The conflict between the Philippines forces and the ISIS fighters has misplaced many citizens in the city of Marawi. It’s been like this for a month, since ISIS-aligned fighters stormed the northern Mindanao city of Marawi, capturing key government buildings and setting fire to churches and schools.
Around 330 causalities have been reported and many injured. The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) have made some grounds in the past few days by slowly taking back territory in the city, but there are the fighters who still cling to a handful of inner city neighborhoods, despite a sustained and indiscriminate campaign of government airstrikes reducing much of the city to rubble.
ISIS has killed at least 66 Philippines soldiers and wounded hundreds more since the conflict began. It’s the highest military death toll in recent Philippines history.
ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in 2016 named Hapilon, a wiry extremist in his early 50’s as the emir of Southeast Asia. He managed to group all the extremist under the black banner of the ISIS.
The Marawi operation represents the first time these forces have banded together to fight under the ISIS flag. Residents are fleeing Marawi with horror scene of many dead bodies.