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Philippines President Duterte visits battlefield after Grand Mosque liberated from ISIS

Duterte even fired a gun in the direction of known terrorist hideouts.

Philippines armed forces have liberated the Grand Mosque of Marawi from ISIS control. Marawi is the city on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao that has been besieged by ISIS troops since 23 May of 2017. Recapturing the Grand Mosque is widely considered to be an important symbolic move which demonstrates that Philippine armed forces are taking back control of important landmarks in the city from the hands of the terrorists.

Shortly after the Mosque’s liberation, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte visited troops on the front line, wearing full combat gear.

 

Duterte, who retains an approval rating of 82% according to recent polls, spoke privately with the troops for over an hour and personally handing them gifts of special food packs and wristwatches.

During his public remarks in front of the troops, Duterte stated,

“I will be happy to die for my country. I need to be with you to show my solidarity.

I am not ready to talk peace at this time because I’ve lost many soldiers and policemen. We have to end it the way it should be, and as I said in my earlier pronouncement, we will not stop until the last terrorist is neutralised, that’s what I said and that will be the objective, the ultimate objective of the Armed Forces of the Philippines”.

The President stated that he, “even tried a sniper rifle and fired twice towards the direction of the terrorists”.

This was Duterte’s third official visit to Marawi since the beginning of the ISIS led conflict. His visit which was well received was said to have boosted troop morale.

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