Australian forces to train Filipino troops on urban warfare

2017-10-24 17:55
(File, AFP)

(File, AFP)

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Clark - Australia will deploy its forces to train Filipino troops on urban warfare following a disastrous siege by pro-ISIS militants on Marawi city in the southern Philippines, the Australian defence chief said on Tuesday.

Philippine troops accustomed to battling insurgents in jungle terrain struggled for five months to fight the hundreds of militants and snipers who took cover in buildings, mosques and houses in Marawi. Officials finally declared on Monday that the deadly insurrection had been crushed.

Defence Minister Marise Payne said Australian defence forces would soon provide training on a range of urban combat skills to Filipino soldiers and marines in Philippine military bases to help combat the extremists' brutal tactics under an agreement with the Manilla government.

Australia is also helping the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and other countries in Southeast Asia to keep track of returning Asian militants who have fought for ISIS in Syria and Iraq, she said.

"They are battle-trained, they are battle-hardened, they are extremists of the highest order who have been prepared to do the most appalling things using civilians as human shield, using civilians as collateral in their efforts to try and pursue their perverted ideology," Payne said.

Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the Philippine embassy in Baghdad has sent a long list of names of Indonesian, Malaysian and "a couple of Filipinos", who have fought in Iraq and may return to Asia. The information came from Kurdish intelligence sources, he said.

"We are monitoring these people," Lorenzana said.

Read more on:    isis  |  philippines  |  australia

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