Manila, Philippines. The United States has confirmed that the Philippines now has American soldiers on the ground in the fight against ISIS terrorists. The Philippines are now one of over 160 nations globally that American troops are committed in.
American Special Operations Forces are assisting the Filipino military in its battle against ISIS fighters, the US Embassy in Manila stated Saturday.
American Navy SEALs have been deployed at the request of the government, the embassy said.The Armed Forces of the Philippines have been fighting with Maute ISIS terrorists for control of Marawi, in the southern Mindanao region of the Philippines.
Embassy spokespersons couldn’t give specifics on the specific nature of the US support for “security reasons.” But did state it was less than a 1000 troops, more than a hundred and all were from Special Forces or SEALs with previous combat experience in the middle east, as well as airborne training.
American Special Operations Forces “have been providing support and assistance in response to Philippine government requests for many years,” the embassy stated.”As we have in the past, we routinely consult with our Filipino partners at senior levels to support the Duterte administration’s counterterrorism efforts,” the embassy said.
Filipino military intelligence has called on Facebook to close 63 accounts linked to ISIS-affiliated Maute militants engaged in the fighting. During a press conference in Marawi on Friday, Lt. Col. Jo-Ar Herrera said the military had uncovered 63 specific accounts used by militants that focus on “spreading propaganda messaging and misinformation.”
Without confirming the specific request from the Philippines, a Facebook spokesman Michael Castellano said the company has “well-established law enforcement channels for governments to contact us about emergencies.”
Castellano stressed that Facebook does remove any account linked to “groups or people that engage in terrorist activity, or posts that express support for terrorism.” The request to Facebook comes just before the Phillipine military’s goal of liberating Marawi by June the 12th, the country’s Independence Day.