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Brotherhood Alliance to join forces with anti-coup resistance

FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM

The first attack on a military installation, that was heralded as a major victory for the anti-coup resistance by the National Unity Government (NUG), took place on Oct. 20 when the Kachin Independence Army (KIO/KIA) seized the Lailum Awng Ja military camp in Kachin State, which is strategically located on the Myitkyina-Bhamo Road. 

“That battle [was] important because the People’s Defense Forces [PDF], the Kachin Independence Army, and its allies fought together to win. This [was] the first step,” said Yee Mon, the NUG Minister of Defence.

The NUG stated that the Arakan Army (AA), the Chin National Front (CNF/CNA), and the All Burma Students’ Democratic Front (ABSDF) assisted the KIA and the PDF in the operation to seize the northern military outpost. 

One week later, on Oct. 27, the Brotherhood Alliance – consisting of the AA, the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), and the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) – shocked analysts when it launched its offensive against military outposts in northern Shan State. 

“Operation 1027 is significant in that the Three Brotherhood Alliance, while supportive of the NUG, has never joined them in offensive operations; they have fought defensively only. But this is no longer true, and it seems with recent KIA-AA attacks in Sagaing, that there is more coordination,” said Zachury Abuza, professor at the National War College in Washington, DC.

A ‘Brotherhood’ of three

The Brotherhood claimed Operation 1027 was meant to protect civilians, maintain control of territory, shut down cyber scam centers, and respond to military assaults.  

It has fought sporadic battles against the military since it was formed in 2019 with it becoming more involved in fighting since the 2021 coup. This marks the first time the Brotherhood has stated publicly it will fight the military. 

“We are thoroughly engaging in discussions with the NUG…[And] working closely with battalion units under the NUG Ministry of Defense as much as we can,” said Tar Phone Kyaw, the TNLA Brigadier General. 

The Bamar People’s Liberation Army (BPLA) stated that it is fighting alongside the Brotherhood in northern Shan State. The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) – purporting to be a newly-revived Burmese Communist Party – also claimed it was involved. 

“The most extraordinary and beneficial point of this revolution is that it is not fighting in one place but applying a strategy to fight in the whole country,” added Yee Mon, the NUG Minister of Defence. 

Operation 1027 spreads 

In what seemed like a coordinated attack, on Oct. 27, the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) launched an offensive on Kawkareik town in Karen State alongside the PDF. Fighting between KNLA-led forces and the military has intensified in Kyainseikgyi Township since then. 

On Oct. 31, the KIA seized another military outpost in Kachin State with the support of the AA. This time it was Gundauyang hilltop in Waingmaw Township. 

On Nov. 3, the Karenni Nationalities Defense Force (KNDF) – operating in Karenni and southern Shan states – announced it had joined Operation 1027 in northern Shan. It claims to have seized seven military outposts near the Thai border and to have shot down a military jet fighter in Karenni State. 

The AA stated that it has also been fighting alongside PDF troops in Tigyaing Township, located in Sagaing Region close to northern Shan State. This would be the first tacit admission that the AA have been coordinating attacks with the armed wing of the NUG. It reportedly launched attacks in northern Arakan State on Nov. 13, ending the informal ceasefire with the military set last year. 

People’s Defense Forces rise

The PDF seized the town of Kawlin in northern Sagaing Region on Nov. 6. This is the first district-level town to come under the control of the NUG since it was founded as the democratic opposition to military rule following the 2021 coup. RFA reported that the AA and KIA were involved. 

Kawlin is located near the intersection of northern Shan and Kachin states. The next day, on Nov. 7, the PDF, along with the KIA, and members of the Chin resistance, seized the town of Khampat, which is located near the India border. Along with Kawlin and Khampat, Pinlebu has also come under NUG control.

In northern Shan State, the Brotherhood has seized over 150 military outposts since Oct. 27. It now controls Chin Shwe Haw, Hsenwi, Kunglon, and Monekoe. Chin Shwe Haw and Monekoe are key towns located on the China border. The Brotherhood made another stunning announcement on Nov. 8 when it stated that it will join forces with the nationwide anti-coup resistance to put an end to military dictatorship in Myanmar.

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