Surgical Strike: The Eastern Frontier

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While the rest of India and the world focused on the aftermath of the Pulwama attack in Jammu & Kashmir. Indian army with the aid of Myanmar troops carried out an operation for weeks rooting out the terrorists belonging to Arakan Army which are trained by Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in Kachin state of Myanmar. Kachin Rebels are formidable group with estimated strength of 10,000 and huge cache of arms many of whom in the past have been received from China. China has big influence on the two groups operating in the Kachin border district of Myanmar. China had earlier mediated between KIA rebels & Myanmar military while United Wa State Army (UWSA) another insurgent group in the region had repudiated the national ceasefire & instead sought Chinese mediation with Myanmar authorities. Chinese have huge commercial interest in Kachin state which is rich in timbre, gold, jade & other resources.

As per the reports the Arakan army had setup new bases in Myanmar along the Mizoram border in India targeting the Kaladan Project. The insurgents had reportedly traveled 1000 Kms from areas near Arunachal to Mizoram border with Myanmar. Indian Army comprised of Assam Rifles and other special forces, equipped with drones, military helicopters and surveillance equipment launched an operation on the terror camps across the border in coordination with the Myanmar military. It is also reported that approximately 3000 carders of KIA had moved south close to Lawngtala district of Mizoram. The next target of the anti terrorist operation was NSCN(K) headquarters in Taga. The purpose of the surgical strike was to secure the big infrastructure project connecting Kolkata to Mizoram in North East through Sitwe port in Myanmar. Propagating terror groups in North East India is part of the hybrid warfare strategy of China & Pakistan of opening the eastern front of India fueling terror groups, local ethnic violence in a bid to neutralize Indian actions on its western border on China’s brother in arm Pakistan. India in future would have to contemplate strategies for a Two Front war with Sino-Pak Axis and its proxies in the region which is now a distinct reality.

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