The new Philippine president has blamed U.S. intervention for the bloody conflicts in Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries in his latest critical remark against Manila's closest security ally.

President Rodrigo Duterte suggested in a speech to Muslims on Friday that U.S. policy was to blame for terrorist attacks on its soil, saying, "It is not that the Middle East is exporting terrorism to America, America imported terrorism."

Duterte says the U.S.-led invasion in Iraq, which was backed by Britain, led to Saddam Hussein's downfall but caused the oil-rich nation to descend into bloody strife, adding that America's action had no legal basis.

Duterte describes himself as a leftist president and has declared he would chart a foreign policy not dependent on the United States.