October 23, 2017

US Plans to Carry Out Airstrikes Against ISIS in The Philippines

09 August 2017, 12:18 | Glen Norman

US provides drones to help Philippines fight pro-IS militants

US State Secretary Rex Tillerson gives an opening statement during the Asean-US Ministerial meeting at the sideline of the Association of South East Asian Nations Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and Related Meetings in Manila Philippines. EPA

"The Australian government continues to work with the Philippine government to combat terrorism in the region", she said.

Relations between the U.S. and the Philippines, however, have warmed under Mr Trump's leadership.

He described the crisis in the southern Philippine city of Marawi as a "tragic situation" and said United States forces were providing surveillance aircraft and important advice for the Philippines forces in the battle there.

The US Department of Defense is mulling a plan that would allow the American military to carry out air strikes against the jihadist insurgents from ISIS-affiliated terrorist groups Maute and Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines, according to a report citing defense officials.

8- The Australian government on Tuesday vowed to provide the Philippines an additional USD20 million (roughly PHP798.5 million) over the next four years to help about 360,000 people of the Marawi City conflict.

By undertaking these extraterritorial forays, the USA is invoking "collective self-defense" to justify the use of its MQ-9 Reaper drones and other unmanned aircraft to attack the Maute Group in Marawi City and other Moro armed group, as well.

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Two days later, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law on the southern island of Mindanao, which is often subjected to attacks by Islamic State-linked terror groups.

In June, a small group of United States special forces joined the battle.

The Defense Department is now considering a plan that will allow the use of American airpower against any ISIS targets that pose a threat to U.S.

NBC reports the strikes would be part of an official military operation that could be announced as early as Tuesday. The adoption of such a plan would be a boon to Philippine forces and mark a marked uptick in USA involvement in the ongoing fight against terror in Mindanao that has displaced thousands.

The military also admitted it allowed the USA and Australia fly their P3 Orion surveillance planes to conduct aerial reconnaissance over Marawi to help locate the terrorists.

Pentagon spokesperson Capt. Jeff Davis said the USA military has had a presence in the Philippines for 15 years.

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"We have had a consistent CT [counterterror] presence in the Philippines for fifteen years now", he was quoted as saying.

There is a small USA military presence on the ground supporting the counter-ISIS fight, called Joint Special Operations Task Force Trident.

Under the agreement, the military admitted it allowed the USA to provide technical assistance to the Filipino soldiers as well as armaments in the Marawi crisis.

The Department of National Defense said there were no discussions between them and the USA regarding the use of drones against militants in the Philippines.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said Monday after a meeting in Manila with America's top diplomat that human rights were not up for discussion.

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