Author Topic: Marawi Siege (2017)  (Read 4708 times)

dr demented

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Marawi Siege (2017)
« on: July 03, 2017, 01:46:16 AM »
From CSIS:

https://www.csis.org/analysis/marawi-battle-highlights-perils-stalled-peace-process-philippines/?block3

Quote
Marawi Battle Highlights the Perils of a Stalled Peace Process in the Philippines

June 29, 2017

The ongoing battle for Marawi City—the capital of Lanao del Sur Province on the island of Mindanao—between Philippine government forces and Islamic militants with links to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) seems increasingly an important bellwether of growing violence in the Philippines’ restive south. Fears that the breakdown of the government peace process with Islamic insurgents would lead to disillusionment and a return to violence, exacerbated by the influence of international jihadist movements like ISIS, appear to be coming to pass.

The importance of the Marawi battle was not obvious at its start and may not be clear for some time, given the mess of conflicting reports and likely propaganda that surrounds the battle. Fighting in Mindanao is a common occurrence, and even large-scale sieges of cities are not unprecedented. It has been only four years since a similar battle between government forces and Islamic militants for control of Zamboanga City.

While the fighting in Marawi is not a great departure from the norm in Mindanao, the ISIS links of the key groups involved are a new element that has sparked understandable alarm. The fighting is led by the local Maute group and an Abu Sayyaf group faction led by Isnilon Hapilon—the ISIS-anointed emir for Southeast Asia—which had relocated to Lanao del Sur last year after a government offensive against its original stronghold on the island of Basilan. Cooperation between the Maute and Hapilon groups—self-styled as IS-Ranao and IS-Basilan respectively—has been increasing since both declared their allegiance to ISIS in 2014, but the Marawi siege is a major step forward in coordination between this nascent coalition of ISIS-linked fighters in the southern Philippines.

Beyond their ISIS connection, the profile of the Maute and Hapilon groups makes them a more worrying long-term threat than previous Islamic militant groups. Both groups are on the rise and have cleverly utilized social media and the ISIS brand to boost their own profiles. The Maute group in particular represents the next generation of Islamic extremism in Southeast Asia, with a leadership educated in Egypt and Jordan and ties to jihadist allies in both the Middle East and other parts of Southeast Asia. The vitality of the groups responsible make the Marawi attack a far cry from the attack on Zamboanga in 2013, led by fighters from the once-central Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) desperate for relevance after being excluded from government peace negotiations with the now-dominant Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

The Maute-Hapilon coalition represents a threat to even the MILF, and there are indications that the Maute group has been successfully stealing away young MILF followers disillusioned with their leadership’s continued cooperation with the Philippine government despite the stalling of the peace process. The tabling of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL)—the key outcome of the 2014 government-MILF peace agreement—by the Philippine Congress following the botched Mamasapano raid in January 2015 that killed 44 Philippine police has led to questions in MILF ranks about the wisdom of continuing to work with Manila.

This problem will get worse the longer the peace process remains stalled, and the Maute group is well-positioned to attract support from the MILF due to its family ties to elites in both the MILF and Lanao del Sur Province. In addition to this local support, the Maute-Hapilon coalition can hope to attract increasing numbers of foreign fighters, both veterans returning from fighting in the Middle East and younger Southeast Asians who choose to pursue jihad closer to home given the dimming prospects for ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

The battle for Marawi is a wake-up call for Manila on the threat posed by the Maute-Hapilon coalition, and the government should take steps quickly to constrain the ability of these groups to build further support. Much damage has already been done, as the Marawi battle has already boosted the profile of these groups and made them more attractive to aspiring fighters, both foreign and domestic. This will make the challenge of stemming the flow of foreign fighters into the Philippines that much more difficult, putting a premium on boosting cooperation with neighboring countries like Indonesia and Malaysia.

More importantly, the Philippine government should move forward on the BBL in order to preserve the central role of the MILF and prevent further defections to more extreme groups. Unfortunately, the Rodrigo Duterte administration has complicated an already fraught peace process by relying on a dual-track approach with both a revised BBL and a proposed federal system to address Moro desires for greater autonomy. The introduction of the MNLF into peace negotiations previously restricted to the MILF has also had the predictable impact of complicating talks thanks to having rival groups representing the Moro side.

