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Marawi siege forced PH military to reacquire lost fighting skills



The five-month battle to retake Marawi City from the clutches of Maute-ISIS Group terrorists showed that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has to relearn its former skills like fighting in urban terrain.

This was disclosed by Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana in interview aired Tuesday by the ABS-CBN News Channel.

The interview took place in Singapore on the sidelines of the 17th Shangri-La Dialogue on June 1-3.

"(Previous) lessons we learned in urban area (fighting), which was a skill we used to have but lost along the way because we don't use it (to train) people on what we call the military operations in urbanized terrain, we never use it, so we stop teaching people until Marawi has come so now we have to reacquire that skill plus the necessary equipment that goes with it," Lorenzana lamented.

A total of 168 soldiers and police officers were killed in the bloody fighting, which started May 23, 2017 and ended on October of that year.

An estimated 1,000 Maute-ISIS Group terrorists, including then ISIS emir in Southeast Asia, Isnilon Hapilon, and Maute co-founder, Omar Maute, were killed in the government offensive.

Priam Nepomuceno / PNA