In January, the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) shot down two regime aircraft.
KIA troops took down a State Administration Council (SAC) transport helicopter sending rations to its soldiers in Ner Hpawt (also called Nahpaw) camp in Waingmaw Township on January 3. The aircraft was traveling from an airbase in Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin State.
The pilot, Maj Zaw Myo Thant (42), Second Warrant Officer Capt Kaung San, sergeants Win Myo Tun, Soe Lwin Oo, Myo Min Oo, Wai Yan Oo, Swam Htet Aung and an identified soldier were killed when the transport helicopter crashed near Ner Hpawt military camp, located not far from KIA’s political wing, the Kachin Independence Organisation’s Laiza headquarters.
On January 16, Kachin soldiers shot down a SAC jet fighter during clashes in Namphetka in Kutkai Township. The plane had been sent from the Tantar Oo airbase.
Col Nphang Naw Bu, who is the head of KIO’s information department, confirmed the news about the downed jet fighter but couldn’t provide additional details.
KIA started attacking SAC’s Infantry Battalion 123 in the Namphetka area on December 29, and after an 18-day offensive, seized its headquarters on January 15. An airstrike was called in, and that’s when the Kachin armed group took down the jet fighter.
Three months after the military coup on May 3, 2021, KIA shot down a combat helicopter.