The United States military is now involved in the three-week siege against militants claiming ties to the Islamic State in the Philippines' Marawi City, Philippine officials said Saturday. U.S. troops "are not fighting. They are just providing technical support," said Lieutenant Colonel Jo-Ar Herrera, a representative of the Philippine army.
The U.S. embassy in Manila confirmed the military intervention but did not elaborate. "The United States is a proud ally of the Philippines, and we will continue to work with the Philippines to address shared threats to the peace and security of our countries," said an embassy statement.
This news comes one day after 13 Philippine marines were killed in the Marawi battle and follows "very friendly" conversations between President Trump and controversial Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who has encouraged extrajudicial killings of suspected drug dealers.