19 June 2017
Washington is seeking to expand its presence in the Philippines over concerns about the growing influence of Daesh in the country. U.S. lawmakers have expressed fears that the Islamists are attempting to get fighters into the region and pressed for urgent measures to address the situation.
However, in order to tackle this issue properly it is imperative to consider why the militants in the Philippines pledge allegiance to Daesh (a terror group banned around the world) even in regions where Muslims are in minority, like in central Mindanao.
Radio Sputnik discussed the issue with Joseph Franco, a research fellow with the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University.
“For the past two decades or so there have been a few dozen Southeast Asian militants in Mindanao at any one time, but having the concern that they are going to transport the caliphate from Syria and Iraq to Mindanao, that is something that is quite farfetched frankly,” Franco said.
He further spoke about the reasons behind Daesh activities in the Philippines saying that when the US withdrew in 2014 from the Philippines they had a very limited objective, which was to prevent the establishment of a really strong terrorist presence in the islands off the coast of Basilan.
CENS / Online
Last updated on 21/06/2017