CLARK, Philippines — The last militants in the city of Marawi, Philippines, were declared “finished” on Monday, ending a five-month siege that raised worry of the group gaining a foothold in Southeast Asia.
The Philippines’ defense secretary, Delfin Lorenzana, said the defeat of pro-Islamic State group militants in Marawi helps prevent the spread of extremism in Asia. Some of the militants were from other countries, including Malaysia.
He made the declaration after the last group of gunmen were found dead.
Defense News and Military Times have been covering the situation in the Philippines and offering analysis surrounding the Islamic State group’s presence in the region:
Local media covering the fighting between troops belonging to the Armed Forces of the Philippines or AFP and militants in the city of Marawi on Mindanao Island have photographed an AeroVironment RQ-20 Puma Unmanned Aerial Vehicle being operated by Western personnel near the battle, as well as a Lockheed-Martin P-3C Orion circling the city on separate occasions.
Southeast Asia's jihadis who fought by the hundreds for the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria now have a different battle closer to home in the southern Philippines. It's a scenario raising significant alarm in Washington.