U.S. Sanctions Myanmar Junta Jet Fuel Suppliers After Airstrikes on Civilians

The U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets (OFA) said it sanctioned two individuals and six entities for supplying Myanmar’s military junta with jet fuel and military equipment as the military’s brutal campaign against civilians intensifies.

Myanmar ArmyMyanmar military during the March 27 Armed Forces Day in 2021. (Photo: Mil.ru, Wikimedia, License)Myanmar’s decades-long internal conflict escalated following the February 2021 coup when the military deposed and arrested democratically-elected Prime Minister Aung San Suu Kyi.

In its campaign against the insurgents, who control 40-50% of the territory according to some estimates, the junta has been increasingly relying on airstrikes using unguided munitions, often targeting civilian areas.

The OFA’s statement cited airstrikes from 2022 on the village of Let Yet Kone in central Myanmar, which hit a local school, and in the northern state of Kachin, which killed 80 people attending a concert.

It specified that the sanctioned subjects enabled the military’s continuing atrocities and mentioned that civil society organizations previously pointed out that without jet fuel, the military would have no means to power its brutal air attacks.

The sanctions were in particular imposed on three local companies, Asia Sun Group, Asia Sun Trading Co. Ltd. and Cargo Link Petroleum Logistics Co. Ltd, which were involved in importing jet fuel and distributing it to military bases across Myanmar.

In addition, they targeted a Myanmar national Tun Min Latt and his wife Win Min Soe, who control a total of three companies participating in imports of military equipment, including drones and aircraft parts, for the Myanmar military.

The companies, including Star Sapphire Group of Companies, Star Sapphire Group of Companies Limited and Star Sapphire Group Pte. Ltd., were also subjected to the sanctions.

A U.N. report released this month said that the Myanmar military’s use of violence has created a perpetual human rights crisis, adding that regional and global peace efforts have been failing thus far.