Manila, Philippines. As operations against ISIS terrorists continue, the “fog of war” emerges as a force to be reakoned with as the Army ends up killing a number of their own troops, rather than the terrorist enemy.
The air strike during Philippine military operations to drive Islamist rebels out of Marawi has killed 10 government troops, the defence minister said on Thursday, in a major blow to efforts to defeat fighters linked to the Islamic State group.“It’s very sad to be hitting our own troops,” Lorenzana said. “There must be a mistake somewhere, either someone directing from the ground, or the pilot.”
In earlier statements, Lorenzana summed the incident up as,“Sometimes that happens. Sometimes the fog of war … The coordination was not properly done so we hit our own people.”
Seven other soldiers were wounded on Wednesday when two air force SF-260 close air support planes dropped bombs on a target in the heart of Marawi City, Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana told a news conference. The first plane hit the target but the second missed.
The deaths of the soldiers takes the number of security forces killed to 38, with 19 civilians and 120 rebel fighters killed in the battles in Marawi over the past nine days.Lorenzana said militants who were Saudi, Malaysian, Indonesian, Yemeni and Chechen were among eight foreigners killed fighting with the Maute rebels.
The Maute’s ability to fight off a military with greater numbers and superior firepower for so long will add to fears that it could win the recognition of the Islamic State leadership in the Middle East and become its Southeast Asian affiliate.
The pro-Islamic State Maute group has proven to be a fierce enemy, clinging on to the heart of Marawi City through days of air strikes the military has said are “surgical” and on known rebel targets.