The vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told that the United States must consider restarting a named military in the Philippines operation to oppose the growth of the Islamic state.
During an Armed Services Committee hearing on Selva’s reappointment, Gen. Paul Selva answered a question from Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa.
Selva said, they should reinstate a named operation especially in the weak areas of the South Philippines. He also added about the contribution of the Pacific Command commander and the field commanders in the Philippines the kinds of authorities they must have to work with indigenous Philippine forces to help them be successful in that battle space.
The warning from Ernst that without a new U.S. military operation, the instability in the Philippines may turn into a “prolonged or long-term catastrophe.”
The U.S Supports the Philippine Armed Forces in battling against Mauti-ISIS Group by providing counterterrorism weapons, including pistols, machine guns, and grenade launchers, to the Philippine Marines as part of its military assistance program. Some of these weapons are used in Marawi City.
A U.S. Navy aircraft also provided surveillance for the local troops as the battle continues, confirming the involvement of the U.S. military in helping to end the urban insurgency at the request of the Philippine government, a Philippine military official said.
The U.S. started a joint counter-terrorism mission following the 9/11 attack, rotating special operations troops into the Mindanao area particularly in Zamboanga City. The U.S troops were not allowed to engage against the rebels. Instead, they help the Philippines Armed Forces by providing vital information against the bandits.