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Philippines Insurgency

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte checks a Chinese-made sniper rifle during the presentation of thousands of rifles and ammunition by China to the Philippines Wednesdayat Clark Airbase in northern Philippines. According to a government statement the firearms form “part of the military aid package by China in relation with the emerging threat of terrorism and piracy in southern Philippines.”

©Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

A month ago, hardly anybody outside the Philippines had ever heard of Marawi.

Now it’s the latest front in the war against Islamic State. More evidence, if you needed it, that the terrorism associated with Islamic State will go on long after Mosul and Raqqa have been liberated and “Caliph Ibrahim” (Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi) has been killed or captured.

“We have actually preempted the establishment of a wilayat (a province of Islamic State),” said Ernesto Abella, the spokesperson of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, which is definitely overstating the case. The response of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) was slow and clumsy, and government policy has been lax and inattentive.

It’s not even clear that the attempt by the Maute group of Islamist fighters to take over Marawi,........

© The Telegram