Philippine troops arrive in Singapore for urban warfare training for two weeks

40 Philippine soldiers are in Singapore for training to build on their expertise in urban warfare. PHOTO: FACEBOOK/NG ENG HEN

SINGAPORE - Two months after the Philippine Army declared victory over Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants in the southern city of Marawi, 40 Philippine soldiers are in Singapore for training to build on their expertise in urban warfare.

SAF soldiers would also benefit from the two-week professional exchange programme between the Philippine Army and the Singapore Armed Forces, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen wrote in a Facebook post on Monday (Dec4).

The Philippine troops would be training at the Murai Urban Training Facility, in Lim Chu Kang from Monday (Dec 4) to Dec 15.

Emphasising the need for Asean countries to work together to combat regional terrorism, Dr Ng wrote: "If extremists gain a foothold in any country around us, they will launch attacks against all Asean cities - that is the key lesson in dealing with Al-Qaeda and ISIS. These groups can be defeated, but we will be stronger and that much more effective if we do it together,"

Dr Ng added: "The professional exchange is mutually beneficial to SAF soldiers who would also be able to learn from their counter-terrorism fight in Marawi."

The previous bilateral exchange between the two armed forces took place in 1996.

On Oct 17, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte declared that Marawi had finally been liberated, after more than four months of intense conflict triggered by an all-out assault by ISIS militants on the major city on the southern island of Mindanao. More than 1,000 people were estimated to have been killed and more than 400,000 others displaced by the fighting.

In August this year, the SAF delivered humanitarian supplies to those affected by the Marawi conflict. The supplies were donated by the SAF and the Singapore Red Cross.

Singapore had also offered drones and its urban warfare training facilities to help Philippine troops in the fight against Muslim militants.

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