The Pentagon is reportedly mulling plans to conduct airstrikes against ISIS terrorist targets in the Philippines.
A recent surge of terrorist networks affiliated to Islamic State of (ISIS), including an ongoing assault on the southern city of Marawi, has caused alarm in the Philippines and neighbouring countries that Islamic State could establish a regional southeast Asian hub even as it declines in the Middle East.
The authority to strike ISIS targets as part of a strategy of collective defence could become part of a military operation that may be named as early as Tuesday, two defence officials told NBC News.
The strikes would likely be conducted by armed drones, a strategy already used across the Middle East, Pakistan and Afghanistan, and one which has a controversial record over allegations of civilian casualties.
If the Pentagon plan is approved, the US military would be able to conduct strikes against the ISIS groups the Philippines forces are currently battling in the country’s southern islands.