A USA official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said support included aerial surveillance and targeting, electronic eavesdropping, communications assistance and training. Maski wala na sila tulong.nagpapasalamat na rin ako. Even if they do not offer any more help.

Monday, five people were killed as they tried to flee militant-held areas. It's there already. It could save lives.

Earlier, President Rodrigo Duterte said the attack on Marawi City was carried out on direct orders from Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. This is based on information given to him by his security officials, Duterte said.

The conflict in Marawi began in late May when ISIS-linked jihadist groups Abu Sayyaf and the Maute fighters captured the Muslim-majority city and took hundreds of Christian hostages.

AFP chief Gen. Eduardo Año said the Maute brothers and Hapilon are connected with the ISIS in the Middle East.

About 40 foreigners have fought alongside the Philippine militants in Marawi City, a lot of them from Indonesia and Malaysia though some came from the Middle East.

Though many are suprised that US military is providing assitance to Filipino soldiers despite Duterte's unpleasant remarks about American leaders and global organisations, the leader clarified that he had personal difference with only former US President Barrack Obama and not with the current President Donald Trump.

But the question remains as to how US Special Forces teams gained local authorization to join the fight, indicating that Filipino military assets made the call, and did so behind Duterte's back. "Apparently the plan is much bigger but it seemed to have been preempted", Cayetano said. "They are just providing technical support".

Duterte skipped the Independence Day flag-raising in Manila on Monday as he was "extremely tired" after visiting wounded soldiers from Marawi the previous day, his spokesman said.

The cooperation between the longtime allies is significant because President Rodrigo Duterte, who came to power a year ago, has taken a hostile stance toward Washington and has vowed to eject USA military trainers and advisers from his country.

Also on Saturday, the USA embassy in the Philippines announced US forces had joined the military in its fight against the Islamic State in the southern Mindanao.

The Pentagon has no permanent presence in the Philippines but for years has kept 50 to 100 Special Forces troops in the south of the country on rotational exercises.

Government losses as of Saturday stands at 58 troops with 20 civilians executed by the terrorists. It said it had an additional 300 to 500 troops in the country to support regular training and activities, without giving further details.

Do you ever have any question about anything you wish to ask and get answer? A US P-3 Orion surveillance plane was seen over the town on Friday.

The tripartite conference will serve as a platform for the countries to brainstorm and share intelligence.

"The contribution of the United States is more on training and technical assistance".

Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano says his government wants to work closely with its two neighbours to prevent extremists from taking root. Moreover, he designated Defense Minister Delfin Lorenzana as the administrator of Martial Law declared on Mindanao. "They were actually monitoring everything", he said.


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