Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte, who has gained a reputation as being somewhat of a loose cannon, has suggested “carpet bombing” a city which has been taken over by Islamic militants.
Late May saw the southern Filipino city of Marawi overrun with Islamic militants with ties to ISIS, and so far the nation’s armed forces have been unable to remove them. Despite killing hundreds of jihadis in ground raids and airstrikes, hundreds more still occupy the city. The militants have been tricky to defeat as they are well stocked with weapons and ammunition, have tunnels that run underground and often use hostages as human shields.
President Duterte expressed frustration over the situation, proposing a significant increase in force. “I will not put the soldiers at high risk. If I have to bomb … If I have to flatten the place, I will do it,” he said.
“I will order the bombing … carpet already, carpet. I will really destroy everything,” Duterte continued. “I will really do that because I have a bigger responsibility and that is to the Republic of the Philippines.”
The Daily Caller reports:
Duterte previously ordered troops to “crush” the terrorists. “When I say ‘crush’ them, you have to destroy everything, including lives,” he told them. The president explained that ISIS strives to bring death and destruction. “I will destroy also and kill, period. Let us finish what you (ISIS) started you sons of bitches. Let’s finish this,” he said.
The battle for Marawi began in late May when Maute fighters, together with members of Abu Sayyaf, stormed the city. Both groups have pledged allegiance to ISIS. As the fighting continued, Filipino troops discovered foreign fighters among the militants, suggesting that Marawi was part of a larger operation.
The militants have torched schools and churches and slaughtered residents, often targeting Christians. Most of the residents of the town of roughly 200,000 people have fled.