Philippines' Duterte not aware of US support against Islamists in Marawi

Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the government is "open to assistance from other countries" if offered.

The heavy fighting occurred as police arrested the mother of two brothers leading the militants, who come from different local groups that have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State terrorist movement.

The Palace is deeply saddened by the news on the 13 Marines killed in action during a firefight in Marawi City.

United States special forces are providing support to the Philippine military battling to dislodge Islamist militants in a southern city, the U.S. embassy said yesterday, as 13 Filipino marines were killed in fresh fighting. "We will remove accounts and content that violate these policies when we are made aware of them".

USA special forces have joined the battle to crush Islamist militants holed up in a southern Philippines town, officials said on Saturday, as government forces struggled to make headway and 13 marines were killed in intense urban fighting.

It is unclear whether the pro-American military went over Duterte's head in seeking US help, but after he proclaimed Martial Law, President Duterte left matters of tactical decision-making to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana as the Martial Law administrator. A Philippine military official told AP that the U.S. was providing "noncombat assistance".

It said it had an additional 300 to 500 troops in the country to support regular training and activities, without giving further details.

In a press briefing, Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera said that USA special forces were helping the army.

Without confirming the specific request from the Philippines, a Facebook spokesman said the company has "well-established law enforcement channels for governments to contact us about emergencies".

TRT World's Shamim Chowdhury exclusively spoke to the chairman of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Al Haj Murad Ebrahim for the latest.

The deaths took the number of security forces killed in Marawi to 58. At least 138 militants and 20 civilians had also been killed, the government said.

Some 1,613 residents in the war-torn city have been rescued, military officials said.

A Philippine Air Force OV-10 Bronco drops bombs on suspected positions of the Maute group as fighting continues in Marawi city, southern Philippines Friday, June 9, 2017.

The official gave no details of the US involvement, but a United States of America surveillance plan was see flying over Marawi on Friday.

Last Friday, 13 Philippines soldiers were killed and 51 wounded in a deadly assault.

Philippine security forces have struggled to dislodge hundreds of Muslim extremists, from the Maute and Abu Sayyaf groups, who seized large parts of Marawi on May 23, after a botched raid on the hideout of Isnilon Hapilon, designated by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria as the head of its South-east Asia wing.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has declared martial law in the Mindanao region, the southern third of the Philippines and home to a decades-long Muslim separatist rebellion.

"I never approached any American to say na tumulong kayo".

"In addition to observing a Day of Silence and Prayer for our heroes and the innocents who died due to terrorist atrocities in Marawi, we also had a nationwide tribute in cooperation with all the major networks in TV and radio to all the fallen", said Restituto.

ISIS a year ago declared the leader of Abu Sayyaf the "emir" of Southeast Asia, according to Reuters.

  • Zachary Reyes