The US Provides Philippines New Weapons Following Duterte Complains Receiving used’ Military Equipment.
Rodrigo Duterte, who took office last May 30, 2016, has looked for to loosen the Philippines’ ties with the United States while building closer relationships with China and Russia.
The United States on Monday gave the Philippines hundreds of machine guns, pistols and grenade launchers, which in turn a local commander stated will be used versus Islamist militants fighting troops in a Southern City.
The firearms, including machine guns capable of firing thousands of rounds a minute, were turned over at a ceremony in Manila that highlighted a decade-old American counter-terrorism assistance programme to the Philippines well worth about $150 million.
” This equipment will enhance the (Philippine Marines’) counterterrorism capabilities, and help protect (troops) actively engaged in counterterrorism operations in the southern Philippines,” a US embassy statement said.
Philippine Marines chief Major General Emmanuel Salamat mentioned at the ceremony troops would definitely use the weapons in the on-going fight over Islamist militants in the southern city of Marawi.
Militants flying black Islamic State (IS) group flags rampaged through Marawi nearly two weeks ago, triggering encounter troops and police which have left behind at least 178 people dead.
In response to the violence, President Rodrigo Duterte rapidly proclaimed martial law in the southern region of Mindanao to overpower what he said was a fast-growing threat from IS there.
The Philippines and the United States have for years been close allies, and also they are bound by a 1951 mutual defense treaty to defend one another if invaded.
The United States is the Philippines’ largest supplier of military hardware and arms.
Duterte, who took office last year, has sought to loosen the Philippines’ ties with the United States while forging closer relations with China and Russia.
Duterte has asked for the drawback of American troops off his country while downsizing joint military exercises in response to US critical remarks of his fatal war on drugs.
He has looked to China and Russia as new resources of weapons and grumbled regarding the quality of “second-hand” American military hardware.
“I will not accept any more military equipment that is second hand. The ones the Americans are giving, I do not want that anymore,” Duterte said on Friday.
The equipment handed over on Monday was actually all new, as mentioned by US officers at the ceremony.
It included four M134D Gatling-style machine guns, which is capable of hitting thousands of shots a minute, along with 300 M4 attacks rifles and 100 grenade launchers.
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