Myanmar’s Armed Forces intensified its crackdown on Monday this week against the Arakan Army, the largest terrorist group in its restive western state of Rakhine. As per the report published in The Irrawaddy, all the three wings of Myanmar’s military—ground, air and naval forces launched a coordinated attack against the terrorist group.
The eyewitness account of the Myanmar’s military operations states that air force jets bombarded three times on the Arakan Army positions in the mountain, aided by the artillery support from the ground troops and naval forces.
Clashes between Myanmar’s military and terror Group Arakan Army has been going on for more than a month now, forcing residents to flee the conflict-torn region. Those who still live in the region claimed that Tuesday’s attacks were fiercest so far, with Myanmar military using jets for aerial attacks. According to them, until now the military only used helicopters to drop the bombs on the suspected Arakan Army locations.
During the period between October 3 to 5, the two sides were engaged in an intense fight over the control of a strategic hill near Aungtharzi between Kyauktan and Hteeswe villages. The Myanmar military said that it had seized the hill on October 4. However, the Arakan Army said it was able to recapture the hill on October 5.
Arakan Army and the history of conflict with Myanmar military
The conflict between the Myanmar military and Arakan Army has been going on ever since the formation of the latter in 2009. The secessionist Arakan Army has been embroiled in a prolonged battle with the Myanmar military.
Arakan Army is the largest terrorist group in the Rakhine state of Myanmar and is the armed wing of the political party, United League of Arakan (ULA).
On March 23 this year, the Myanmar government designated the Arakan Army and ULA as terrorist organisations for “inciting fear” and disrupting the stability of the country by attacking government and civilian targets.
In 2019, the group allegedly attacked four police stations, causing 20 casualties among police officials. Some of the police officials died from their wounds.
It has also been alleged that China has been providing sophisticated weaponry to the Arakan Army to continue its fight against the Myanmar military.