While more experts and analysts are predicting that another round of terror attacks through urban warfare can strike anytime, the Australian Defense Force (ADF) is expected to deploy 800 military trainers to train Philippine soldiers to prevent an urban warfare similar to what happened in Marawi City.
This announcement came two days after the Philippine authorities claimed that the war in Marawi just ended and the Islamic city is now under military control.
Australian Defence Minister Marise Payne told Australian journalists that the military training the ADF would provide will train members of the Philippine Army Scout Rangers and Marines in different military facilities in the Philippines.
The Philippine Marines and the Army Scout Rangers were deployed in the battles that successfully killed two terror leaders in Marawi Omar Maute and Isnilon Hapilon. Thus, with their expertise, they will be on the priority list to get the ADF advanced urban warfare training.
"The exercises will involve "a long range of skills related to combat in urban setting that will counter brutal tactics being deployed by terrorists.," Payne added.
The Philippine soldiers struggled to fight close to 1,000 heavily armed terrorists who stormed Marawi City on May 23. The battle took almost five months and claimed the lives of at least 160 soldiers. The military claimed that the Marawi battle was the bloodiest urban warfare in Philippine history.
When asked why it took that long to end the Marawi battle, Philippine military officials claimed their soldiers do not have enough training in urban warfare because they are more experienced fighting in the jungles against insurgents. With these lapses, Australia will heavily invest in urban warfare training to prevent similar Marawi attacks.
Australia was also instrumental in ending the Marawi battle when it offered its two P-2 Orion surveillance planes to monitor the movements of terrorists in Marawi. Australia has been helping the Philippines to suppress the growing terror in the country because of its geographical adjacency to Australia.
Australia is known for its counterterrorism models that thwarted many possible terror attacks in its major cities. It has also been joining ASEAN defence and security meetings to enrich regional strategies to counter terror.