ISIS militants from Southeast Asia who are fighting in the Middle East are expected to return home to their respective ASEAN countries once the war in Syria and Iraq are over.
This was the forecast made by Australia Defence Minister, Marise Payne, who repeatedly warned that ISIS fighters, who have developed a more extreme ideology, will return to Southeast Asia from the Middle East and might take up arms against their governments.
Payne also warned that the ISIS fighters, who are equipped with battle field skills, returning to the region are frustrated and thus governments in the region should be aware of this.
Marise met with Pentagon Chief Jim Mattis and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson during the Australian-US ministerial summit held in Sydney.
The Indonesia defence minister earlier warned that Philippines now has 1,200 ISIS inspired operatives and the Filipino soldiers have an ongoing battle with around 400 ISIS-inspired militants in Marawi City in the Southern Philippines. If left unattended, the return of more ISIS-inspired militants will augment the number of existing militants in the Philippines and Southeast Asia.
Paye further reported that since the rise of ISIS in the region, they have thwarted at least 12 terror attacks since 2014 and around 60 suspects have been charged in court.
The Australia government also expressed apprehension of the return of ISIS fighters to the region because of Australia's proximity to Southeast Asia.
The Southern Philippines has deployed thousands of soldiers to battle with 400 ISIS- inspired militants in Marawi City in the Southern Philippines.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines have launched airstrikes on militants position while 2,000 civilians were reported trapped in the crossfire.
The ongoing battle which started two weeks ago claimed at least 175 lives and death toll could still be counting.
The Philippines government also sought the assistance of Russia and China to provide the Philippines precision-guided missiles to be used against rising militants.