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Photo: Stringer/Getty Images

The defense chiefs of 12 countries, including the U.S., issued a joint statement on Saturday condemning Myanmar's military and security forces for its crackdown on anti-coup demonstrators.

Why it matters: The statement comes after the U.N. called Saturday the deadliest day of protests since the military last month overthrew the country's democratically elected government. Protesters have rallied to restore democracy in the country for nearly two months.

What they're saying: "As Chiefs of Defense, we condemn the use of lethal force against unarmed people by the Myanmar Armed Forces and associated security services," the statement says.

  • "A professional military follows international standards for conduct and is responsible for protecting – not harming – the people it serves."
  • "We urge the Myanmar Armed Forces to cease violence and work to restore respect and credibility with the people of Myanmar that it has lost through its actions."

The statement was issued by the defense chiefs of Australia, Canada, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Denmark, Netherlands, New Zealand, South Korea and the U.K. along with the U.S.

Worth noting: U.S. Ambassador Thomas Vajda also issued a statement Saturday saying that "security forces are murdering unarmed civilians, including children, the very people they swore to protect."

  • "This bloodshed is horrifying," he added. "These are not the actions of a professional military or police force."

Go deeper: Myanmar forces kill more than 100 in deadliest day since coup

Go deeper

Updated Mar 27, 2021 - World

Myanmar security forces kill more than 100 in deadliest day since coup

Protesters demonstrating against the military coup in Yangon, Myanmar, on March 27. Photo: Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Myanmar security forces on Saturday killed more than 100 people, including children, during anti-coup protests, several news agencies reported.

Why it matters: It's the bloodiest day of protests since the military last month overthrew the country's democratically elected government and comes as Myanmar’s military celebrates the annual Armed Forces Day holiday with a parade in the country's capital, Naypyidaw.

Mar 26, 2021 - World

China flies at least 20 war planes in Taiwan airspace

A formation of H-6K bombers flying over Beijing in October 2019. Photo: Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images

At least 20 Chinese military aircraft entered Taiwan's air space on Friday, according to Taiwan's defense ministry.

Why it matters: It is the largest incursion by China's air force since Taiwan's defense ministry has announced almost daily Chinese military exercises into its air space, per Reuters.

Updated 5 hours ago - World

Biden in call with Netanyahu raises concerns about civilian casualties in Gaza

Photo: Ahmad Gharabli/Nicholas Kamm/Getty Images

President Biden spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Saturday and raised concerns about civilian casualties in Gaza and the bombing of the building that housed AP and other media offices, according to Israeli officials.

The big picture: At least 140 Palestinians, including dozens of children, have been killed in Gaza since fighting between Israel and Hamas began Monday, according to Palestinian health officials. Nine people, including two children, have been killed by Hamas rockets in Israel.

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