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The tug of war in Myanmar’s Kachin State

Retaliatory airstrikes by the military were carried out against the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in Momauk and Mansi townships earlier this week. The KIA has made rapid gains by seizing over 80 military outposts since it launched an offensive on March 7.

TRANSCRIPT—What’s happening now in northern Myanmar is worth your attention. 

A tug of war in Kachin State between the military and the Kachin Independence Army has been two months in the making.  

The KIA has made rapid gains by seizing over 80 military outposts since it launched an offensive on March 7. 

Retaliatory airstrikes by the military have been carried out on Momauk and Mansi Townships.

Momauk is 78 kilometers from the China-Myanmar border town of Loije (Lwegel).

The KIA took control of the Light Infantry Battalion 142 in Loije last month.

Five billion kyat was stored inside. That’s worth 2.3 million US dollars.

The military has retreated from Momauk to Bhamo, 16 kilometers west, along the Irrawaddy River. 

It is now defending the Bhamo Five Mile Gate and the Light Infantry Battalion 437 from KIA attacks. 

The military is preparing its own offensive to retake Momauk. Most residents have fled their homes in anticipation of more fighting.

25 kilometers south In Mansi, the KIA captured the Walawng La outpost. 

Kachin media reported that the KIA is firing on the two remaining Light Infantry Battalions there. 

399 kilometers to the north, the KIA is holding on to Sumprabum Tactical Command, seized from the military on May 5. 

The UN states that 10,000 people in Kachin State have become Internally Displaced Persons since the end of April.

The Armed Conflict Location and Event Data project states that Myanmar ranks as the most intense violent conflict globally.

The military has suffered significant losses of ground troops due to defections, casualties and surrenders since its 2021 coup. 

As a result, the total number of its combat and non combat troops has now dwindled to 130,000, according to the U.S. Institute for Peace.

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