DAMASCUS, SYRIA (11:45 P.M.) – Footage emerged on Friday showing soldiers of the Philippine Armed Forces retreating after being targeted by an ISIS sniper in Marawi, a city in the southern Philippines which has been largely overrun by Maute and Abu Sayyaf, two jihadist groups that have sworn allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi.
Earlier in the day, ISIS militants also ambushed the Philippine Army in the countryside south of the city, resulting in the destruction of a handful of armored vehicles. A nearby army base was also torched by the jihadist insurgents.
Thus far, over 80 government soldiers have been killed in the battle for Marawi. On the other hand, at least 20 ISIS fighters – some of whom were from Indonesia and Malaysia – have been neutralized through a mixture of airstrikes and counter-insurgency operations.
The Islamic State still controls the police headquarters and main prison in downtown Marawi although the Philippine Army has made some progress in the city’s western and northwestern suburbs where most of the current clashes are concentrated after more government reinforcements arrived today.