The Marawi seiged was an opener to the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
Before we take pride that ours is an Armed Forces that is battle tested in jungle-guerilla warfare - decades of dealing with the Communist Party of the Philippines- New People’s Army (CPP-NPA), Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the Abu Sayyaf group. Experience in the battle by the AFP are so precious that we train or share best practices with our long time treaty ally the United States of America in the annual Balikatan military exercises.
The ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) inspired Maute group opened the eyes of the AFP top brass to re-orient their tried and tested military doctrines. The urban warfare brought about by the seige in Marawi has proved too much costly in terms of government troops that was lost, as of press time 522 terrorist are killed along with 119 government troops killed and 45 civilian brutally executed.
The AFP Chief of Staff has ordered all frontline military commanders in Marawi to document all their observations and experiences during the battle against the Maute terrorist which started last May 23, all of which will be collated and will be used in the plan of updating the AFP’s urban warfare doctrine.
"These could serve as the basis of creating or crafting a new doctrine pursuant to what we have learn in these (urban warfare) operations in Marawi," AFP public affairs office chief Col. Edgard Arevalo said.
Urban warfare refers to fighting inside heavily-populated areas, using buildings, houses and other areas, as concealment points, for attack against conventional military units.
Terrorists like the ISIS or Maute group have shown this kind of warfare due to their disregard for human life, private and public property.
Snipers, used of improvised explosive devices (IED’s) and booby traps are also a predominant feature in this type of fighting.
Main Battle tanks for the AFP?
In the first few days of the Marawi seige, news and social media are replete of videos showing Maute terrorists launching rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) against the Philippine Army and Philippine National Police’s armored fighting vehicles.
Maxdefense Philippines, believes that this is the right time for the AFP in tune with its updating of military doctrines for urban warfare to acquire from friendly foreign countries- main battle tanks.
“These tanks will be useful for events similar to Marawi, while also useful to train the Philippine Army in armor and combined arms operations while new tanks are being eyed for Horizons 2 and 3 stages,” MaxDefense said.
Maxdefense elaborated that “With the painful experience of the Philippine Army in Marawi City of not having a vehicle with heavy armor and firepower to provide troops fighting in urban warfare, they [should] consider [acquiring] a few main battle tanks, a company of less than 20 units plus accompanying [support] vehicles would be enough for now,”.Israel is the country suggested that can provide the AFP with these kind of tanks, 2 tanks are recommended either the Merkava II or Magach 7 model.