Despite these difficulties, there are tentative signs that the BBL may be moving forward again after being stalled for more than two years. A new draft of the BBL was finalized on June 6 and is ready for Duterte’s approval and submission to Congress when it reconvenes on July 24. The BBL died in Congress once before and there is no guarantee that it will fare better this time around, but the fighting in Marawi may have convinced Philippine legislators about the imperative of moving forward on the peace process.

While Philippine political leadership tries to revive political solutions to the violence in Mindanao, Philippine security forces should also take stock of their military and law enforcement approaches to counterterrorism operations in Mindanao. The track record of Philippine counterterrorism operations in recent years is poor: the 2015 Mamasapano raid was a disaster great enough to derail the peace process, the 2016 Basilan offensive drove Hapilon’s group into greater cooperation with the Mautes, and the attempted arrest of Hapilon in Marawi City in May 2017 led to over a month of urban fighting. There is reason to think these operations are doing more harm than good, and Manila should consider ways to refocus its security operations to pursue terrorist leaders while minimizing the risk of future large-scale conflicts.

(This Commentary originally appeared in the June 29, 2017, issue of Southeast Asia from Scott Circle .)

Geoffrey Hartman is a fellow with the Southeast Asia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.


adroth

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The Battle for Marawi: Three months on
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2017, 10:42:03 AM »
Administrator's note: Article reproduced in full with permission from the author.

====

The Battle for Marawi: Three months on
Written by Joseph Franco.

https://iapsdialogue.org/2017/09/07/the-battle-for-marawi-three-months-on/

The Battle for Marawi has dragged on for three months, with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) providing vague estimates of when the situation would be resolved. Attempts to encourage normalcy have begun, with the resumption of classes at Mindanao State University (MSU), on the fringes of the main battle area. Beyond the optics of bringing the people back to the city lie the greater challenge of reconstruction and rebuilding Marawi.

Early in the siege, it was estimated that 90 percent of Marawi residents fled. Had there been a sizable portion of the population left in the city, the Philippine military would be even less able to use close air support and artillery fire; possibly leading to more casualties.
More than 700 members of the security forces and extremists from the Maute Group (MG) and its allies have been killed since fighting broke out on 23 May 2017. Fighting is concentrated in the city’s Bato Ali mosque, with several dozen MG fighters holed up with their hostages. Efforts by the group to reinforce itself have been thwarted, but it is unclear how many fighters or sympathisers were able to slip through. More troubling are reports of diversionary attacks launched by MG sympathisers on the fringes of Marawi, perhaps an attempt to ease military pressure on their comrades.

It is unclear how the MG will emerge after the fighting ends in Marawi. The unprecedented nature of the siege, in terms of its duration and the level of destruction, makes it hard to predict how much fighting capability the MG and its allies can preserve. In the aftermath of the 2013 Zamboanga Siege, the Misuari Group (a faction of disgruntled former Muslim secessionists) ceased to exist as a fighting force. The Mautes and their allies utilised weapons and equipment previously unseen on a large scale in Mindanao, such as very large IEDs and commercial off-the-shelf drones.

It is too simplistic to assume that the spike in MG capability can be attributed solely to purported guidance from the so-called Islamic State’s (IS) core. With Mosul retaken and Raqqa on the brink of falling to the coalition, it would be difficult to provide operational control to IS sympathisers fighting in Mindanao. Marawi provides the conditions for the perfect living laboratory for urban warfare operations. Contrary to what is reported, the infrastructure for sustained fighting had existed in Marawi even before the Maute Group existed.

Central Mindanao has been the scene of various incidents of clan conflicts or rido. To hedge against threats from other clans and other illicit armed groups, it is a common practice for families to cache weapons and fortify their homes. Rural Mindanao homes are often seen with simple earthen work fortifications or dugouts. In Marawi, these family shelters take the form of concrete reinforced basements, colloquially referred to as tunnels. Combined with the prevalence of multi-storey buildings, the complex urban terrain of Marawi has been a proverbial nightmare for Philippine security forces.

Fortunately, it would appear that contrary to Mosul and Raqqa, the Mautes have limited popular support with only civilian hostages comprising the bulk of their human shields. Early in the siege, it was estimated that 90 percent of Marawi residents fled. Had there been a sizable portion of the population left in the city, the Philippine military would be even less able to use close air support and artillery fire; possibly leading to more casualties. The destruction of Marawi may appear to be a validation of the ability of the Maute Group and IS to acquire territory in spite of losses in Iraq and Syria. Fighters especially from Southeast Asia could see Marawi as the perfect site for martyrdom.

