Myanmar: Offensive against the Regime, urban warfare in Sittwe

Featured image: map of Myanmar with Rakhine and its capital, Sittwe. Source: Asia Times

The worsening of the political and military crisis of Myanmar’s Regime continues. In the last weeks there have been new military advances of the insurgency in several areas of the country, including casualties, defections of troops, captured military material and police and military bases taken. Among these triumphs of the people of Myanmar, in these weeks the victories in the State of Rakhine have especially stand out, where the Arakan Army (AA) acts, a member of the Brotherhood Alliance which months ago has launched Operation 1027. Previously there were already advances of the struggle in Rakhine, where military bases were seized and hundreds of military defections to Bangladesh have occurred, as we reported. At the end of last week it was reported a great withdrawal of the regime’s troops in the northern part of Rakhine, and high rank officers involved in the surrender were later sentenced to death due to this withdrawal.

Myanmar’s regime is in a sharpen crisis in Rakhine, and due to this, has unleashed the most brutal and bloody repression, trying to completely destroy the coastal town of Ramree, which at the beginning of the middle of February was bombarded in more than 100 occasions in just a couple of days. During this week, many other Rakhine towns have been indiscriminately bombarded, attacking non-military targets such as markets, temples and even a hospital, which has been hit with larger and destructive bombs than used before, according to the AA. This is part of the massacre-campaign against the civilian population by the regime, which is unleashed in all those regions where resistance has a notable presence and local media report massacres in numerous places.

Despite the terror campaign of the regime, these weeks the advance has continued and now Rakhine’s own capital, Sittwe, is beginning to witness the first combats in its streets. Witnesses and local sources report that the regime has decided to blow up access bridges to Sittwe to prevent the advance of AA troops, but this has been useless. At the same time, the high military and administrative ranks of the regime have abandoned the city towards Thandwe, which is 200 kilometers to the south. Sittwe is in total crisis, with internet and telephone signal cuts, remittance transfer cuts from abroad, and many businesses closed for months. The advance towards the capital has been continuous by the AA, which has been taking towns, military bases and police police stations until practically surrounding the city, and most of the State of Rakhine is under the control of the AA.

Military equipment seized in a base in Rakhine. Source: Arakan Army

Once again the struggle of the people against the regime in Myanmar has shown that the bureaucratic-big landlord regimes cannot do anything else than increase repression and their crimes against the people, but this is useless to stop the struggle, because it encourages and pushes the masses to the war and accelerating the fall of the regimes of the local ruling classes and their imperialists masters.

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