Thursday 26 October 2017

US Ambassador Kim: US played key role in helping AFP's retake of Marawi

US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim made public what the United States has done in the successful Marawi campaign that led to its liberation.

Kim said that the US played a “very important role” in the defeating the Islamic  State militants who took seiged of Marawi City for five (5) months.

Ambassador Sung Kim highlighted American intelligence, urban warfare training, and drones as among the factors that helped end the conflict in Marawi city.  *

U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim (photo credit to CNN Philippines)
"We did play a very important role in supporting the (Philippines') efforts to retake Marawi," Kim told reporters.

"We had P-3s (surveillance planes), Grey Eagles (drones) providing crucial intelligence information to the Armed Forces of the Philippines so that they would be able to carry out operations necessary to retake Marawi."

The US Ambassador also said the US forces provided "very useful technical advice," especially in the area of urban warfare where they had more experience than Filipino troops.

The United States also provided guns, ammunition and rubber boats to the Philippine military, while committing 750 million pesos ($14.7 million) in aid to residents forced out of their homes because of the war, Kim said.

He said the United States had about 100 to 200 troops based in the southern Philippines to train and advise local forces in battling Muslim extremists, but he would not elaborate on their role in Marawi.

It is known that President Rodrigo Duterte’s relationship with the country’s only treaty ally did not start in a good note, his anger started when the Americans ( under the Obama administration) criticized his administration as regards his brutal war on illegal drugs.

The election of the republican Donald Trump, which has called Duterte and praised him for his administration’s drug war, has really made an improvement in the two countries relationship. *

Kim said Thursday that US-Philippine ties were "back to normal," and cited a resumption of regular joint military exercises.

He also said the United States was not concerned about the Philippines' deepening relationship with China and Russia, which has seen them for the first time provide significant amounts of military hardware.

"I'm not in any way threatened by the fact that China and Russia are also providing military assistance to the Philippines," Kim said.


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