Burma Army on alert after unidentified UAVs spotted
The following article is reprinted with permission from Shan Herald Agency for News (S.H.A.N.), Thailand.
Burma Army on alert after UAVs invaded its air force
By Hseng Khio Fah
January 6, 2011
Air Force of the Burma’s ruling military junta has recently given a tall directive to battalions in Shan State East’s Kengtung township under Triangle Region Command, to arm their weapons to be ready to shoot any type of plane that flies over their army bases, according to sources from Kengtung.
The directive followed invasions of UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) on the Burma Army’s radar station based in Loi Mwe, 20 miles southeast of Kengtung and 82 miles north of Maesai, Thailand on December 21 at around 11:00 and again on 1 January 2011 in Shan State South’s Namzarng-based air force.
“The planes appeared from somewhere along the Thai-Burma border areas, but it was not known who the owners were. It flew about 3 minutes long with the height of 5,000 ft. It was seen by some officers from the air force based on the Loi Mew Mountain,” said a source close to junta in Kengtung.
The directive therefore was passed to all soldiers to inform relevant military headquarters and air force in time if they see more planes come up again. In addition, the soldiers were also ordered to arm all their anti-aircraft guns and to place Igla Missile on 24 hour-standby.
“In order to be line with the order, they [the junta authorities] are also planning to give military training,” the source added.
Regarding the reason for the UAV movements, some border watchers on the Thai-Burma border commented that the planes would come to check poppy plantations being planted along the border as it is poppy growing season. Some people in Burma thought that the UAVs also came to investigate the Burma Army’s movement.
While it is not known who sent the UAVs, neighboring countries of Burma that have them are Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, China and Hong Kong.