US in talks with Philippines to address ISIS threat

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FILE – In this April 7, 2017, file photo Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, left, listens as President Donald Trump speaks during a bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla. Tillerson hasn’t always seen eye-to-eye with his boss. But Trump’s top diplomat he says he’s comfortable in his job and in his relationship with the commander in chief. Speaking to reporters at a nearly hour-long news conference at the State Department on Aug. 1, Tillerson sought to dispel speculation that he is frustrated and looking for a way out. AP/Alex Brandon, File

MANILA, Philippines —The United States has reached out to the Philippines and other Asia Pacific countries to address the threat of the so-called Islamic State in the region.

Tillerson said that the next step in the global war to defeat the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq (or ISIS, another name for the Islamic State) is to recognize the international terror group as a global issue.

“We are in conversations with the Philippine government, with Indonesia, with Malaysia, with Singapore, with Australia, as partners to recognize this threat, try to get ahead of this threat, and help them with training – training their own law enforcement capabilities, sharing of intelligence, and provide them wherewithal to anticipate what may be coming their direction,” Tillerson said at a press briefing in Washington.

The US Secretary of State noted that elements of the terror group have gained a foothold in the Philippines following the attack in Marawi City, the capital of Lanao del Sur province.

President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law and suspended the writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao after a clash between government forces and the Maute group, which raised ISIS black flags upon taking siege of Marawi. Stricter security measures will be in place at least until December 31, when the extended declaration of martial law is scheduled to lapse.

“Some of these fighters have gone to the Philippines from Syria and Iraq,” Tillerson said.

Tillerson will visit Manila for the first time this week to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Regional Forum.

The military earlier admitted that foreign terrorists have entered the country through Mindanao, either via Indonesia or Malaysia.

The admission came days after the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia launched joint patrols in the trilateral border areas to prevent the ISIS from setting up bases in the region.

RELATED: Marawi clash fuels fear of ISIS foothold in Mindanao


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One Response to “US in talks with Philippines to address ISIS threat”

  1. daveyone1 Says:

    Reblogged this on World Peace Forum.

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