Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Military Space News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

Tunnels reveal militants' rat-like tactics in Philippine war
Marawi, Philippines (AFP) Oct 25, 2017

The main battle zone in a southern Philippine city seized by Islamic State supporters resembles a tsunami-hit wasteland, with bullet-riddled mosques and a network of tunnels testifying to their hide-and-kill tactics.

Two days after the military declared an end to the five-month conflict in which more than 1,100 people died, scrawny feral dogs and swallows flying above the ruins were among the few signs of life in Marawi's devastated neighbourhoods.

Many buildings were piles of grey rubble as if crushed by a tsunami roaring in from Lake Lanao just behind them.

The pink minaret of one mosque was so riddled with bullets that most of its plaster had been stripped off and just its iron beams remained.

When the gunmen initially rampaged through Marawi, the principal Islamic city in the mainly Catholic Philippines, military commanders expected a relatively brief battle and were surprised at their enemies' ability to hold out for so long.

The military maintained near-daily bombings, with state-of-the-art American radar helping to identify targets, yet the militants could often dodge the explosions.

A brief tour for journalists on Wednesday revealed some of their rat-like survival techniques, including the digging of holes through concrete floors up to 25 centimetres (eight inches) thick.

These connected to the city's drainage system, allowing them to scurry to nearby buildings undetected, according to commanders who fought the ground war.

"They didn't want to pass open terrain, especially in the latter part (of the war)," Lieutenant-Colonel Samuel Yunque, commander of an army special forces unit that fought the entire campaign, told reporters.

But Yunque said the military also adapted to the militants' tactics by blasting their own virtual tunnels or "rat holes" in walls between buildings so troops could move quickly without going back into the open streets.

In the early days, Yunque said, his unit took two days using conventional tactics to rescue 16 crewmen of two armoured vehicles that had been disabled by the militants' rocket-propelled grenades.

"They were surrounded by snipers on tall buildings and they were attempting to burn them alive by tossing molotov (firebombs) at their vehicles," he told reporters.

"When we rescued them they were singed and down to their shorts. They had their firearms but they had not eaten for days and were about to run out of bullets."

- Hiding in mosques -

The military had repeatedly said another reasons the war dragged on so long was because the militants were hiding in mosques and using hostages as human shields.

Troops were meant to avoid striking the mosques, military commanders said frequently during the conflict.

However, to end the fighting the military decided it had no choice.

The final battle on Monday took place inside a mosque, claiming the lives of two soldiers and 42 fighters, armed forces chief General Eduardo Ano said on Monday.

In one part of the battlefield, the cupola of a bullet-riddled mosque with a twisted metal sliver of moon on top and its minaret lay toppled and broken between two bombed-out buildings.

In another area a crater big enough to swallow a car was all that was left of the city's police station.

The authorities said the militants beheaded a police officer there and released hundreds of inmates from the adjacent city jail on the first day of the conflict.

A military aircraft later dropped a 113-kilogramme (250-pound) bomb, obliterating the low building, they added.

Months before they launched their attack, the gunmen secretly stored food, guns, bullets, and explosives inside city buildings before infiltrating at least 1,000 men into the city, according to the military.

President Rodrigo Duterte and security analysts said the gunmen had planned to set up a Southeast Asian IS base in the southern Philippines, taking advantage of lawlessness partly stemming from a decades-long Muslim separatist rebellion.

The militants at one point controlled more than 4,000 buildings, according to the region's military commander, Lieutenant-General Carlito Galvez.

At least 920 militants were killed, while 165 troops and 47 civilians died, according to the military.

The fighting also displaced about 400,000 people, and made the eastern half of the city uninhabitable for many years. Authorities are only now beginning to grapple with a multi-billion-dollar rehabilitation programme.

Despite Raqa victory, US says IS fight not over
Washington (AFP) Oct 20, 2017
The United States praised local Syrian forces Friday for a "milestone" victory in driving the Islamic State group from Raqa, but warned the war against the jihadists is far from over. IS had controlled the northern Syrian city since early 2014 and considered it to be the inner sanctum of its claimed "caliphate." US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, a combination of Kurdish and Syrian Arab ... 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 DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

South Korea takes control of THAAD missile defense system

Raytheon's SM-3 intercepts medium-range target during NATO exercise

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

Aerojet Rocketdyne propulsion supports NATO Missile Defense Test

Italy to receive additional AGM-88E guided missiles

'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

GA-ASI in cooperative agreements with South Korean entities

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

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

L3 satellite terminals for Air National Guard

Automated Processes Drive Down Costs Increase Precision of Critical Military Containers

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

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

Xi joins Mao in Communist constitution, tightening grip on China

China, ASEAN eyeing trust-building naval exercise: Singapore

India welcomes Tillerson call for deeper ties to counter China

Warning for China as US hails India 'partnership'

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