Myanmar pro-democracy commander says latest offensive could be turning point

A commander of Myanmar's pro-democracy forces has said their ongoing offensive with ethnic militants could be a turning point in their fight against the country's military junta.

Militants from three ethnic minority groups backing the pro-democracy forces jointly launched the attack late last month against the military, which has been in power since a coup in 2021.

The commander said the offensive could put significant psychological pressure on the military, and could also have a long-term impact on its position and stability.

The pro-democracy forces said about 260 people -- soldiers and their relatives -- surrendered in the eastern state of Shan on Sunday.

They added that more than 30 soldiers also turned themselves in in the neighboring state of Kayah on Wednesday.

Analysts say the rare mass surrenders show that the pro-democracy offensive is disrupting the military's control of its forces.