The ongoing siege of Marawi City in the Philippines marks the start of a volatile new phase in the region’s long battle with violent Islamic extremism
When Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law over the southern island of Mindanao to combat an Islamic State-linked militant attack on Marawi City, it marked the start of a new phase of Southeast Asia’s long battle with Islamic terrorism – one with dangerous new international dimensions.
Reports from the front-lines indicate foreign fighters from countries as far-flung as Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Chechnya, India, Malaysia and Indonesia are battling with the local IS-linked Maute Group in an ongoing battle Filipino security forces have clearly struggled to contain.
Indonesia security officials have claimed there are now as many as 1,200 IS-linked foreign militants in the southern Philippines. If so, that likely means hundreds of foreigners have fled the collapsing jihadi…
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