Philippine soldiers in an outskirt of Marawi in southern Mindanao island (Photo: AFP/VNA)
 

Kuala Lumpur (VNA) – Malaysia is ready to help the Philippines fight against terrorism on the southern island of Mindanao, said a Malaysian official.

The offer was made by Malaysian Minister of Defence Hishammuddin Hussein in a telephone call with his Philippine counterpart Delfin Negrillo Lorenzana.

The Malaysian official affirmed that his country will not bow down the threats of the Islamic State (IS) and will continue working closely with members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to ensure that the IS’s desire to set foot and rule the region fails.

He added that military and security forces of Malaysia will deploy measures to ensure that IS militants cannot enter the country.

After a trilateral joint maritime patrol in Celebes and Sulu seas two weeks ago, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines will set up a trilateral air patrol, which will be launched at the Subang air base in Malaysia’s Selangor state, Hussein said. 

[Indonesia, Philippines launch joint patrol to tackle IS threat]

The Southeast Asian region has been on alert after pro-IS gunmen attacked Marawi city on Mindanao island on May 25. Since then, nearly 400 people were killed while over 200,000 residents have fled their home. 

The Marawi siege has raised concern that the militants are trying to build a stronghold in Mindanao island, threatening the region’s security.-VNA