CLARK, Philippines – The top U.S. diplomat in the Philippines says the U.S. detected no credible reports of human rights violations by the Philippine armed forces and police during their five-month campaign to oust Islamist militants from the southern city of Marawi.
Ambassador Sung Y. Kim told a small group of American reporters Tuesday that the U.S. military provided surveillance aircraft and other equipment to help monitor and assess the militants' positions during the campaign. He said this assistance was critical to the successful outcome.
Kim said the extent of the militants' infiltration of Marawi was a surprise to both the U.S. and Philippine governments. They overran the city in May, setting off alarms in Southeast Asia and the West because of their affiliation with the Islamic State group.