Philippines 'Dirty' Duterte facing ‘same ISIS dynamic’ as Assad in Syria
has unleashed ISIS, which forces the Filipino government to come down
hard, to declare martial law, and then the international
organizations will demonize Duterte, Patrick Henningsen, Executive
Editor of 21st Century Wire.com, told RT.
ISIS sets up checkpoints across Marawi, 80 Philippine soldiers killed
25 May, 2017
DAMASCUS, SYRIA (9:45 P.M.) – New details have emerged regarding the ongoing battle for Marawi, a predominately Sunni city in the southern Philippines which is home to over 200,000 residents and witnessed a large-scale ISIS insurgency on Thursday
According to Amaq Agency, some 70 soldiers of the Philippine Armed Forces have been killed in the battle for Marawi since Tuesday while an additional 10 were killed in an ambush on two armored vehicles patrolling the Jolo municipality on the island of Jolo.
In contrast, the Philippine Army said they had only sustained 8 deaths and 31 injuries to their forces while 13 ISIS militants had been killed. Meanwhile, the Phillipine Air Forceconducted dozens of pinpoints airstrikes over the city on Thursday.
Islamic State forces in the Philippines are composed of the two franchise groups, known as Maute and Abu Sayyaf, both of whom have sworn alliegence to ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi.
Pictures of ISIS militants inside Marawi, backing up earlier exclusive reports by Al-Masdar News which indicated jihadists had captured most of the city
ISIS reportedly also captured a lot of military vehicles, ammunition storages and weapons from the Philippine Army which temporarily withdrew from much of the city on Tuesday, allowing ISIS to capture Marawi’s main hospital, police station and prison among other key facilities.
Some 500 ISIS insurgents are estimated to be scattered across Marawi, controlling much of the city despite a somewhat succesful army counter-offensive on Thursday.ALSO READ
Unless Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and his army are able to defeat the jihadist rebellion quickly, the Islamic State may use Marawi as regional capital to expand its influence in southeast Asia
The people of the Philippines are facing an uncertain future after President Rodrigo Roa Duterte's declaration of martial law in the Mindanao province, population 22 million, following a flare-up of violence between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the small Islamist Maute militant group. Increasingly, mass movements of poor people across the Southeast Asian nation are feeling that the brash, and unpredictable president is attempting to cast himself in the mold of a dictator, the head of a military junta, on the flimsy pretext of the Maute group's “terrorist threat.”
“Declaring martial law all over Mindanao because of turmoil and clashes in one of its cities is definitely an overreaction,” Professor Roland Simbulan of the University of the Philippines, Manila told teleSUR, pointing to Duterte's earlier threats to declare martial law as part of his bloody anti-drug campaign. Simbulan is a noted scholar of Philippine-U.S. relations, and of the U.S.-funded militarization of the country in particular.
“Now, the Maute group in one city in Mindanao has given him an excuse to use his martial law powers,” Simbulan added. “In the United States, even the most serious national security threats such as the 9/11 attacks against the very centers of political and economic power in the U.S. didn't merit such a declaration to deal with the situation.”