Friday, July 21, 2017

​Philippines' Duterte not aware of U.S. help against Islamists in Marawi

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Duterte said he ‘never approached America’ for assistance in besieged southern city

Thomson Reuters
Posted: Jun 11, 2017 6:31 AM ET
Last Updated: Jun 11, 2017 6:31 AM ET

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Sunday he was not aware the U.S. government was providing assistance to government troops in the battle against Islamist militants in a southern city. 

Duterte also said he “never approached America” for help. 

“I am not aware of that until they arrived,” Duterte told a media briefing when asked about U.S. support in Marawi City, which has been under siege for three weeks by pro-Islamic State militants.

U.S. forces were providing the Philippines with technical assistance, but they had no “boots on the ground,” the Philippines military said on Saturday. 

Military spokesman Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said the Philippines lacks adequate surveillance equipment and asked the U.S. military for “non-combat assistance.”

Thirteen Philippine marines were killed Saturday, in the biggest single-day loss for government forces.

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