US Air Force to send 2,000 troops to the Philippines for anti-drug exercise
- by admin
US Army General James Amos says the US military will send two battalions of soldiers to the Philippine island of Mindanao to participate in the anti-narcotics exercise, the first time the United States will send troops to Mindanaan.
Amos said that his troops would be sent to Mindnao “to conduct training, to assist in the provision of assistance to local authorities, to provide logistics and to assist the Philippine Armed Forces in the implementation of a drug task force.”
The exercise is expected to last four days.
Mindanaans have expressed concern about drug trafficking, but Duterte has said he will allow the military to operate freely on Mindanaoan territory.
A Reuters report cited a government official as saying that the Philippine military will not allow drug dealers to run amok in the city of Mindaya, a major city in Mindanaon, a province in the north.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, Amos said he hoped the military could contribute to the drug-free zones in Minday, which is home to about 1 million people.
“The United States and our Philippine allies will do all we can to help make this happen,” Amos said.
Amos, a former commander of U.S. Pacific Command, has said that the Philippines has a strong anti-trafficking capability and will not hesitate to use military force to stop drug dealers.
The U.N. has said it is concerned about the impact the exercise will have on the region.
The Philippines has been hit by a series of deadly drug-related incidents since Duterte assumed office in June, when more than 100 people died in a spate of drug-fuelled attacks.
In recent weeks, the government has blamed the violence on drug traffickers.
US Army General James Amos says the US military will send two battalions of soldiers to the Philippine island of…
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