PDF forces claim helicopter shot down in Homalin battle Sagaing division

Narinjara News, February 4, 2023

One helicopter of the Military Council was shot down during a battle that took place on the afternoon of February 3 near the new town of Shwe Pyi Aye, Homalin Township, Sagaing Division, according to the National Unity Government (NUG).


In the area, there was an exchange of fire between the Military Council forces and the Peoples Defense Force and allies. At 3:45 p.m., the helicopter was shot down. It appears to be first time that resistance forces have downed any military aircraft.


Fighting has been going on since around noon. Seeing the Military Council’s helicopter hovering, it was shot it down in a joint operation with allied resistance forces. We are satisfied with the success. But we are saddened by the loss of our comrades, said a member of the Peoples Defense Forces.


Peoples Defense Force (PDF) Khanti District Battalion (1) - Homalin, HPDF - 124, HPDF, HPDF Moe Gyo, Peoples Defense Forces (PDF) and allied forces managed to crash the helicopter.


Sagaing in central Myanmar has seen heavy fighting, with scorched earth tactics used by the Myanmar junta forces.PDFs are typically too poorly equipped to be able to shoot down helicopters or fighter aircraft. It is not known exactly how they were to down the helicopter.


Janes Magazine Defence analyst Tony Davis who frequently publishes stories on the Myanmar war, cautions that “if the helicopter really was shot down, it could only happen when it was hovering to take off or land based on PDF ‘s modest access to small arms.”


He also noted that “ last year a PDF claim of destroying aircraft at Magway airport proved to be unfounded.” The NUG statement reported the helicopter was indeed hovering when it was brought down.


NUG also reported 2 members of Peoples Defense Force were killed in the fighting, and 20 Pyu Saw Htee members and soldiers under the Military Council were killed. The Peoples Defense Army (PDF) Khanti District Battalion (1) and allied forces were involved in the attack.