Islamists kill 13 Philippine marines in wartorn Marawi city

US puts troops into fight for Philippines city besieged by ISIS

As the fighting intensifies, the United States said on Saturday that its special forces were providing technical support to the Philippine military in Marawi City. In 2002, the USA helped Philippine authorities track down Abu Sayyaf leader Abu Sabaya, who was killed in that operation.

There were "strong indications" the two brothers who formed one of the factions have been killed, a military spokesman said.

"There was an intense, house-to-house firefight between the marines and the local terrorist group", army brigade Lieutenant Colonel Jo-Ar Herrera told a televised press conference in Marawi City.

"As long as we sustain the fight, as long as we are able to destroy the elements of the local terrorist group we can reach that", he said of the June 12 target.

The seizure of Marawi City on May 23 has alarmed Southeast Asian nations which fear that Islamic State - facing setbacks in Syria and Iraq - is establishing a stronghold on the Philippine island of Mindanao that could threaten the whole region.

Over 20 civilians have been confirmed killed due to the fighting, according to the government, but the true number is likely to be higher with authorities yet to fully assess the roughly 10 percent of Marawi still being held by the militants.

"They are not fighting".

Reporters on the ground spotted a US P-3 Orion surveillance aircraft flying over Marawi City on Friday.

About 40 foreigners have fought alongside the Philippine militants in Marawi City, majority from Indonesia and Malaysia, though some came from the Middle East. "There are just providing technical support", Herrera said.

But he had what the White House described as a "very friendly" phone call with President Donald Trump in April, and has since said his differences with the U.S. were with President Barack Obama's administration. It's unclear how many people remain trapped in Marawi as government troops battle Muslim militants led by the so-called "Maute" group but army officers have put the figure this week at anywhere from 150 to 1,000.

"At the request of the government of the Philippines, US special operations forces are assisting the armed forces of the Philippines with ongoing operations in Marawi through support that helps military commanders on the ground", it said in a statement.

The assistance comes after months of strain between the two long-time allies that was stoked by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's hostility towards Washington and his pledges to throw USA troops out of the country.

The US Embassy said Washington would "continue to work with the Philippines to address shared threats to the peace and security of our countries, including on counterterrorism issues" in its statement Saturday.


Related News

  • Woman accused of leak ordered to remain jailed pending trial

    Woman accused of leak ordered to remain jailed pending trial

    A judge scheduled a hearing Thursday afternoon to determine whether to allow victor to be released from pre-trial confinement. Solari alleged that in recorded phone calls to her sister from the detention center, victor planned how to defend herself.

    Updates to Apple Watch, new watch faces and Siri expansion

    Finally, the Toy Story watchface isn't the same as Micky Mouse - it features Woody, Jessy, or Buzz in some amusing animations. That includes several new watch faces, like a Siri-powered face that'll intelligently show information throughout your day.
    'District 9' Director Neill Blomkamp Teases Series Of

    'District 9' Director Neill Blomkamp Teases Series Of "Streaming" Sci-Fi Shorts

    The trailer is loaded with tense atmosphere, freaky lizard aliens and, surprisingly, Dakota Fanning with a massive assault rifle. Now I'm imagining a world where Blomkamp can forgo movie studio supervision completely and make movies directly for gamers.
  • Qatar won't back down in face of pressure: minister

    Qatar won't back down in face of pressure: minister

    Tehran, he said, proposed designating three of its ports to supply Qatar, though Doha is yet to accept the offer. Qatar's foreign minister said that the country doesn't see military solution as an option to the Gulf crisis.
    Key Specs Comes on MacBook Pro 2017

    Key Specs Comes on MacBook Pro 2017

    To give its Mac OS powered desktop a premium appeal, Apple has slightly tinkered with the characteristic design of the iMac range. While it's got the same form factor and 27-inch display as the current high-end iMac , the similarities pretty much end there.

    First defeat for US , but America's Cup holders still in control

    The 35th edition of the America's Cup qualifying round is in full swing, as teams raced one another over the weekend. Besides being top challengers, the Artemis and Team New Zealand sailors are familiar with one another.
  • Heavy US-led strikes as fighters battle ISIS in Syria's Raqqa

    Heavy US-led strikes as fighters battle ISIS in Syria's Raqqa

    On Thursday, Daesh's Amaq news agency released a video allegedly showing the coalition use of white phosphorus in Raqqa. He called on all parties to provide safe passage to those wishing to leave the city.
    Manchester United make surprise decision on Zlatan Ibrahimovic

    Manchester United make surprise decision on Zlatan Ibrahimovic

    The list shows who is being let go at the end of their contract on June 30, although situations can still change. Manchester United are not likely to provide Zlatan Ibrahimovic a contract expansion, according to Sky sources.

    Poorer nations robust in the face of Trump pullout from climate deal

    The goal is to cap global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Collectively, these actors remain committed to the Paris accord .
  • 3 challenges Tesla faces as shareholders meet

    3 challenges Tesla faces as shareholders meet

    In addition, Musk told investors Tuesday that the Model Y - whose design hasn't yet been finalized - will hit the streets in 2019. The Model Y, which is expected to offer simpler internal electric systems than previous models, will be available by 2019.
    Theresa May: UK will change human rights laws if needed for terr

    Theresa May: UK will change human rights laws if needed for terr

    It comes after 22 people died at Manchester Arena and seven near London Bridge, in two attacks in the space of a fortnight. Those convicted of terror offences should face longer prison sentences, she said in a speech tonight.

    WatchOS 4 for Apple smartwatches

    Moreover, the last major update of the operating system of Apple's smartwatch will make your life easier with the watch. Apple also introduced new summer band colors, giving customers more options than ever to express their personal style.