Friday, July 14, 2017

AFP recalibrates combat doctrines to meet urban warfare threat

From the Philippine News Agency  (Jul 15): AFP recalibrates combat doctrines to meet urban warfare threat

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is now recalibrating its existing combat doctrines to adapt to urban warfare which terrorist groups are now using with considerable skill.

This was bared by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana in the wake of the latest incident where two troopers were killed and 11 others wounded when two FA-50s jet fighters dropped short one of their bombs during a close-air support mission in Marawi City last July 12.

"What happened (July 12) and last month, when several of our marines inadvertently perished because of a wayward ordnance dropped from an aircraft, reflect the harsh nature of urban warfare where soldiers operate in tight spaces and in close proximity to the enemy. The problems we face are the same as those confronted by other nations fighting terrorists in places like Mosul, Fallujah, and Raqqa," he added.

The two FA-50s were conducting missions to destroy Maute Group positions in Marawi City when one of its bombs landed 250 meters short of the intended target.

The ensuing blast rocked a nearby building housing friendly troops, tearing large chunks of the structure and hurling it on the sheltering soldiers, killing two and wounding 11 others.

As of Thursday, the number of Maute Group terrorists killed by the ongoing clearing operations have reached 392 with 45 civilians confirmed executed by the lawless elements along with 92 government security forces killed.

Rescued civilians still stand at 1,723 while the number of recovered Maute Group weapons are now at 497.

"The AFP is now reviewing and recalibrating its existing doctrines in order for the troops to adapt and respond to this evolving type of war," the defense chief pointed.

Lorenzana also admitted that retaking the very last positions of the Maute-ISIS in Marawi City is proving to be a challenge as government troops are forced to operate with due consideration for the safety of civilians who are still trapped in the area against enemies who know no rules, who use hostages as human shields and children as frontline fighters.

"Our resolve to end the situation, however, has not wavered. In fact, we are now more determined than ever to finally eliminate these terrorists, and we will not stop until evil is vanquished, not only in Marawi City, but also in the whole of Mindanao," he added.

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