Australia boosts PHL's counterterrorism capability

Elias Hubbard
November 14, 2017

This was stressed by Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull during an interview at Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City shortly after the anti-terror capability demonstation by Australian and Filipino military forces late Monday.

Turnbull issued the statement during the counterterrorism capability demonstration by Filipino and Australian soldiers on Monday afternoon at Camp Aguinaldo, adding Manila and the whole of the region can not afford to lose to the global terror group.

Duterte also gave assurances to Australia that the Philippines, as this year's ASEAN chair, has aired to China other nations' concerns about the "continued build up of military installations" in the South China Sea.

"We can not afford to let them have a foothold anywhere else, let alone in our region, everything is connected". Everything is connected - Syria, Iraq, the Philippines, Indonesia, and the Straits of Australia.

"Many of the fighters for Islamic State that propelled in Marawi were from all over the world".

These terrorists came from Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Middle East, he added.

The Australian prime minister said when Islamist extremist or ISIL went through Syria, taking Raqha, and Mosul, a huge city in Iraq, they developed the reputation of being an invincible force. "We are all connected", Turnbull said.

"We saw how focused you are, countering violent extremism and ensuring that an insurgency like that does not occur again", he said.

AFP chief of staff General Rey Guerrero said they presented the AFP capabilities and concerns in fighting terrorism, particularly the threat from global terrorist network Islamic State (ISIS).

During the height of Marawi City conflict, Australia sent two surveillance aircraft to help Filipino troops. "In that regard we have agreed to push through and strengthen our activities, particularly in the area of intelligence and border protection", said Guerrero. They also provided assistance to Marawi residents displaced by the war.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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