DAMASCUS, SYRIA (9:00 P.M.) – The Philippine Armed Forces are slowly regaining lost urban territory in the embattled city of Marawi, advancing through its western suburbs towards the city center and harbour which remain under Islamic State control for now.
Thus far, at least 35 ISIS insurgents have been killed. However, some 80 government troops and 9 civilians have died since clashes began on Tuesday with the ISIS-linked Abu Sayyaf and Maute groups capturing most of the provincial capital of Lanao at the time.
New footage of counter-insurgency operations and army reinforcements arriving in Marawi:
The attack on Marawi, a mainly Muslim city of 200,000 residents, has led to a fierce four-day battle, with the army deploying attack helicopters and special forces.
While up to 90 percent of Marawi’s people have fled amid the fighting, many who were trapped or refused to leave their homes have impeded military assaults, officials said.
Philippine fighter aircraft also unleashed rocket fire against militants on Saturday, prompting villagers to hoist white flags to avoid being targeted.
Pictures of Islamic State militants recently emerged through Amaq Agency, reaffirming their presence across Marawi. A recent ambush also took place in the countryside south of the city where ISIS snipers have increased their activity.