DAMASCUS, SYRIA (1:00 A.M.) – Disturbing photos emerged on Wednesday showing alleged forced conversions of Christian residents in the predominately Sunni city of Marawi in the southern Philippines, much like earlier ISIS procedures in Iraq.
Although around 90% of Marawi’s previous 200,000 civilians have fled, some people – including a few dozen Christians – have decided to stay behind in a mark of defiance to the Islamic State which overran most of the embattled city last week.
Meanwhile, most of the current heavy clashes are centered around the southern and western suburbs of the city with ISIS slowly conceding urban terrain in the face of overwhelming numbers, yet rather inexperienced army soldiers.
A military source in the Philippine Army said at least 89 ISIS militants had been killed since clashes began on May 22.
On the other hand, Amaq Agency said 7 government troops were killed on Wednesday alone amid a large-scale ambush on a convoy in Marawi, bringing the total Philippine Army death toll well above 100 since the insurgency erupted.
Nevertheless, the Philippine Army captured its first large batch of weapons amid raids on jihadist storage bases and ISIS forward positions across the southern suburbs of the city, now witnessing an ongoing counter-offensive by government forces: