U.S., Philippines hold naval patrol to deter Islamist militants

Peace and Freedom

Reuters

Sat Jul 1, 2017 | 1:51am EDT

The United States and Philippine navies held a joint naval patrol on Saturday in dangerous southern Philippine waters, amid rising international concern about Islamist militancy and piracy in the region.

US Navy littoral combat ship USS Coronado joined a Philippine Navy frigate, BRP Alcaraz, in patrolling the Sulu Sea where numerous pirate attacks on commercial shipping have been made since 2015.

“Our at-sea operations with the Philippine Navy demonstrate our commitment to the alliance and deter piracy and illegal activities,” US Rear Admiral Don Gabrielson said in a statement issued by the US embassy in Manila.

There are international fears fighters sympathetic to Islamic State will cross maritime borders between Malaysia and Indonesia to join Muslim rebels who seized Marawi City in the southern Philippines five weeks ago.

About 300 militants, 82 security forces and 44 civilians have been killed in the…

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