Published: Tue, August 08, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

United States to conduct air strikes in Marawi? No need, says Lorenzana

United States to conduct air strikes in Marawi? No need, says Lorenzana

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who attended the ASEAN summit this week, said Monday that the United States provided the Philippines with a few Cessna aircraft and drones to help with surveillance capabilities against pro-ISIS militants.

While in Manila on Monday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the US was providing the Philippines government with "intelligence capabilities" to offer their support to the country as they fight against ISIS.

Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Año both denied discussions with USA about plans for drone strikes.

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said the matter had not been discussed by both countries.

The U.S. military operates in country "at the request of and in cooperation with the Philippines", the official explained, adding that the U.S. will continue to support the Philippines as it battles radical Islamic terrorism.

According to Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis, Washington has been sharing intelligence with Manila for 15 years.

No human rights in Duterte, Tillerson meeting
Obama, you can go to hell", Duterte said last October. "So we go, 'You can go to hell". In fact, he called the U.S. "lousy" less than three weeks ago.

He said direct military actions may only be allowed during actual invasion of the Philippines by another state actor.

The Americans have been assisting the Philippine military in the fight against Islamist militants since 2002, with the launch of the Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines, which saw up to 600 US military personnel in the country.

Año said the air strikes remains a plan until it is officially communicated to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), especially President Duterte. The aid supplies were handed over to representatives from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Office of Civil Defense by the SAF Mission Commander, Col.

The top military chief reacted on Tuesday over reports by the U.S. media that the Pentagon is considering conducting drone air strikes against members of the Maute-IS group still holed out in four barangays in Marawi.

Speaking to the press on Monday, Tillerson said the US military provided "information" and "surveillance capabilities".

"There's already an ongoing airstrike being conducted by the Philippine military".

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