Big Moves in Myanmar; The Hpapun Offensive and Drones Hit Naypyitaw

April 5, 2024

There have been some major developments in Myanmar, also known as Burma, as anti-junta forces have struck several significant blows against the military regime that seized power in a coup in February 2021. On the 30th of March the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) launched a major attack against the town of Hpapun, one of the most important remaining strongholds of junta forces in eastern Myanmar.

The garrison, composed of three battalion (which in real terms translates to around 600 personnel) has been effectively under siege for the last two years, reliant on resupply from aircraft.

The KNLA massed probably the most considerable force they have fielded for a single operation in the last couple of decades, including numbers of heavy mortars, mainly recently captured from the junta. Once the attack began, the junta forces swiftly redrew from the main town and outer perimeter, falling back to a couple of select strongholds, principally the airfield, and relying on airpower to try to inflict casualties on the KNLA. This seems to have largely failed, with many of those killed and injured by the waves of airstrikes being largely civilians who elected to stay in the town after it was abandoned by the military.

The KNLA is now besieging the remaining strong points and, rather wisely, waiting for the optimum time of their choosing to launch further assaults to reduce them.

The eradication of Hpapun would represent a significant defeat for the junta, as it would remove this critical strongpoint, free up considerable numbers of KNLA and allied PDF forces and effectively spell the end for other junta fortresses in this area of Karen State as it would be plain that if Hpapun couldn’t hold, neither can they.

But it isn’t just on the peripheries that the junta is feeling increased pressure. Indeed, on the 4th of April a blow was struck at their very heart.

The National Unity Government claims that their PDF drone forces struck the capital Naypyitaw itself with a total of 29 kamikaze drones.

Sixteen apparently targeted the junta headquarters while another thirteen struck the nearby Ae Lar air base.

While much attention has been given to developments in drone warfare in the war in Ukraine, less attention has been paid to the interesting efforts of anti-junta drone units, who are now using 3-D printers in remote jungle hideouts to mass produce long-range drones capable of taking the fight to the generals themselves.

If I get a chance, I will do follow up videos on the anti-junta drone forces, though they are, understandably, cautious with their security and capabilities. But regardless, despite their continued use of indiscriminate airpower and support form certain nations, the days of Myanmar’s military junta do appear to be closing to an inevitable end.

Related:

Myanmar Military Reeling From Attacks by Anti-Coup Forces

Ashley South; Myanmar – Past, Present and Future

Ashley South; Myanmar – Past, Present and Future

Was privileged to be able to have a conversation with Ashley South, who has been involved in events in Myanmar as an observer and participant in events for nearly thirty years. Links: https://www.ashleysouth.co.uk/home https://www.frogmortpress.com/...

Junkers-Larsen JL-12; The Tommy Gun-Ship

Junkers-Larsen JL-12; The Tommy Gun-Ship

The First World War saw aircraft take their place amongst the myriad of weapon systems that form a critical part in modern militaries. The four years of the conflict saw them used in a range of roles, which they continue to fulfil even today, but as the war continued...

The Besler Steam Plane; Not As Insane As You Might Think

The Besler Steam Plane; Not As Insane As You Might Think

The steam engine, foundation of the industrial age. It isn’t wrong to say that steam engines basically created the modern world of today, or at least laid the tracks for it. Steam engines provided the power source for so much of the industrial age that even with the...

The Long War Pt.6; The United Wa State Army (UWSA)

The Long War Pt.6; The United Wa State Army (UWSA)

In this part of the Long War series let’s look at one of the most powerful, controversial and mysterious of the Ethnic Armed Organisations (EAO’s) involved in the long running Myanmar Civil War; the United Wa State Army (UWSA). The Wa people’s origins are as murky as...

SNCASO SO.8000 Narval; Terrible Beauty

SNCASO SO.8000 Narval; Terrible Beauty

With the end of the Second World War, the previous international order was a little disrupted, to put it mildly. Most of the old European colonial powers had, somewhat ironically, suffered occupation and seen their home country’s ravaged and this inspired in them the...