The United States provided the Philippines with a weapons system worth $18 million on November 23. Manila said that the weapons accepted would be used to fight against the remnants of the extremist organization Islamic State (ISIS) on Mindanao.
November 23, the Philippine Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on its official website that on the same day, Philippine Foreign Minister Teodoro Losin and American National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien held an equipment donation ceremony at the headquarters of the Philippine Foreign Office. During the ceremony, the United States handed over the Tao anti-tank missile and a batch of aerial bombs to the Philippines.
At the ceremony, the Philippine Foreign Minister said that the Philippine government was pleased to receive a donation from the United States, which would help the Philippines fight against the remnants of ISIS in the Far East. At the same time, he stressed that the aid was a promise made by US President Trump to Philippine President Duterte in a conference call in April.
According to the Philippine Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the weapons donated by the United States this time include 24 MK-82 aerial bombs, 100 “Tao” anti-tank missiles and 12 “Tao” anti-tank missile launch systems and other related weapons maintenance equipment.
At the ceremony, the U.S. National Security Adviser said that the United States has always attached importance to the “align relationship” between the United States and Philippines, and the United States hopes that the arms and equipment aided will help the Philippines protect civilians on Mindanao and combat the remnants of ISIS in East Asia.
Although the donated weapons are mainly used to fight against ISIS, the United States still does not forget to talk about China. U.S. National Security Adviser O’Brien “reminds” the Philippine government that he hoped that the countries around the South China Sea would abide by international law, especially “a big country”.
In addition, he reiterated the previous statement made by U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo on the situation in the South China Sea and said that any attack on Philippine troops in the South China Sea would apply to the United States-Philippine Common Defense Treaty.
Since 2015, ISIS terrorist organizations have infiltrated many islands in the Philippines, and the Philippines has been suppressing terrorist organizations in its territory. In 2017, the Philippines also launched the “Malawi Street War” on Mindanao. In the battle, the Philippine military killed nearly 1,000 terrorists.