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

Myanmar Witness says open supply investigation exhibits Yak-130 being outfitted with rockets and cannons.

The Myanmar navy has been accused of utilizing Russian-made Yak-130 plane, a two-seat jet coach with floor assault functionality, towards civilians, because it seeks to stamp out opposition to its rule.

Myanmar Witness, a London-based group that collects proof of rights abuses in Myanmar, says it was in a position to confirm open supply investigation a number of events on which unguided rockets and 23mm cannons had been utilized in built-up areas.

“Myanmar Witness has verified the repeated deployment of the Yak-130 – a classy, Russian manufactured, two-seat jet coach with a documented floor assault functionality – in Myanmar,” Myanmar Witness mentioned in its report, which was launched on Friday. “Throughout this investigation, credible stories and geolocation have revealed using the Yak-130 inside populated, civilian areas.”

Among the many newer incidents, video shared on Fb final month confirmed a minimum of one Yak-130 performing two passes and launching a number of salvos of unguided rockets in the direction of the bottom. A second video confirmed a minimum of one Yak-130 performing a minimum of 5 passes and firing about 18 salvos of unguided rockets.

The assaults had been mentioned to have taken place south of Myawaddy Township in southeastern Karen State, the place ethnic armed teams have lengthy been preventing for autonomy and have been offering training and support to civilian militias established to combat again towards the February 2021 coup.

Myanmar Witness geolocated the 2 movies and mentioned they had been filmed simply 200 metres from the Thailand-Myanmar border.

It additionally verified an incident in February 2022, when a minimum of one Yak-130 was recognized collaborating in an operation west of Loikaw, in Kayah State, additionally on the Thai border within the east.

“The indiscriminate employment of subtle assault plane, significantly when employed in coordination with different navy plane, is in stark distinction to the means and strategies employed by these teams who’re seen as insurgents by the Myanmar navy,” the report mentioned.

Myanmar was plunged into disaster in February 2021 when military chief Min Aung Hlaing seized energy from the elected authorities of Aung San Suu Kyi. The coup prompted mass protests and an outpouring of anger to which the navy has responded with drive. Greater than 2,000 folks have been killed within the crackdown, whereas practically 700,000 have been forced to flee their houses, in line with the United Nations.

Russia is a vital provider of weapons and gear to the Myanmar navy and Min Aung Hlaing was in Moscow earlier this month in pursuit of further deals.

Russia delivered 12 plane to Myanmar between 2015 and 2019, when it was below a civilian administration, however in December final 12 months six extra jets had been unveiled on the Meiktila air drive base, Myanmar Witness mentioned.

In March, the USA, Canada and the UK blacklisted senior navy officers, together with the newly-appointed chief of the air drive, over the navy’s escalating violence. The sanctions additionally focused these sourcing and supplying weapons to the air drive.

Rights teams have been urgent the worldwide group to widen sanctions and impose an embargo on gross sales of jet gasoline to Myanmar due to the navy’s repeated air assaults in civilian populations.

Myanmar has to import all its aviation gasoline whether or not for civilian or navy functions.