Local defence forces’ joint operation met with Myanmar air force airstrikes in Thantlang

March 17th, 2023  •  Author:   Myanmar Witness  •  2 minute read
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Report Published: 17 Mar 2023

Thantlang: a battle-ground once again

Key Event Details

  • Location of Incident: Thantlang (ထန်တလန်), Chin State (ချင်းပြည်နယ်), [22.689766,93.428483].

  • Date/Time of Incident:

  • Multiple events between 29 Dec 2022 and 26 Feb 2023

  • Alleged Perpetrator(s) and/or Involvement:

  • Myanmar Air Force (MAF)

  • State Administration Council (SAC)

  • Chin National Army (CNA)

  • Chin Defense Force (CDF)

  • Summary of Investigation

  • Thantlang is an area of known resistance between local defence forces (CDF and CNA) and the SAC.

  • Multiple incidents were reported in Thantlang over a two month period, including airstrikes, drone attacks and ground battles.

  • Across a two-month period, Myanmar Witness has verified footage showing smoke in the area, the destruction of a CDF base, the destruction of a police station and aircraft in the area.

  • Myanmar Witness has also identified claims of additional airstrikes and attacks, which could be not verified at present.


On 29 December 2022, according to the Chin Defense Force (CDF), the ‘Tilim Operation’ commenced. The operation targeted an SAC base in Thantlang and involved CDF-Thantlang and Chin National Army (CNA) joint forces. Myanmar Witness has investigated events during the two-month operation between 29 December 2022 and 27 February 2023. During the operation, the Chin Journal reported that, in Thantlang alone, 20 SAC troops were killed, six people were arrested and approximately 50 guns were seized.

Multiple reports in early January 2023 indicate that fighting took place in the Thantlang area. Ground battles between the State Administration Council (SAC) forces and the CNA/CDF-Thantlang joint forces were reported, and on the morning of 1 January 2023, the CNA and CDF-Thantlang joint forces allegedly attacked a location where SAC troops were camped. 

There have been multiple sightings of Myanmar Air Force (MAF) fighter jets in the area. On 10 and 11 January 2023, the CDF’s headquarters (Camp Victoria), near the Indian border, was hit by a MAF airstrike. This was investigated and verified by Myanmar Witness. Although the Chin National Front (CNF) announced that the SAC conducted 115 airstrikes in four townships within Chin State between January 2023 and February 2023, this cannot be fully verified by Myanmar Witness. 

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