Witness Accounts of Myanmar Army Defeated Counter Terrorist Operation—Renamed for Clearance Operation—in Kyauk Tan Village Track After Arakan Army Killed More Than 100 Troops and Encircling a Tactical Military Base in Rakhine State

Wounded Myanmar soldiers from LID-77 in Rakhine State in 2020. 

AN. Sittway. July 26, 2020. 
He said,” The more I lie, the most my fellow soldiers will be killed. Thus, I will tell the truth to my colleagues from now on.” 
300 combination troops of Myanmar army have been attacking Arakan Army bases near Aung Thar Zay and Kyauk Tan villages since June 26, forcing 30,000 villagers out of homes and wounded a half dozen civilian, in order to reopen its supply line. But local residents and analysts say the ‘clearance operation’ is defeated and more than 100 troops were killed.

“No. No. AA is winning. In addition, AA has been encircling and blocking entire battalion of 150 Myanmar troops in Yae Soe Chaung’s Military Tactical Base (YSC-MTB) since March 2020. They are starving after AA cut off its supply line,” U Than Aung* local resident of Htee Swea village said. 

He told our news reporters as mentioning above when asked how Myanmar military is effectively conducting the operation and attacking AA bases near Aung Thar Zay and Kyauk Tan villages in recent days. 

Myanmar army issued a statement on July 16 and said it would conduct “counter terrorist operation” to reopen the road—connecting to Sing Dan village in Buthedaung township from Rathedaung.

Arakan Army has been controlling and blocking the road and military supply line to the YSC-MTB since March, shortly before Myanmar government designated AA as terrorist organization. 

“First, Myanmar army tried to retake Kyauk Tan and Aung Thar Zay villages in order to reopen the supply line to Yea Soe Chaung base. First, they attacked AA in Kyauk Tan village on June 26. But AA killed 30 Myanmar troops during the first attack. Again, they have moved to Aung Thar Zay village and attacking AA since June 28,” said a local analyst who does not want to publish his name for security reason. 

He said, “The military operation in Kyauk Tan village tract is defeated at least for this raining season. They cannot reopen the road. Moreover, Myanmar army is very confused when AA attacked a couple of police stations and military convey in the west of May Yu mountain range and on Ah Ngu Maw—Maungdaw Highway, where dozens of police and military personnel were killed since May.”

AA claimed it has killed more than 100 Myanmar troops in Kyauk Tan tract since June 27. Local people have confirmed Myanmar troops are suffering a lot in the operation. 

“The soldier has to pay 500 Kyat for an egg in Yae Soe Chang village when the normal price of an egg is about 50 Kyat. They do not give any trouble to the local residents. Without these villagers, the soldiers do not get foods, a villager from Yea Soe Chaung told our news. 

He said 150 troops from the base were sent to Paletwa, Chin State, in last summer and never returned back to the base. He assumed most were killed and some were kept in military bases in Chin State. 

Until last week of May, there were less than 100 soldiers in the base. It was lucky enough three navy landing crafts were able to transport 150 more troops to the base through May Yu river. The navy dropped off the troops at Pyin Taw village on May 30. 

Our news interviewed a resident from Aug Zay Gone village when the navy were heading to north in the river while firing guns and shells into villages located near the river and injured several villagers on May 30. 

“May Yu river is the only water transportation but very limited Myanmar army can use for supply line. But it is also very dangerous route because most of the times AA commandos attack the navy,” the analyst said. 

He said, “Another small and narrow brook from Htee Swea military base to Yea Soe Chaung base is also controlled by AA. Then the road has been blocked. How can you support and supply your troops? It may be your own luck or kind hearts of AA fighters at this moment; otherwise, every single troop of Myanmar army had been slaughtered.” 

The battle in Aung Thar Zay village is one of the longest fight between AA and Myanmar army after Mi Wa in Paletwa township and Buddaw village in Ponnaygun township, where Myanmar army defended and rescued its troops for not more than 60 days with the heavy air supports.

Yea Soe Chaing MTB has been encircled and rounded up by AA fighters for more than 6 months. Myanmar army has been trying to recuse the base for more than 6 months, but it is progressing no where expect forcing more communities out of their villages and feel good for media propaganda. 

“Three days ago, about 100 soldiers tried to come out of the YSC-MTB in order to join the forces near Aung Thar Zay, but AA fighters kicked of machine guns for half an hour. Then the Myanmar soldiers ran back to their base,” said U Than Aung. 

He said Myanmar army sent 80 more reinforcement troops, rations, and ammunitions near Htee Swea military base by navy landing craft on July 25. He said these navy were coming from Sitwtay.
He said, "I have heard news that the major showdown and attack by Myanmar army on AA bases in Aung Thar Zay will be taken places on July 28 and 29. 
“Myanmar soldiers attacked AA last night at 9 pm while firing tracers. The similar attack took places two nights ago. These kinds of night attack provided a good opportunity for the AA fighters because they could kill Myanmar troops as many as they wish in close range fight,” he said. 

The analyst stresses Myanmar army has more fire power, but they have lack of reinforcement troops. 

He said artillery firepower becomes ineffective when Myanmar troops encounter with much more stronger and outnumber of AA fighters because the morale of the government troops are already-pretty down and unwilling to fight.

“Think this way, when you have 100 troops, but 30 of your soldiers are killed, but you get immediate order from your superior to attack AA again. What will you do? That is why a couple of commanders were sacked in Htee Swea military base, and some battalions were replaced with new fighters in Kyauktaw, Maungdaw, and Sittway townships because they don’t follow every order their superiors give to,” he said. 

Some family members of fallen soldiers in Minbya township on July 20, when more than 50 officers and private soldiers were killed by AA, and their supporters were very disappointed by the top generals who handled the situation in Arakan battle poorly.

Some criticized top brass, refers to Snr Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, is brainless and asked why the higher commanders sent the officers to the training school in the battle zones and during the critical condition of intensive war. 

Some of their supporters wrote on their social media they were exhausted in support writing how great Myanmar army was and how bad AA fighters were killed by Myanmar troops. They said on the ground and reality, more Myanmar troops are killed. They said their lies do not help the families of suffered soldiers for relief.

One of the friends of an officer wrote on his Facebook account, “I will not write anything about the battle in Rakhine State and no more because I lied to myself, my fallen soldiers, and their beloved families because I went to the hospital and met my friend out there. He told me 90 soldiers of LID-77 were killed in the Arakan battle front, and the figure is without wounded.”

He said,” The more I lie, the most my fellow soldiers will be killed. Thus, I will tell the truth to my colleagues from now on.” 


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