MANILA - After almost five months of battling Islamic State-inspired terrorists in Marawi City, soldiers were flown back to Manila Friday to come home to their families.
Members of the Philippine Army's 1st Infantry Battalion, one of the first army units to reinforce troops in Marawi City, disembarked a Philippine Air Force C-295 aircraft around 4:28 p.m Friday at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City, returning to the arms of their loved ones.
The troops will get to spend only a few days with their families before being deployed for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit from Nov. 10 to 14 at the Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga.
A gradual pullout of state troops from the besieged city is underway, according to the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
This after President Rodrigo Duterte declared the city's "liberation" from terrorists following the killing of terror leaders Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Maute. -- Report from Raffy Santos, ABS-CBN News