The Maute and Abu Sayyaf terrorists holed up in Marawi City will now have to trade bullets with “Rambos” from the United States Army Special Forces.
The Special Forces has become synonymous with John Rambo, the fictional retired Special Forces operative played in the blockbuster film series Rambo by Sylvester Stalone. A Vietnam War veteran, Rambo is skilled in many aspects of survival, weaponry, hand-to-hand combat and guerrilla warfare
The US embassy in Manila said the Special Forces are now supporting Filipino soldiers in the ongoing fierce combat with the terrorists who attacked and occupied parts of the capital city of Lanao del Sur in Mindanao on May 22.
After 21 days of fierce firefights with the terrorists linked to the Islamic State (IS), more than 100 of the militants are holding fort in buildings with civilian hostages as human shields.
Tens of thousands of residents have fled the city since fighting began. About 2,000 people are trapped in the war zones.
The Rambos are expected to see more action today, Sunday, June 11, in the firefights in the heart of Marawi that military vowed to be terrorist-free by Monday, when the country celebrates Independence Day..
The military reported that 138 terrorists have been killed since fighting began, with the government losing 58 soldiers. The civilian death toll is at least 20 people killed.
On Friday, the military suffered its biggest single-day loss with 13 soldiers killed and about 40 Marines wounded in the street-to-street, house-to-house gun battles that lasted more than 14 hours, media reports said.
The military was expected to launch today its biggest and final assault against the terrorists entrenched in bomb-proof tunnels and large buildings fortified by high-powered armaments like anti-tank weapons.
About ten percent of the predominantly Muslim city is still under the control of the terrorists, the military said.
The US embassy on Friday said American forces were providing assistance to the Filipino troops. The embassy did not detail the kind of assistance extended,
“At the request of the government of the Philippines, US special operations forces are assisting the with ongoing operations in Marawi,” the embassy said in a statement.