But that would be an incomplete picture. The idea behind the IS expansion model of establishing a wilayat (province) is focused on “fighting locally” and “instituting limited governance”. Destroying a city, much so the only Islamic city in the Philippines, does not adhere to the governance aspect of a prospective wilayah. It must be stressed that the early appeal of the IS core was not only due to the ability of extremists to succeed in the battlefield. Making hijrah or migration to the Syria/Iraq region attractive rested significantly on selling an idealised and prosperous life under the purported caliphate. The rubble strewn streets of Marawi would hardly fit such a glamorising narrative.

The challenge for the Duterte Administration is to ensure the sustainability of rehabilitation activities while keeping remnants of the MG under pressure. The extension of martial law over Mindanao until the end of the year does not signal a government that is on top of the situation. Cutting martial law short would reinforce notions that Marawi is back to normal. It would also preserve what remains of Duterte’s political capital, in the face of mounting scandals regarding state-sponsored human rights violations. And it is political capital that Duterte sorely needs if he intends not just to rebuild Marawi, but build it back better. At stake is a shattered city that could provide endless propaganda value for jihadists.

Joseph Franco is Research Fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, a constituent unit of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

===

From: http://www.thestar.com.my/~/media/online/2017/06/23/06/01/bp230617smoke.ashx/?w=620&h=413&crop=1&hash=E5E0CFB2A633303F9519B0E608D1ACA9CEF5D60E


« Last Edit: September 11, 2017, 06:25:25 AM by adroth »

adroth

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Re: The Battle for Marawi: Three months on
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2017, 12:01:48 AM »
Central Mindanao has been the scene of various incidents of clan conflicts or rido. To hedge against threats from other clans and other illicit armed groups, it is a common practice for families to cache weapons and fortify their homes. Rural Mindanao homes are often seen with simple earthen work fortifications or dugouts. In Marawi, these family shelters take the form of concrete reinforced basements, colloquially referred to as tunnels. Combined with the prevalence of multi-storey buildings, the complex urban terrain of Marawi has been a proverbial nightmare for Philippine security forces.

In Cotabato City, families who could afford it actually have solid concrete homes -- that look like typical hollow block structures -- but could actually survive anything short of a targeted siege.

adroth

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Retitled: Heroes from Marawi return to barracks
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2017, 05:54:48 AM »
SAF MARAWI CONTINGENTS HEROES' WELCOME
86 Photos · Updated 10 hours ago

https://www.facebook.com/pg/pnp.pio/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1768056526568929

182 MARAWI SAF TROOPERS GIVEN HEROES WELCOME AT CAMP BAGONG DIWA Philippine National Police Chief, Director General Ronald M Dela Rosa led today, Wednesday the heroes’ welcome for 182 members of the Special Action Force (SAF) who fiercely fought for the liberation of Marawi City over the hands of Islamic State-inspired Maute Terrorist Group. Director General Dela Rosa served as the guest of honor and speakerat SAF Parade Ground, Camp Bagong Diwa, Bicutan, Taguig City, recognizing the gallantry and heroism of SAF troopers in the five-month long war against the Maute group. “Thank Lord for this day na bumalik kayo ng buhay. Magpasalamat tayo sa mga kasama natin na nagbuwis ng buhay,” the PNP chief said. In all, 500 SAF troopers were deployed in Marawi City and four (4)of them were killed in action, according to PNP Special Action Force. SAF added that 60 were wounded during operations against Maute-ISIS in Marawi City. Also, General Dela Rosa spearheaded the awarding of medals to the Marawi contingent. SAF members were given ‘Medalya ng Kadakilaan’ ang Award while wounded troopers were given ‘Medalya ng Sugatang Magiting’ award. Special Action Force director, Police Director Benjamin M Lusad gave his welcome remarks. “For you guys, what you did in the battleground will never be forgotten. The nation will be always grateful to you,” he said. Chief PNP assured he will promote the SAF contingents one rank higher. “Kahit na sabi nila wala kaming nakikitang aksyon ng SAF, ganyan ka-disiplinado ang SAF. Hindi tayo nagpo-post ng pictures sa social media. Hindi tayo nagmamayabang, hindi nagpapakilala, we are doing our job silently,” he said. (PNP-PIO)
« Last Edit: October 30, 2017, 11:02:09 PM by adroth »

adroth

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Re: SAF Marawi contingent hero's welcome
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2017, 05:56:19 AM »







Ayoshi

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Marawi Siege (2017)
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2017, 04:01:24 PM »
Timeline: The Marawi crisis | CNN Philippines
Quote
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The war in Marawi has raged for nearly five months since it began in May.

