For all intents and purposes the siege of Marawi City is at an end with the Philippine government and its armed forces emerging the victor. After more than 100 days and with more than 500 of the ISIS inspired Maute rebels, as well as other rebel bandits, already dead as a result of the relentless offensive of the Philippine military the end is already in sight and the glimmer of hope for peace to once more reign in that troubled part of the country has found new strength.
It is by no means an easy task for the soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines to simply retake and occupy the whole of Marawi City considering the resiliency shown by these rebel bandits comprising elements from the Maute group and the Abu Sayaff group, with their snipers and improvised explosive devises (IEDs) which they continue to use effectively against government troops. But make no mistake, the AFP is gradually and inexorably inching closer to the center of the main battle area where the bandits are holed up, and if not for the hostages that they have taken captive then the end would have come sooner.
While the battle to take back Marawi from the clutches of these maute militants continue from day to day, there is a looming possibility that what happened was actually an experiment of sorts, conducted by these IS inspired radical muslim militants in order to determine whether they can establish a so called “Wilaya” or province of the ISIS caliphate in the SouthEast Asian region given that the bulk of the ISIS is being booted out in other parts of the world where they have established their bases such as Raqqa in Syria and Mosul in Northern Iraq. It would also appear that the Maute and Abu Sayaff militants that invaded Marawi City had another purpose and that is to gain recognition and acknowledgment for what they believe they had accomplished by temporarily occupying a vital piece of territory in Mindanao and for at least several months able to successfully repel efforts by the AFP to reclaim the city.
It may not be too farfetched to presume that what has happened and is continuing to happen, in Marawi City is being closely watch and observed by other IS militant groups in the desire to have this replicated in other countries in the region. That is why there is an urgency for the AFP and the Philippine government not only to decisively put an end to the Marawi siege but to triple their efforts in enforcing security measures around Mindanao, particularly those areas where there is a continuing presence of armed radical Muslim groups such as in Basilan, in order to not only dissuade these radical elements from launching any kind of violence in the area but at the same time prevent those IS inspired militants into thinking that they can attempt another take-over of any other of piece of territory in Mindanao.
Since these radical militants seem to have no concern for the welfare of other people or even their fellow Muslims, and no concern whatsoever whether they live or die then the job of the AFP should be made much easier in putting to an end their lives and the atrocities that they have committed in the name of their god which is most definitely not Allah.
Happy 6th Anniversary to this wonderful newspaper! This writer was part of its early beginnings and I’m proud to say that it has come a long and challenging way in its travel to earn a niche in the competitive world of the information age. Kudos to our publisher and to all the staff for all the hard work and untiring commitment to make Amianan Balita Ngayon what it is today. Congratulations!