Report: Myanmar Used Fuel-Air Explosive Against Civilians

Image copyright: Kyunhla Activists Group [via AP]

The Facts

  • Human Rights Watch on Tuesday alleged that Myanmar's military dropped a fuel-air explosive — also known as a thermobaric or vacuum bomb — in an airstrike that killed over 160 civilians last month, violating international humanitarian law and possibly amounting to a war crime.

  • The group based its conclusion on 59 photos of corpses and a video of the site after the strike, as well as eight photographs and two videos of the remnants of the weapons posted online and presented by the opposition National Unity Government (NUG).

The Spin

Establishment-critical narrative

Regional stakeholders such as ASEAN and China have sought to smooth things over to ensure peace and stability in Myanmar, but Western support for armed resistance and extremist political action have bolstered pro-NUG militants to descend the country into civil war. Myanmar is in chaos, and the NUG's calls for revolution will only make it worse.

Pro-establishment narrative

The international community must remain firm against Myanmar's war-criminal military rule, imposing further coordinated sanctions on the junta and supporting the pro-democracy shadow National Unity Government. Otherwise, the military will continue to step up its aerial offensive to indiscriminately kill civilians and violently suppress resistance to its takeover.

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