What gets on the front pages of most newspapers are events which are the most bloody and closest to home. A third element, at least for the US newspapers, is some American must be involved.
For this reason, Mosul and Raqqa may get some notice, but the conflicts in Tora Bora and Marawi are no where to be found. By the way, in case you are totally lost, this is about active fighting against ISIL involving the US military in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and the Philippines. Yes, the US is involved in the ISIS attack in the Philippines.
Marawi City in the Philippines was a vibrant city of 200,000 residents, but now it is a ghost town, according to the New York Times. The fighting has been going on since May 23, 2017. The US Special Forces are providing “security assistance and training” and not involved in combat. They are stationed within Camp Ranao, near Marawi. The brave Philippine military is doing the fighting.
I suspect the bullet lodged in throat of the Adam Harvey, reporter from ABC, Australia, will spark a bit of attention to this fight.
One would think that the President Duterte would be very appreciative that the US is using its technology, particularly the P3 Orion spy planes, to help pinpoint air strikes and minimize civilian casualties. Instead, he said on Sunday, that he never approached America for help and was unaware of American military assistance in Marawi.
Marawi is a long distance from Manila, but Duterte seems even further away, oblivious to anything but radical action against drug traffickers. Donald Trump could help the situation by sending the Philippine president a copy of the New York Times. Not likely.
ISIS, I’m afraid, is on the prowl for the next city to seize. Everyone expects a major advance in Indonesia, but towns in Malaysia are also a hot spot for attacks.
ISIL is not a Middle East problem, at least not now. The land grabs and control of cities have occurred in the Middle East, Asian and Africa. The terrorist attacks are obviously worldwide. I am in strong support of an increased role for the US, and as we step up our assistance, the leaders of these countries need to recognize and appreciate our assistance. We used to think that the US could at least dominate the air war, in any conflict. Recent reports from Raqqa indicate ISIL are using drone attacks against its attackers. So, it is critical to step up the conflict with anti drone weapons.
Adam Harvey tweeted that he was lucky and will recover. I hope his luck continues. I hope Felipe Villamor and other NYT reporters such as Richard Paddock continue their invaluable services in Marawi. Wikipedia is also to be commended for keeping a chronology of events (see links).