Myanmar: Rebels Claim to Have Shot Down Fighter Jet

    Photo: Wikimedia Commons

    The Facts

    • The Karenni Nationalities Defence Force (KNDF), a Myanmar-based insurgent group, has reportedly claimed responsibility for downing a fighter jet in Kayah State in the east of the country on Saturday during clashes with the military.

    • Previously, Junta spokesperson Zaw Min Tun said that the jet went down due to a technical error and that both pilots had successfully escaped and were in contact with the armed forces.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    This is a significant achievement for the resistance forces in northeastern Myanmar, which until now, have had no effective defense against air attacks. This incident is part of an ongoing offensive that has given the Junta a serious problem, cutting off trade routes to China and threatening tax revenues. If the regime can't mount a decisive response, it will be considered a sign of significant weakness.

    Narrative B

    The rebel alliance in the northeast is seriously threatening Myanmar's military regime, and the leadership is feeling the heat. The president has admitted that, if its military can't contain the situation, the rebels could break the country apart. The junta must therefore target efforts on the rebel-controlled areas and regain control over the border regions in order to reassert stability in the country.

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