Philippine soldiers on a street in Marawi (Source: AFV/VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – The US Special Operation Forces are assisting the Philippine military in operations against the Islamist militants, the US Embassy in Manila confirmed on June 10.

The Philippines military spokesman said the US forces are just providing technical support, not fighting the militants, who now still control part of Marawi city.

The US deployed their special operation soldiers to Mindanao in 2002 to train and advise Philippine units fighting Abu Sayyaf militants. The programme was discontinued in 2015 but a small presence remained for logistics and technical support.

According to the Philippines military spokesman, additional 13 Philippine marines died during the battle with the Islamist fighters in Marawi.

As of May 23, 58 Philippine soldiers were killed since the extreme Islamist militants entered the city.

According to the Philippine Government, at least 138 Islamist militants were killed. The combats also claimed the lives of 20 residents. -VNA