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Sunday, June 11, 2017

Duterte says Philippines didn't ask for U.S. help in city seige

Cagayan De Oro City, Philippines -- President Rodrigo Duterte said on Sunday that he didn't ask for our help to end the siege of a southern town held by, wait for it . . . Islamic extremists. This came one day after the U.S. said we are providing assistance at the request of the government.

Kind of sounds like Gloria Borger of CNN regarding Comey's testimony.

Duterte told a news conference in Cagayan de Oro City, about 60 miles from the besieged town of Marawi City, that he "never approached America" for help.

But the U.S. is just so nice, we helped him anyway I suppose.

When asked by the media about our support to fight the pro-Islamic State militants in Marawi City on the island of Mindaneo, the murderous Duterte  claimed he was "not aware of that until they [the U.S.] arrived."

You may remember Duterte as the man who gave drug dealers and users "flying lessons" out of helicopters at several thousand feet. Sadly, none of his students could fly.

Since coming into power last year, the U.S.-Philippine relationship has deteriorated and the pock-marked Duterte vowed to eject U.S. military trainers and advisers from the Philippines.

It's possible that the pro-American military went over Duterte's head in seeking our help, or he's simply lying.

According to the Philippine military, the U.S. is providing technical assistance but we have "no boots on the ground." This confirms a statement from the U.S. embassy in Manila saying the support had been requested by the government.

Marawi was seized on May 23 by hundreds of local and foreign fighters which has been cause for alarm by Southeast Asian countries. They fear the Islamic State is fighting to establish a stronghold on Mindanao that could threaten the region.

Currently, the U.S. has between 300 to 500 additional troops in the Philippines to support regular training and activities. While we don't have permanent presence there, for years we've kept between 50 to 100 special forces troops there on rotational exercise.

When IS overran Marawi, Duterte declared martial law and said that he has authority under martial law over the defense department.

While he didn't admit his armed forces went over his head to seek help, he admitted that "our soldiers are pro-American, that I cannot deny."

Since Saturday the number of security forces killed in battle for Marawi stood at 58 along with 20 civilians killed. Since the fighting began, over 100 have been killed overall.

About 200 jihadists are holed up in a corner of the town where 500 to 1,000 civilians are trapped, some being held as human shields by the scumcrumpets. Others remain hiding in their homes without electricity, food or water.

The military is aiming to end the siege by Monday, Philippine Independence Day.

The fireworks are already prepared.