Burmese Air Force fighter planes made several runs on Tuesday over the strategic Ntap Bum mountain base of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in Kachin State, Northern Burma, eyewitnesses said.
According to one eyewitness, Burmese war planes also air-dropped rations and military personnel near the mountain in the morning.
A KIA officer on the frontline told Kachin News Group over telephone, “Yes, Burmese fighter planes are flying around Ntap Bum since this morning. There is no fighting between ground troops from the two sides so far”.
Yesterday, over 200 Burmese Army troops on the mountain withdrew to the mountainsides after they were attacked the whole day by the KIA, added the KIA officer.
In geographical and military terms it is a strategic mountain because if Burmese Army troops take control of the mountain, then it will pave the way to overrun KIA-controlled Shadan Pa valley and KIA’s Laiza headquarters, local people pointed out.
Fierce fighting between government troops and the KIA has occurred in Ntap Bum Mountain since last weekend.
On October 29, four KIA soldiers on being attacked by Burmese troops with poison gas, felt weak and lay down on the ground and continued to retch and vomit.
The Burmese Army is using soft chemical weapons in the ongoing five-month civil war in Northern Shan State and Kachin State against the KIA, according to KIA soldiers, who faced the brunt of poison gas.
According to KIA officials, heavy fighting will commence soon if the Burmese Army sends reinforcements to the Ntap Bum Mountain.