Making true to Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief-of-Staff General Eduardo Año’s order to bring all the best troops and war-fighting equipment to Mindanao for fight against terrorism, the Philippine Air Force, with its newly acquired FA-50PH “Fighting Eagle” jets, have conducted airstrike in Butig, Lanao Del Sur midnight between Wednesday and Thursday, 25th and 26th.
Attack helicopters of the Air Force also joined the operation. Troops then conducted ground operation after the airstrike.
“The terror groups are reported to have sustained a major casualty with a number of them dead or seriously wounded after a midnight surgical air strike and a well-directed and observed artillery rounds accurately landing in the identified locations of the terror groups,” AFP spokesperson Colonel Edgard Arevalo said.
“They are now cautiously advancing to their designated objectives – the location of ASG leader Isnilon Hamilon, his select group, and the Brothers Abdullah, Omar, and Otto Maute, and possibly other foreigners joining their notorious group,” Colonel Arevalo. “We will await the validated details of the results of this operation as soon as we get confirmations from our troops now on the ground.”
Philippine military and defense community said Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) senior leader Isnilon Hapilon is in Lanao Del Sur to establish a “wilayat” or an Islamic State.
“We know he is there so we are conducting operations against them in Lanao Del Sur, near the Butig area, just beside Lake Lanao, we’ve have been there before with the President sometimes last November or December, so we continue to operate against the ASG,” Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Thursday. with PNA
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