Maute recruitment reduced to a crawl
The Armed Forces of the Philippines on Wednesday bared that recruitment of the Islamic State (is)-inspired Maute group significantly slowed down after some of its members have surrendered.
In a statement, Joint Task Force Ranao spokesman Col. Romeo Brawner Jr. said the Maute group’s recruitment activities had been reduced due to intensified military operations in various areas of Mindanao.
On Monday, an IS-inspired terrorist leader belonging to the Ansar Al-Khilafah Philippines was killed following an encounter with government troops in Sarangani.
Brawner said at least 60 more Maute-IS remnants had surrendered in the past months due to sustained military operations to hunt and neutralize them.
“Certain conditions indicate that the enemy’s recruitment has significantly slowed down following the surrender of Maute-IS remnants,” Brawner said.
“According to those who surrendered, most of the Maute remnants have been isolated and lost their will to fight following the series of military operations conducted by the 103rd Brigade in Lanao del Sur.”
Early this year, the military had claimed the Maute group resumed recruitment of new members in various parts of Mindanao in preparation for another siege. Despite this, Brawner said the government’s security forces are ready to thwart any possible attack.
In October last year, government forces liberated Marawi City from IS-inspired Maute terrorists after five months of clashes. The entire Mindanao was placed under martial law when the fighting broke out on 23 May.
President Rodrigo Duterte and security analysts said the Islamic militants were trying to establish a Southeast Asian caliphate in Marawi.
The ensuing US-backed military campaign to evict the Maute terrorists claimed more than 1,000 lives, displaced 400,000 residents and left large parts of Marawi in ruins.
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