Srettha Urges Foreign Ministry, Army To Contain Border Conflict

Myanmar must take steps to prevent the conflict in the border town of Myawaddy from affecting Thai territory, stated Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin.

The premier directed the Foreign Ministry and the Army to engage in talks with their counterparts in Myanmar.

Speaking to the reporters in Bangkok on Thursday, Mr. Srettha spoke about the continuing strife between Myanmar’s military and the KNU (Karen National Union) forces in Myawaddy, located along the border near Mae Sot.

While there are reports of the seizure of the 275th Infantry Battalion in Myawaddy, Myanmar’s officials maintain that they have retained control.

In response to inquiries, Mr. Srettha mentioned that while it is an internal issue for Myanmar, it is crucial for the Thai military and Foreign Ministry to ensure the conflict does not extend into Thailand.

He further mentioned his intention to converse with the Royal Thai Air Force commander regarding a possible combat scenario, emphasizing that Thailand’s airspace sovereignty is non-negotiable.

Regarding the use of Thailand’s F-16 fighter jets to control airspace, Mr. Srettha considered it a possibility but expressed his reluctance to heighten tensions with Myanmar.

The premier emphasized the necessity of ongoing observation to evaluate the extent of the situation, pointing out that conditions in Mae Sot are controllable.

Lt-General Prasarn Saeangsirirak, commander of the 3rd Army Area, noted that despite some transport challenges and road blockages, the cross-border movement and trade continue.

Located about 7 kilometers from Mae Sot, the Pha Sone Camp is the focal point of the conflict, and the military is preparing for any potential incursions, though none have been reported yet.