Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Military Space News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



TERROR WARS
Five-month battle with IS ends in Philippine city: defence chiefs
By Ayee Macaraig
Clark, Philippines (AFP) Oct 23, 2017


Mattis praises Philippines for IS battle
Clark, Philippines (AFP) Oct 23, 2017 - US Defence Secretary James Mattis on Monday praised the Philippines for its successes in battling Islamic State supporters, as he began an Asian trip aimed at reaffirming American support for regional allies.

Mattis echoed Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's statement last week that Filipino forces had "liberated" the southern city of Marawi, after five months of bitter urban fighting that had claimed more than 1,000 lives, even though battles have continued.

"One of the first things I'm going to do when I get there is commend the Philippine military for liberating Marawi from the terrorists," Mattis told reporters on the flight to the Philippines, according to an official transcript.

"It was a very tough fight as you know in southern Mindanao (the local region). And I think the Philippine military sends a very strong message to the terrorists."

Gunmen who had pledged allegiance to IS occupied parts of Marawi, the Islamic capital of the mainly Catholic Philippines, on May 23 in what Duterte said was a bid to establish a Southeast Asian caliphate there.

Hundreds of insurgents withstood a US-backed military campaign, including near daily air strikes and artillery fire, that displaced more than 400,000 people and left large parts of Marawi in ruins.

Duterte last week travelled to Marawi to declare it had been "liberated", a day after the Southeast Asian leader for IS, Isnilon Hapilon, was shot dead there.

However deadly fighting has continued, with the military reporting dozens of militants are still resisting in a small pocket of the city.

Mattis flew to the Philippines to attend a meeting hosted by Southeast Asian defence ministers at the former American military base of Clark, two hours' drive north of Manila.

The Philippines is a former American colony and the two nations are bound by a mutual defence treaty.

But relations have soured under Duterte as he has sought to build closer ties with China and Russia.

Defence ministers from Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and Russia are also scheduled to attend the two-day Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) event.

Mattis' Asia trip, which will also take him to Thailand and South Korea, comes ahead of US President Donald Trump's visit to Asia next month.

Some American allies in the region have become wary of Trump's interest in Asia.

Mattis sought to reassure allies.

"The US remains unambiguously committed to supporting ASEAN," Mattis said.

A five-month battle against Islamic State supporters in the southern Philippines that claimed more than 1,100 lives has ended following a final battle inside a mosque, defence chiefs said on Monday.

The conclusion of the conflict ended immediate fears that IS would establish a Southeast Asian base in the southern city of Marawi. But concerns remained about its longer-term intentions and capabilities for the region.

"We now announce the termination of all combat operations in Marawi," Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana told reporters on the sidelines of a regional security meeting in Clark, a northern Philippine city.

"There are no more militants inside Marawi city."

Hundreds of local and foreign gunmen who had pledged allegiance to IS rampaged through Marawi, the principal Islamic city in the mainly Catholic Philippines, on May 23. They then took over parts of the city using civilians as human shields.

An ensuing US-backed military campaign claimed the lives of at least 920 militants, 165 soldiers and 47 civilians, according to the military.

More than 400,000 residents were displaced as near-daily air strikes and intense ground combat left large parts of the city in ruins.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte travelled to Marawi on Tuesday last week and declared the city had been "liberated", a day after the Southeast Asian leader for IS, a Filipino militant named Isnilon Hapilon, was shot dead there.

However the continued fighting in subsequent days raised questions over whether the city was indeed free of militants.

"The presence of the Maute-ISIS was confined to two buildings: one of them a mosque," armed forces chief General Eduardo Ano told reporters on Monday as he explained the situation in Marawi following Duterte's liberation proclamation.

"That is where the last fighting occurred and that is the place where we rescued (an) additional 20 hostages.

"In that fighting, we gave the chance for these militants and terrorists to surrender. But they fought to the last breath so we had no choice."

The bodies of 42 militants were recovered after the final battle, including two women and five foreigners, according to Ano, who spoke at the same briefing as Lorenzana in Clark.