Thousands of residents suffer from massive displacement, as the city is left in ruins. Several soldiers and terrorists have been killed, and civilians have died in the long-drawn-out conflict.

May 23, 2017
Government forces clashed with members of the rebel group Maute in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur.

Reports said armed men have taken over the Amai Pakpak Medical Center, with the group replacing the Philippine flag with a black flag, supposedly representing the Islamic State (ISIS).

http://cnnphilippines.com/news/2017/05/24/marawi-crisis-timeline.html

Other source: The 'liberation' of Marawi (Rappler)

=====


Photo Manila Bulletin

See Also:
* Maute Terrorist Group and Updates
* Marawi 2017 in pictures
* Marawi Rehabilitation

« Last Edit: October 26, 2017, 04:13:39 PM by Ayoshi »

Ayoshi

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Re: Marawi Siege (2017)
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2017, 04:06:46 PM »
Documentaries:

Vice News Marawi City Combat Documentary

Fighting ISIS-linked snipers in Marawi, Philippines (HBO)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2p94EElf40
-
Fleeing ISIS with a bullet in your neck | ABC News (Australia)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLLZG7gi1Pk
-
I-Witness: 'War Zone ER,' dokumentaryo ni Sandra Aguinaldo (Full Episode)
GMA Public Affairs | Published on Oct 1, 2017

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhSj1YYqdaM&feature=youtu.be&t=15

Marawi: 153 days of war | Rappler
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whi0UE2JefY

I-Witness: 'Balik Marawi,' dokumentaryo ni Howie Severino
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2hfQEdXQsQ&feature=youtu.be


« Last Edit: October 26, 2017, 04:14:43 PM by Ayoshi »


adroth

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Re: Retitled: Heroes from Marawi return to barracks
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2017, 01:23:11 PM »
PAFCEA PAYS TRIBUTE TO MARAWI HEROES

https://www.facebook.com/piopaf/posts/1384122065050337

More than 200 wounded soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines who had fought during the five-month long Marawi City crisis benefitted from the gift-giving activity organized by the Philippine Air Force Civilian Employees Association on November 28, 2017 at V-Luna Medical Center, Quezon City.

These soldiers, who are currently confined, are continuously receiving medical treatment in the said hospital.

Unlike the previous years wherein PAFCEA members from different Air Force bases nationwide gather to celebrate its anniversary, this year, the organization’s officers and members opted to bring joy to the country’s modern heroes.

As the PAFCEA President, Doctor Felicitas DJ Rada, felt honored to be with some of the brave people who were behind the liberation of Marawi City from the terrorists. As a daughter herself of a soldier, she acknowledged the sacrifices and heroism of the government troops.

In return, Colonel Antonio Punzalan MC (GSC) PA, Chief of VLMC, expressed his heartfelt gratitude for the organization’s initiative to hold a simple yet sincere gift-giving activity for the Marawi heroes.

Apart from distributing gifts, the soldiers were also entertained by some performances from the PAF civilian talents and were also amused by the special appearance of The Voice Season 2 winner, Jason Dy, who rendered a song number.

As the soldiers recuperate, the men and women of the PAFCEA hope and pray that more and more Filipinos will continue to support them and share a little of their blessings.

adroth

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Re: The Battle for Marawi: Three months on
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2017, 12:33:00 PM »
Army Special Forces
Published on Nov 28, 2017
Special Operations Command (SOCOM) - Philippine Army presents
a Vishnu Production
Written, Edited, and Directed by 1Lt. Bala Tamayo

https://youtu.be/_4zXI0X8Brc

« Last Edit: December 05, 2017, 01:13:25 PM by adroth »

adroth

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Re: The Battle for Marawi: Three months on
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2017, 12:37:34 PM »
Taking Back Marawi
101 East joined the Philippine military in their final battle against ISIL in the southern city of Marawi.

http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/101east/2017/10/marawi-171026135652860.html

adroth

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Re: Retitled: Heroes from Marawi return to barracks
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2018, 05:08:49 AM »
Time to consolidate the threads.

adroth

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Re: Marawi Siege (2017)
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2018, 06:44:49 AM »
bump