By Thai Newsroom Reporters
TWO OF THE THAI air force’s F-16 fighter jets today (June 30) took to the sky over the Thai-Myanmar border to deter a surprise flyby of a Myanmar MiG-29 jet reported to have intruded into Thai airspace.
Thai air force spokesman VM Prapat Sonjaidee confirmed that the Myanmar MiG-29 Fulcrum fighter jet had reportedly flown at low altitude for about 15 minutes during a mid-morning hour in Thai airspace over Popphra district of Tak, across the shared border from Myawaddy township in southern Myanmar, prompting the Thai F-16 Fighting Falcon jets from Takhli air base to intercept the reportedly intruding jet.
However, the MiG-29 jet flew back into Myanmar airspace over Myawaddy township and did not engage in standoff mode with the otherwise-approaching F-16s, according to the air force spokesman.
Myanmar’s fighter jets and helicopters have reportedly launched missile fires and bombardments onto Karen rebel bases in and around Myawaddy, scaring away villagers on both sides of the common border.
Thai villagers in Wale subdistrict of Popphra spotted the low-flying MiG-29 jet over Thai airspace minutes before the F-16 arrived and were evacuated to safety in the wake of the Myanmar aerial attacks on the Karen rebels along the border.
Top: The intruding Myanmar MiG-29 jet, right, and the two Thai F-16 fighter jets flying in to intercept it, left.
Front Page: File photo of Thai air force officers getting ready to take off in their fighter jets. Credit: Matichon