- Hiding in basements, mosques -

Hapilon, who was on the US government's list of most wanted terrorists, was killed along with one of group's other leaders, Omarkhayam Maute, according to the military.

The militants had been able to defy the relentless bombing raids that destroyed entire neighbourhoods by sheltering in basements and travelling through tunnels, according to the military.

The military had also said its opponents hid inside mosques, and that soldiers had been ordered not to bomb or fire artillery at such buildings.

The Philippines' Muslim minority regards the southern Philippines as its ancestral homeland.

Muslim rebels have been battling in the south since the 1970s for independence or autonomy, with that conflict claiming at least 120,000 lives.

The nation's biggest Muslim rebel group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, is in talks with the government to end the rebellion, and its leaders regularly denounce IS.

But there are more extreme groups with no interest in peace, some of which were originally part of the MILF.

Hapilon and Maute led small armed groups that declared their allegiance to IS in recent years, and they formed an alliance aimed at taking over Marawi and establishing a regional caliphate for the Middle East-based jihadists.

Duterte imposed martial law across the southern third of the Philippines immediately after the Marawi fighting erupted, saying it was needed to contain IS's influence spreading throughout the region.

When asked on Monday whether marital law would be lifted, Lorenzana said a decision had not yet been made.

US Defence Secretary James Mattis on Monday praised the Philippines for its success.

"One of the first things I'm going to do when I get there is commend the Philippine military for liberating Marawi from the terrorists," Mattis told reporters on board a flight to the Philippines to attend the security meeting in Clark.

TERROR WARS
Mattis meets McCain amid tension over deadly Niger ambush
Washington (AFP) Oct 20, 2017
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis visited Congress on Friday to assure Senator John McCain that lines of communication were open, amid demands the Pentagon reveal more about a Niger ambush that killed four US servicemen. Tempers have flared in recent weeks between President Donald Trump's administration and lawmakers frustrated about the lack of clarity regarding the clash with suspected jihadist ... read more

Related Links
The Long War - Doctrine and Application


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

TERROR WARS
Lockheed Martin to develop missile defense tools under DoD deal

Report: Japan eyeing SM-6 missiles for defense program

Lockheed Martin missile defense sensor technology receives prototyping contract

Aegis completes series of air and missile defense tests during NATO exercise

TERROR WARS
'How to survive a N. Korean missile' - in Japanese manga form

State Department approves sale of AMRAAM missiles to Netherlands

Lockheed Martin test of ATACMS missile system successful

Missile test fears as N. Korea marks key party anniversary

TERROR WARS
Drone Aviation awarded contract for Enhanced WASP Tactical Aerostat from US Defense Dept

Death toll from US drone strike in Pakistan rises to 26: officials

UK will not confirm drone death of IS 'White Widow' recruiter

New long range drones expected in 2018

TERROR WARS
NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

82nd Airborne tests in-flight communication system for paratroopers

Harris supplying tactical radios to Navy, Marines

SES GS to Provide More MEO-enabled SATCOM Solutions for U.S. Government

TERROR WARS
Northrop Grumman receives $13 million contract for munition system development

Textron awarded $332.9M contract for mobile strike force vehicles

Kentucky business awarded Army deal for medium tactical vehicle transmissions

Army spotlights newest M1A2 Abrams variant

TERROR WARS
Whistleblower protection bill sent to President as complaints of retaliation grow

UK defence giant BAE Systems to axe almost 2,000 jobs

Leonardo opens new site in Australia

Australia to upgrade submarines, frigates

TERROR WARS
NATO ill-prepared for a Russian attack: report

India welcomes Tillerson call for deeper ties to counter China

Nominee for CIA inspector general grilled over retaliation claims

Xi declares 'new era' for China as party congress opens

TERROR WARS
Long nanotubes make strong fibers

Paper-based supercapacitor uses metal nanoparticles to boost energy density

Nanoscale islands dot light-driven catalyst

Tungsten offers nano-interconnects a path of least resistance




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement