Sun, 03 Dec 2023

LONDON, UK - Myanmar's military has been accused of using Russian-made Yak-130 aircraft with ground attack capability against civilians to crush the opposition.

Myanmar Witness, a London-based organization collecting evidence of human rights violations in Myanmar, claims to have verified open-source investigations on several occasions in which unguided rockets and 23mm cannons were used in populated areas.

"Myanmar Witness has verified the repeated deployment of the Yak-130 - a sophisticated, Russian-made, two-seat jet trainer with documented ground attack capability - in Myanmar," the report said. "Credible reports and geolocation have revealed the use of the Yak-130 within populated, civilian areas during this investigation."

Among the more recent incidents, a video posted on Facebook last month showed at least one Yak-130 making two passes and launching several salvos of unguided rockets into the ground. A second video showed at least one Yak-130 making at least five passes and throwing approximately 18 barrages of unguided missiles.

The attacks were said to have taken place in southeastern Karen state, where ethnic armed groups have long fought for autonomy and have provided training and support to civilian militias formed to oppose the February 2021 coup.

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

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