DAMASCUS, SYRIA (9:45 P.M.) – New details have emerged regarding the ongoing battle for Marawi, a predominately Sunni city in the southern Philippines which is home to over 200,000 residents and witnessed a large-scale ISIS insurgency on Thursday.

According to Amaq Agency, some 70 soldiers of the Philippine Armed Forces have been killed in the battle for Marawi since Tuesday while an additional 10 were killed in an ambush on two armored vehicles patrolling the Jolo municipality on the island of Jolo.

In contrast, the Philippine Army said they had only sustained 8 deaths and 31 injuries to their forces while 13 ISIS militants had been killed. Meanwhile, the Phillipine Air Force conducted dozens of pinpoints airstrikes over the city on Thursday.

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Islamic State forces in the Philippines are composed of the two franchise groups, known as Maute and Abu Sayyaf, both of whom have sworn alliegence to ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi.

Pictures of ISIS militants inside Marawi, backing up earlier exclusive reports by Al-Masdar News which indicated jihadists had captured most of the city:



ISIS reportedly also captured a lot of military vehicles, ammunition storages and weapons from the Philippine Army which temporarily withdrew from much of the city on Tuesday, allowing ISIS to capture Marawi’s main hospital, police station and prison among other key facilities.

Some 500 ISIS insurgents are estimated to be scattered across Marawi, controlling much of the city despite a somewhat succesful army counter-offensive on Thursday.

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Unless Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and his army are able to defeat the jihadist rebellion quickly, the Islamic State may use Marawi as regional capital to expand its influence in southeast Asia.

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Student currently living in Denmark. Special focus on news from Syria, MENA map-making and strategical military analysis.

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10 COMMENTS

    • Abu Sayyaf is doing shit since 1991. This is nothing new.
      Nevertheless, in the last 15 years, they lost 80% of their roaches.
      Actually, there is surely not 500 insurgents as their full effective is estimated
      about 200-400 thus some foreigners may have joined.
      Actually, the seriously increased military activity in Mindanao has put them back to the wall last year, raiding one of their main jungle strongholds (if you wanna see how Filipino jungle looks like, just watch Coppola’s Apocalypse Now! It wasn’t filmed in Vietnam but in the Philippines!) but now Duterte signed a peace treaty with the Moro Natonal Liberation Front (Mindanao independentists), their local supports are much easily tracked, thus ruining their abilities to survive in jungle areas.
      Actualy, what we’re seeing here may likely to be Abu Sayyaf swan song!
      Let’s hope so!

  1. I always speak up for Assad and Sisi, even though they are not Salafist, because they are doing good work helping the Cause of Allah, Duterie and Erdogan I lump in together who are fence sitters but have been know to do the right thing, it would be a mistake to push them in the wrong direction for the sake of a fight that is at best a side show that nobody needs.

  2. they have set up a siege to the city, then send in an overwhelming force and exterminate the cockroaches even if that cost the life of 1000 soldiers, before it is to late, China could cooperate donating a 5000 soldiers with the sole purpose of laying siege to Malawi, then a force of 10000 Philippine soldiers with armour and close air support should go in and exterminate anything that remotely looks like ISI, no prisoners taken whole city raided in door to door looking for weapons depots, sewage system thoroughly searched, prisoners left alive only long enough to sing names and information.