Myanmar bombs its own children / people. NO target appears to be off limit for Myanmar's military, which has made attacking civilian structures central to its war against opposition groups.

The New York Times verified videos and photographs, analyzed data and satellite imagery and interviewed residents. The evidence shows that brutality against civilians is escalating.

Internet shutdowns and digital surveillance prevent much information from trickling beyond Myanmar's borders. But behind the veil of secrecy, the military is carrying out a devastating and indiscriminate campaign of violence.

EVEN for a country long notorious for military abuses, the violence and humanitarian crisis now are unprecedented, many experts say.

Myanmar has experienced nearly continuous conflict since its independence in 1948. The country's military holds unusual power, having ruled for decades and often using force to squelch opposition.

Its abuses in 2017 prompted international outrage when an ethnic cleansing campaign against Rohingya Muslims set off one of the largest refugee crises in history.

Then in 2021, the military staged a coup after an election, setting off protests. When demonstrators were met with a violent crackdown, the Opposition's National Unity Government, led by ousted politicians and activists, established an armed resistant force.    

The opposition and its allied forces now effectively control half of the country. As they have gained ground, the military has resorted to increasing air attacks - many of which hit civilians.

Data shows that nearly twice as many military airstrikes were reported in April, May and June as in the first three months of this year.

Visual evidence analyzed by The Times and witnesses' accounts convey what the escalation looks like on the ground - and how attacks against civilians are essential to the military's strategy.

That strategy is to punish the civilian population for any perceived support for the opposition, said Anthony Davis, an analyst for the Jane group of military publications and an expert on the Myanmar military.

'' It's about burning villages, bombing villages and forcing the civilian population out of villages, '' Mr. Davis said.

Some of these tactics were once used against the Rohingya population in Rakhine State, where the jaunta displaced around one million people.

Since the February 2021 coup, 1.5 million people have been displaced, according to a report released by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in June.

Local organizations have estimated the number to be significantly higher.

This worrying and sad publishing continues. The World Students Society thanks authors Haley Willis and Weiyi Cai.


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