NAYPYITAW, Myanmar - According to locals and sources within the armed resistance movement, the Myanmar military deployed thousands of troops to upper Myanmar recently that looks like preparing for a concerted push to crush an anti-coup uprising that inflicted heavy casualties on the junta army.
The sources said that a heavy build-up of military forces was observed in Chin State and Sagaing and Magway regions since the beginning of the month. This follows months of continued clashes between junta troops and local resistance groups operating as part of the People's Defence Force (PDF) formed by the shadow National Unity Government (NUG).
The NUG released figures showing that the army has suffered at least 1,500 casualties in more than 700 armed conflicts in the past months in the regions now under the most intense pressure.
In retaliation, the regime attacked many villages, forcing tens of thousands of civilians to flee. Internet access in 25 townships has also been shut down. Many see it as further evidence of the regime's plans to carry out decisive military operations likely to increase civilian casualties dramatically.
On Sunday, a military aircraft evacuated around 30 family members of high-ranking army personnel based in Kalay, according to a town resident who spoke on condition of anonymity. The evacuation has raised fears that the army is planning to launch attacks in the region soon, he added.
"There have been a lot of military planes landing and taking off recently, as well as military reinforcements and tanks. People are saying there will be serious clashes soon. So that may be why the families of army personnel left," a PDF source said, insisting anonymity.
The person added that his group and its allies are ready for the military's offensives but need more assistance from the NUG to combat an enemy with more advanced weapons and no qualms about using indiscriminate, excessive force.