Pressing need for snipers noted in Marawi conflict

Pressing need for snipers noted in Marawi conflict


MANILA — There is a pressing need for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to train and deploy more snipers.

This is one of the apparent lessons learned in the ongoing clearing operations in Marawi City which is now on its 100th day, Joint Task Force Ranao deputy commander, Col. Romeo Brawner said Wednesday.

Brawner said most of the fighting in the city was conducted by snipers from the Maute group and military side.

“Because of the urban setting of the conflict, (there are lot of structures where snipers can take cover) and fighting is mostly done by snipers from both sides,” Brawner said in Filipino.

Snipers are specialized troops trained to operate in front or back of an enemy force and are tasked to shoot down strategic targets like leadership, communications and counter-sniping units.

There is a pressing need to train more snipers as the military does not have that many of these specialized shooters in its rosters, he said.

Earlier, the AFP announced that there is an immediate need for military units to undergo training in urban warfare in wake of the ongoing Marawi City crisis.

It also admitted that Filipino troops are more attuned to fighting in the jungle due to its long history of operating against insurgents and lawless elements.

Meanwhile, AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said the entire military is calling for continued support for all Filipino soldiers fighting in Marawi City.

“Today, the 30th of August 2017 marks the 100th day of the Battle for Marawi. The AFP calls upon all our citizens from all walks and whatever faith to continue to manifest their support for our troops and unceasingly pray for an early resolution of this conflict,” he added.

Fighting in the city started after government troops tried to arrest Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon and his cohorts last May 23.

“Our troops are doing their best and working overtime to end hostilities with the hope of rescuing the remaining hostages and expediting the road to normalcy of the City of Marawi. We owe it to each and every peace loving Filipino to liberate Marawi at the soonest possible time from the clutches of the remaining terrorists who continue to defy our laws,” Padilla said.

While the conflict is very unfortunate, the AFP spokesperson is confident that it will make the country and its people much stronger.

“Unfortunate as this event is, we are confident that we will, as a country and as a people, rise up stronger! Together we will be better, we will be stronger and soar again,” he added.