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Marawi siege: Army says US troops not engaging in combat ops

An official of the Philippine Army explained that the assistance given by the US troops in the fight versus the local terrorists are limited to exchanges of intelligence, training and technical support.

Lt. Col. Joar Herrera said the US troops assisting the soldiers in Marawi are not participating in combat operations.

"US counterparts facilitate the exchanges of intelligence, provide training and of course the technical support," Herrera said.

He added: "They are not fighting, they are just providing technical support."

Reporters covering the Marawi siege has captured on video a US P3 Orion surveillance plane flying here Friday, but Herrera refused to comment on the purpose of the said activity.

However, a Moro organization condemns the presence of US troops in Marawi.

Jerome Succor Aba, national chairperson of Suara Bangsamoro, said unless the Philippines ends "subservience" to the "US War on Terror", problems of terrorism in Mindanao, like the Maute and ASG will continue.

Aba said these local terrorist groups "were created by the US to justify military intervention in the country."

"The Philippines' subservience to US causes us trouble aside from violating the country's sovereignty. It is the US which brings terrorism here like the US-CIA that created ISIS and which is now linked to the Maute group and the ASG," Aba said.

Aba said "the role of US in Marawi is not new as the US troops have been to Camp Ranao where Gregan Cardeño, a Filipino who worked as an interpreter for the US, was found dead."

In a report by Reuters, it quoted a US embassy spokesperson saying that US special forces are helping the Armed Forces of the Philippines in its fight in Marawi City.

The Reuters report quoted the spokesperson as saying: "At the request of the government of the Philippines, U.S. special operations forces are assisting the AFP with ongoing operations in Marawi that help AFP commanders on the ground in their fight against Maute and ASG (Abu Sayyaf Group) militants."

Asked whether the assistance of the US was made upon the request of the Philippine government, Herrera said the two countries already have existing agreements on military assistance.

[Source: By Zea Io Ming C. Capistranom, Davao Today, Marawi City, 10Jun17]

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small logoThis document has been published on 12Jun17 by the Equipo Nizkor and Derechos Human Rights. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.