MANILA — Victory through air power.
This is the ace the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is using in a bid to eliminate Maute terrorists from Marawi City, Lanao Del Sur at the fastest possible time and without causing collateral damage to civilians still in the area.
Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla, AFP spokesperson, said on Saturday that surgical air strikes was the best way to do this as the terrorists were hiding and holding out inside private homes, government buildings and other facilities.
“Their refusal to surrender is holding the city captive. Hence, it is now increasingly becoming necessary to use more surgical air strikes to clear the city and to bring this rebellion to a quicker end,” he said in a text message to PNA.
And while not giving specific on what type of aircraft are being used for these operations, the AFP is known to operate MG-520 and AW-109 attack helicopters along with OV-10 and SF-260 light bombers in the region for counter-terror and anti-insurgency strikes.
“We desire to free Marawi City of these evil forces and make way for a peaceful Ramadhan for our citizens there who have supported our efforts. We appeal for everyones understanding as we take the necessary steps to accomplish our mission and prevent the lost of more innocent lives and damage to private and public property,” Padilla said. PRIAM NEPOMUCENO/PNA-northboundasia.com