COUNTER INSURGENCY: Philippine Troops Battle Islamist Rebels

May 2, 2014 at 12:52 am 1 comment

Battling Abu Sayaf

Members of the U.S.  Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines work side-by-side with Philippine troops in a non-combat, training and advisory role to battle terrorists.  (Defense Dept. photo)

Members of the U.S. Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines work side-by-side with Philippine troops in a non-combat, training and advisory role in the battle against terrorism.
(Defense Dept. photo)

 Fourteen Islamist militants and a Philippine Marine were killed in a clash in a remote southern part of the Philippines this week (April 29-30), the Voice of America reports.

The fighting began Tuesday and continued into early Wednesday near the town of Patikul on the island of Jolo in Sulu Province. About 300 Abu Sayyaf fighters tried to retake a camp captured by the Marines on Monday. They attacked with mortars and rifle grenades, killing one Marine and wounding 19, officials told the BBC.

The Marines, assisted by reinforcements including artillery and helicopter support, were able to drive the rebels off.

The camp had been used as a training base for Abu Sayyaf’s new recruits and as a launching pad for frequent kidnapping raids, Reuters and AFP reported. Abu Sayyaf is suspected of abducting a female Chinese tourist and a Filipina resort worker from the neighboring Malaysian island of Sabah this month.

Formed in the 1990s with seed money from al-Qaeda, Abu Sayyaf has been blamed for terror attacks including kidnappings of foreigners and locals who are then held for ransom. Abu Sayyaf is one of many small Islamist groups in the southern Philippines opposed to a peace deal with the Philippine government recently signed by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

The United States has been rotating about 500 Special Operations Forces experts in the southern Philippines for more than a decade to train the Philippine military how to fight Abu Sayyaf. Philippine law forbids foreign troops from engaging in combat on Philippine soil.

 

 

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Entry filed under: Asia-Pacific, Counter Insurgency, Counter Terrorism, National Security and Defense, News Developments, Skills and Training, Special Operations, Unconventional Warfare. Tags: , , , , , , .

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