Military trains with Australian troops on urban warfare

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 19 2017 11:05 AM

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MANILA - Philippine and Australian military forces trained on urban warfare this week, making good on promises after the months-long Marawi siege.

It was the first of several sessions that Canberra pledged to Manila after the liberation of the predominantly Islamic city from IS-inspired extremists last October.

Soldiers who fought in the 5-month battle to retake the city were trained in urban assault and close combat strategies by the Australian Defense Force.

Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Amanda Gorely said the country wants to help stop the spread of Islamic State-inspired militants in Southeast Asia.

"We do not want to see terrorist groups like ISIS establishing in Southeast Asia. We consider that not just as a threat to the Philippines or the Southeast Asian region, but also a threat to Australia's own national security, so that's why we think it's important to provide whatever assistance we can to the countries of Southeast Asia to deal with the threat that is, unfortunately, in our midst," she said.

Maj. Gen. Alvin Parreño, chief of the Philippine Marines, said the recent experience in Marawi emphasized the need for the military to train harder with new techniques.

"The new techniques that we acquired from the Australian Defense Force is very, very important to all of us. This is very applicable now that we are fighting a new type of enemy, a new type of design of spectrum of warfare," he said.

ANC, December 19, 2017