- js reader version
- view hidden posts
- tags and related articles
Saturday, Feb. 22, 2003 at 11:02 AM
A U.S. Marine mans his machine gun near a cargo plane that landed at the Zamboanga airport in the southern Philippines on Feb. 20, 2003, carrying U.S. troops & equipment. (Stringer/Philippines/Reuters)
philippines.jpg, image/jpeg, 410x263
WASHINGTON/MANILA (Reuters) - About 1,750 American troops including elite units will go to the Philippines for joint ground operations with local forces in a stepped-up bid to destroy Muslim rebels, U.S. defense officials said on Friday.
In a major strategic shift from training to fighting, the U.S. officials said some 350 elite Special Operations soldiers well be among the American troops sent to the southern Philippines to help subdue Muslim separatist groups that have been fighting the mainly Roman Catholic nation for three decades.
The 350 Special Operations troops would head for troubled Jolo Island in the Sulu archipelago and be supported by another 400 troops stationed at Zamboanga. Meanwhile about 1,000 U.S. Marines from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit would remain offshore on ships to provide emergency back-up and air support.
Complaining of "leaks" concerning the shift in U.S. strategy, the Philippines refused comment on Friday on whether the Americans would fight side-by-side with their forces.
The country's constitution bars foreign troops from any combat role, but officials in Washington signaled on Thursday that U.S. soldiers would be given a new and far broader mandate to help Philippine units in their fight against Muslim guerrillas. "In this effort, the U.S. soldiers will work side-by-side in an offensive effort with the Philippine military," one Pentagon official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Asked whether U.S. ground forces would be involved in combat, the official said: "They are going to conduct joint operations to disrupt and defeat the Abu Sayyaf group."
Washington has blacklisted Abu Sayyaf, mainly a kidnapping gang that claims to fight for an Islamic state, as a terrorist organization with links to Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network.
Bombings by Muslim rebels and battles with troops have killed at least 200,000 people, mostly civilians, in the last 30 years. But even if Manila intends to find a way round the constitutional ban to allow U.S. troops to fight Abu Sayyaf and other groups such as the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the move could snap back in the government's face. Leftists are already up in arms over the presence of U.S. troops for the training exercises and a bilateral military resupply pact signed in November. Many Filipinos fear that the close ties will drag the country into Washington's wars.
Pentagon officials said the American troops would be under U.S. command and an advance military assessment team would begin laying the groundwork for the operation. The training exercises due to start in Mindanao on Monday will take U.S. troops to the heartland of the Abu Sayyaf and the MILF, the largest Muslim rebel group in the Philippines.
Last year, U.S. troops accompanied Philippine units into the field to hunt for Abu Sayyaf rebels but stopped short of fighting, hanging back in makeshift camps behind the front lines.
Report this post as:
GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE
lausd whistle blower
Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images
UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light
Change Links April 2018
Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018
Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018!
Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018!
Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert!
Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A.
Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released
Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups
After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video
Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights
What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It
Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down
Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29
Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf
Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development
Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine
Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents
Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters
City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre
Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling
Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present
Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police
LA Times Homicide Report
More Local News...
What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress??
Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée
The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion
Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service
The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally!
The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder
Paraphysique de la dictature étatique
Book Review: "The New Bonapartists"
The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia
Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine
The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally!
“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize!
The World Dependent on Central Banks
Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine
March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update
Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel
ICE contract with license plate reader company
Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes
Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges
Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes
Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety
Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man
Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes
Paraphysique de l'autorité
Two Podcasts on fbi corruption
Fbi assassins assault & try to kill DAVID ATKINS
More Breaking News...