Admiral Philip Davidson, chief the US Navy’s Indo-Pacific Command, said Filipino forces sustained anti-terror operations in Mindanao that have already resulted in a number of arrests since last year.
AP
US Navy officer cites AFP’s counterterror efforts
Jaime Laude (The Philippine Star) - February 15, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — A senior US Navy official lauded the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for maintaining pressure on Islamic State (IS) militant groups after the siege of Marawi City in 2017.

Admiral Philip Davidson, chief the US Navy’s Indo-Pacific Command, said Filipino forces sustained anti-terror operations in Mindanao that have already resulted in a number of arrests since last year.

“Counterterrorism operations on the Philippine island of Jolo against IS-supporting elements of the Abu Sayyaf group succeeded in disrupting kidnap-for-ransom operations,” Davidson said in a statement Tuesday before the US Senate Armed Services Committee on US Indo-Pacific Command.

Davidson said the IS claimed credit for multiple small-scale attacks in the Philippines, including a car bomb attack at an Army checkpoint in Basilan last year.

Davidson noted the growing influence of the IS in the region.

“Over 1,000 foreign terrorists fighters have traveled to Iraq and Syria from Indo-Pacific region, and at least 170 have returned,” Davidson said.

The United Nations Office of Counterterrorism (UNOCT) warned the IS remains a global threat, despite evolving into a “covert” terrorism network, with countries continuing to face challenges from the growing scourge of violent terrorism.– With Pia Lee-Brago

ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES COUNTERTERRORISM ISLAMIC STATE PHILIP DAVIDSON
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