ADF to assist Philippines in fight against IS

ADF to assist Philippines in fight against IS
An AP-3C Orion from the Royal Australian Air Force during Exercise Kakadu 2016.

The Australian government has announced it is working with the government of the Philippines to support the fight against terrorism in the the region, offering spy planes to help fight Islamic State (IS).

Minister for Defence Senator Marise Payne said the government of the Philippines has accepted an Australian offer of two Australian Defence Force AP-3C Orion aircraft to provide surveillance support to the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

The aircraft is fitted with a variety of sensors, including digital multi-mode radar, electronic support measures, electro-optics detectors (infra-red and visual), magnetic anomaly detectors, friend or foe identification systems and acoustic detectors.

The government said Australia condemns the attacks by IS-inspired groups in Marawi City – located in north-west Mindanao of the Philippines.

"The regional threat from terrorism, in particular from Daesh and foreign fighters, is a direct threat to Australia and our interests. Australia will continue to work with our partners in south-east Asia to counter it," Minister Payne said.

"I recently spoke with my counterpart Secretary of Defense Delfin Lorenzana about how Australia can assist the Philippines in its fight against extremists. We agreed the best way to defeat terrorism in our region is for us to work together."

The move comes one month after more than 500 militants stormed the city of Marawi. At least 20 civilians have been killed.

It is believed almost the entire population of Marawi, which is 200,000, have fled. Military are now using fighter jets and helicopters in attempt to blast militants out.  

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