Australian presence in Marawi limited to technical assistance

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced on September 10 that he will never negotiate with Maute terrorism group, even in exchange for the release of hostages in Marawi city. From at least 400 (buildings) to be cleared, we are now down to 300 to 320 buildings.

Meanwhile, military spokesman Brig.Gen. Restituto Padilla declared Solitario as a terrorist and warned that protecting him will extend conflict in Marawi.

“To stop the spread of terrorist ideology, we are working as one nation, pouring resources and infrastructure development in Mindanao while pursuing peace talks with the Moro rebels and pushing for legislation the creation of a Bangsamoro region within the sovereignty of the Republic”.

Thousands of Mindanaoan have been displaced by ongoing war caused by insurgency and extremism, recently hitting Marawi City, which also killed many people and destroyed properties worth millions of pesos. Civilians killed is at 45.

She has said Australia is very committed to supporting the Philippines in its efforts to defend itself against terrorist threats.

The Gray Eagle Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), according to the US Embassy, has a “longer flight duration” allowing a larger scope of reconnaissance and surveillance.

Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana confirmed that Pentagon has been providing intelligence surveillance reconnaissance (ISR) to the Philippines.

Recent deliveries include a Raven tactical UAS and two Cessna-208B surveillance aircraft, as well as various munitions and weapons to support urgent defense and counterterrorism needs.

The strong, long-standing military relationship with the Philippines enables the USA to respond quickly to the AFP’s needs and to support the AFP’s modernization goals.

“I assure all investors and businesses in Mindanao that the government will do everything to make sure that Marawi City recovers and that it will rise again as a thriving and flourishing city”, said Duterte.

The military is in its final stages of clearing Marawi City, where the Islamic State-linked Maute Group had been battling state troops since May.

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