Smoke rises after Philippine Air Force fighter jets bomb suspected locations of Muslim militants in Marawi. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila, File)
Your feedback is important to us!
We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.
Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.
Alert: If you are facing problems with posting comments, please note that you must verify your email with Disqus prior to posting a comment. follow this link to make sure your account meets the requirements. (http://bit.ly/vDisqus)
Southeast Asia's militants who fought by the hundreds for Daesh (ISIS) in Iraq and Syria now have a different battle closer to home in the southern Philippines.The recent assault by Daesh-aligned fighters on the Philippine city of Marawi has left more than 300 people dead, exposing the shortcomings of local security forces and the extremist group's spreading reach in a region where counterterrorism gains are coming undone.Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told Congress last week a long-running U.S. military operation to help Philippine forces contain extremist fighters was canceled prematurely three years ago. U.S. intelligence and counterterrorism officials note that Daesh has publicly accepted pledges from various groups in the Philippines.The same men were instrumental in the 9/11 attacks on the United States.More than 500 U.S. special forces troops were based in the Mindanao region from 2002 to 2014, advising and training Filipino forces against the Abu Sayyaf, a group notorious for bombings and kidnappings.Supporting the Philippines isn't straightforward in Washington. The Pentagon retains between 50 and 100 special forces troops in the region.
FOLLOW THIS ARTICLE