As ISIS territorial losses in Iraq and Syria mount, their Philippine franchise attempted to make territorial gains.
Known as Abu Sayaff, the Philippine-based terror group pledged allegiance to ISIS in 2014, granting them the alternative title ” Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – Philippines Province.” While the group has been active since the 1990s, they first began trying to make territorial grabs this year, overrunning the Muslim–majority Philippine city of Marawi in late May.
President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law to deal with the threat – a popular move with his nation’s citizens. Duerte has personally threatened to kill and eat members of ISIS – so I guess that shows how serious he is about the threat.
Regardless, the Philippine military has had enormous successes in destroying the ISIS presence in their country. Prior to the siege of Marawi, the terror group was estimated to have membership between 500-1000 people, and if their death toll is any hint, that number is quickly approaching zero.
Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon and 28 of his men ready to die for him are tunneling under a mosque hoping to escape the war zone in Marawi City, multiple military sources said Wednesday.
“Isnilon Hapilon knew he was deserted by his Maranao followers so he has to find ways to bail himself and his remaining men out from Marawi City. They continue to dig in under a mosque hoping to reach the lake or the Agus River,” a high-ranking military officer said.
The military confirmed that Hapilon was still alive and inside the war zone, despite earlier reports that he had escaped along with brothers Abdullah and Omar Maute, leaders of the Islamic State-inspired terrorist group that stormed Marawi City on Aug. 23.
Some 539 terrorists and 122 soldiers have been killed in the fighting so far, and 45 civilians have died. The remaining terrorists—said to be from 50 to 70, including foreign fighters—have 100 civilian hostages. Four were recently rescued.
H/T The Standard
Remember, to “decimate” an army literally means to reduce it in size by one-tenth.
This takes decimation to another level.
Duerte may be a ruthless leader, but his efforts to stop ISIS are working. I hope his war against the Islamic terrorists are successful.
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