai border to the east.

The indiscriminate use of sophisticated strike aircraft, especially when used in conjunction with other military aircraft, stands in stark contrast to the means and methods employed by the US military, the report said. groups considered by the Myanmar military to be insurgents.

Myanmar fell into crisis in February 2021 when Army Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing took power from the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi. The coup sparked numerous protests and outbursts of anger to which the military responded with force. More than 2,000 people were killed in the crackdown, while nearly 700,000 were injured forced to flee their home, according to the United Nations.

Russia is an important supplier of weapons and equipment to the Myanmar military, and Min Aung Hlaing was in Moscow earlier this month during Pursue further transactions.

According to Myanmar Witness, Russia delivered 12 planes to Myanmar between 2015 and 2019, when the country was under civilian administration, but in December of last year, six more jets were unveiled at the base. Meiktila Air Force.

In March, USA, Canada and UK black list senior military officials, including the newly appointed air force commander-in-chief, about the military’s escalating violence. The sanctions also target those sourcing and supplying weapons to the air force.

Human rights groups have been pressing the international community to extend sanctions and impose an embargo on the sale of jet fuel to Myanmar because of the military’s continued air strikes on civilians.

Myanmar must import all aviation fuel for civil or military purposes.

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