Nations launch anti-militant sea patrols

Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia have launched joint patrols in the seas around their 3 countries amid growing threats from Islamic militant groups.

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The joint operations come as Philippine forces have been battling fighters loyal to the Islamic State group on the southern island of Mindanao for nearly 4 weeks.

About 40 Indonesians are confirmed to have crossed the sea to join the fighters.

Nations launch anti-militant sea patrols (NHK)

The maritime patrols were launched from the Indonesian city of Tarakan in northern Borneo on Monday. The 3 countries’ defense ministers stressed the need for close cooperation.

Indonesian Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu said maintaining safety in the oceans of Asia is the duty and responsibility of these nations’ leaders, and no one else. He added that the 3 countries will show that they can manage their own safety and sovereignty.

Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said the 3 countries will send a clear message to the Islamic State militants that they will not let the group get within even an inch of their seas.

The Philippine government has warned that the Islamic State group is looking for a land base in the region to compensate for its loss of territory in Syria and Iraq. Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines are seen as potential targets.

Source and image: NHK
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