Philippines says US troops on the ground near besieged Marawi City

Share
Philippines says US troops on the ground near besieged Marawi City

President Rodrigo Duterte has said the attack on Marawi is part of a wider plot by Islamic State to establish a base in the southern region of Mindanao, home to 20-million people.

The military told Reuters that 290 people have been killed so far, including 206 militants, 58 soldiers and 26 civilians.

Camalia Baunto, who has left her six children with her in-laws outside of Marawi, said she was determined to wait for her husband.

The American diplomat also expressed the Americans' admiration of the "resilience and strength of Filipino people in battling adversity".

USA military officials say American troops are not involved in the fighting, but they are helping with intelligence gathering in Marawi City.

Duterte's statement directly contradicts that of US officials. "But they are not allowed to fight, they only provide support".

USA military officials say troops are providing help with technical expertise in flying drones and P3 surveillance planes.

Three U.S. officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the diplomatic sensitivity of the issue, said last week that the Pentagon was open to providing assistance, but that the Philippines had not asked for any.

More than 1,600 residents have been rescued from the scenes of heavy fighting, many of them still shell-shocked and starving while some were wounded.

But despite that inherent advantage, the U.S. has never failed to do all it can to make sure that, in addition to elite support, it will continue to enjoy the ordinary Filipino's belief and trust in the goodness, benevolence and altruism of his country's former colonizer by demonstrating at every opportunity how much the Philippines needs its "friendship".

He declined to say how many USA troops were in Marawi, saying only that they were "very few".

Debris flies in the air as Philippine Air Force fighter jets bomb suspected locations of Muslim militants as fighting continues in Marawi city, southern Philippines Friday, June 9, 2017. "I didn't look at them because I was running".

"Our soldiers are pro-American, that I can not deny", Duterte said.

Hapilon, the leader of the Islamic State in Southeast Asia, is also on the Federal Bureau of Investigation most-wanted-terrorists list, with a $5 million bounty being offered for his capture.

"I'm sorry, I'm talking about the estimated number of trapped residents", he told reporters.

In 2002, the US opened a so-called "second front" on terrorism on Mindanao.

United States forces "are allowed to carry rifles for self-defense".

Indeed, Marawi remains a very unsafe place as the Philippine government tries to regain control of the city, a Muslim area on the southern island of Mindanao. "It does not involve any boots on the ground, nor is there any direct participation in combat operations, a matter prohibited by law".

Duterte on Sunday said he "never approached America" for help. He also declared Manila's shift away from Washington in favor of his administration's independent policy.

Duterte repeatedly clashed with the US's former administration over his anti-drug campaign, which was criticized by former president Barack Obama and rights groups.

Duterte said then his doctor made him stop using it on learning he was "abusing the drug" by using more than the prescribed amount.

Share

Advertisement

Related Posts

Champions Trophy 2017: Pakistan outplay England by eight wickets, reach final
Medium-fast Rumman Raees took 2/44 off nine overs on an impressive ODI debut, being called up late to replace Mohammad Amir. We continue to learn, everything we did was calculated, but Pakistan had played on the wicket previously and that helped.

Steve Scalise remains in critical condition, undergoes third surgery
The assailant, prepared with "a lot of ammo", fought a gun battle with police before he, too, was shot and later died. Capitol Police officers in Scalise's security detail returned fire, and Hodgkinson later died from his wounds.

Comeback king Yuvraj set for ODI milestone in semis
Mashrafe, looking back on the historic big matches, the Bangladesh Twenty20 match against India , you could not manage to win it. So even if we look at the last match, when Ross [Taylor] and [Kane] Williamson batted really well, we came back strongly.

Pittsburgh wins 2nd straight Stanley Cup title
And with 33 points in 40 games with the Penguins , he was on pace to finish second behind Auston Matthews in rookie scoring. Rainnie said numerous people who drop in during the summer months are American tourists off cruise ships.

Patty Jenkins dons 'Wonder Woman' cuff at AFI event
Most notable is Barbara Ann Minerva, an archaeologist who became friends with Diana only to betray her and steal her golden lasso. The final product managed to exceed financial and critical expectations, and has legions of fans worshiping at Jenkins' feet.

A massive high rise fire in London has killed 6 people
The causes of the fire, one of the biggest in London in memory, were not immediately known. "I've never seen anything like this". But, the fire seemed to tear up the building from the outside, gutting the outer apartments and blackening most of the facade.

London Tower Block Fire Rises to 17, More Feared Dead
Ms Trevisan reportedly called her mother at 3am, saying a fire had broken out in the building and they were waiting for help. In addition, 74 people were injured in the blaze, with 37 hospitalized and 17 of them still in critical condition.

Trump calls former FBI Director James Comey's actions 'cowardly' in tweet
Sessions, whose contacts with Russia's ambassador to the U.S. "Who would ask a man to pledge allegiance under oath?" As for those tapes Trump claims he has, Congressional investigators said they want them if they, in fact, exist.

Kyrie Irving Reveals Special Bond With LeBron James In Inspiring Tribute
So I probably will be back in the my gym in the next couple days just because it's just who I am. Guys like Steph Curry welcoming him and kind of let him shine, it worked out like it should".

Trump to tout apprenticeships as way to fill jobs gap
We're here today to talk about the dignity of work and the greatness of the American worker - and also loving the work you do. The two Milwaukee-based companies promise to focus on USA military veterans who are re-entering the civilian workforce.

© 2015 ExpressNewsline. All Rights reserved.