Amidst the battles between the Philippines troops and Islamists gunmen, the "trilateral coordinated maritime patrol" was launched. Notably, the Islamic State group has occupied the Marawi City in the southern Philippine island.
According to Channel News Asia, the Philippine military has stated that few of the Islamist militants have pledged loyalty to Islamic State. Along with them, some foreign fighters have also mingled with evacuees in order to flee during the battle for the Marawi City that has been going on for four long weeks.
Gatot Nurmantyo, the Indonesian militant chief, has said that there are approximately 500-600 terrorists in the region, out of which 257 have already been killed, ABS-CBN reported. The rest of terrorists are trying their best to mingle with the refugees to flee the area. The tragic situation of Philippine has also drawn the concern of the neighboring countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia.
Moreover, Colonel Didik Krisyanto, the head of Tarakan air base, has said that three Sukhoi fighters have been deployed by Indonesia to help the security and prevent the militants from fleeing towards Indonesia. Along with it, the country has also inaugurated a maritime command center in Tarakan.
The maritime command centers will coordinate with the patrols and the information gathered in the patrols will be shared through the setups present in Tawau in Malaysia and Bongao in Philippine. Military Chief Nurmantyo has said that the command centers will function like a spider web and all the happenings within the triangle will be watched with close surveillance.
The local people of Indonesia have also been asked to report any suspicious people in the area to the Indonesian Naval Authorities. To prevent the militants from crossing the border, a police mobile brigade has been sent to northern Sulawesi. Notably, this trilateral naval patrols is the first strong sign of cooperation against terror groups present in the region.