A U.S. P3 Orion surveillance aircraft is seen flying over the town of Marawi city, as government troops continue their assault against insurgents from the Maute group, who has taken over large parts of the city, Philippines June 9, 2017. Picture taken June 9, 2017. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco
U.S. special operations forces are assisting the Philippine army in its effort to expel ISIS-affiliated militants from the city of Marawi, Reuters reports, signaling a gradual expansion in the scope of the Trump administration’s intensifying campaign against the jihadist.
Lt. Col. Jo-Ar Herrera, a spokesman for the Armed Forces of the Philippines, told the media June 10 that the new U.S. involvement was confined to the Pentagon’s usual “advise and assist” mission, asserting that special operations forces “are not fighting. They are just providing technical support.”
On May 23, 400 local militants claiming loyalty to ISIS stormed the southern capital of the Lanao del Sur province with assistance from “about 40 foreign fights,” Reuters reported. The AFP deployed some 4,000 ground forces backed by attack helicopters and air strikes.
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Previous Post: U.S. Special Forces Assisting Philippine Troops In Military Operations Against Islamic Militants In Marawi (June 10, 2017).
WNU Editor: What I find surprising about this story is that the Philippine President is in the dark on this U.S. involvement .... Philippines' Duterte not aware of U.S. support against Islamists in Marawi (Reuters).