The Philippines’ military vows no letup in hunting down and destroying extremist groups loyal to IS, saying Marawi City would be retaken within days after the pivotal killing of two top rebel commanders.
Samantha Vadas reports.
A pivotal moment for the Philippine military.
Officials vowing to retake the southern city of Marawi from ISIS-linked rebels within days after troops killed two top insurgent commanders on Monday (October 16).
ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES SPOKESPERSON, RESTITUTO PADILLA, SAYING: "This has begun and signaled the ultimate defeat of the enemy inside."
The military says the two leaders were killed in an early morning raid after a freed hostage gave away their location.
The pair have been central to regrouping, re-arming and recruiting militants.
And while terrorism experts describe their deaths as a "tremendous setback" to IS loyalists, the mission is seen as a turning point for the Philippine Army, which has been criticised for its slow progress in taking back Marawi since rebels laid siege to it five months ago.
More than 1000 people have been killed in the fighting, which has become the country's biggest internal security crisis in years.
The army chief says the operation is a triumph of good over evil and urged the 30 militants left in the shrinking combat zone to surrender and free hostages, as local troops step up their fight.