Australia to send troops to help Philippines fight Islamist militants hinh anh 1Australia’s Defence Minister Marise Payne. (​Source: AFP/VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) –Australia will send troops to assist the Philippines in the ongoing battle against Islamic State (IS) fighters in the southern city of Marawi, Australia’s Defence Minister Marise Payne said on September 8.

Small contingents of Australian soldiers will be sent to train Philippine troops, Payne said during a press conference with her Philippine counterpart, Delfin Lorenzana in Manila.

Australia is committed to supporting the Philippines in its efforts to defend itself against terrorist threats facing the region, she said, calling for joint efforts to defeat these threats.

A spokesman of Payne said further details of the training contingent would be determined in coming days.

However, no Australian troops will be actively involved in the fighting, Minister Lorenza said, applauding Australia’s assistance.

On August 29, at a meeting with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop talked about Australia’s proposals to support Philippine troops.

The IS militants have swept through Marawi city on the southern island of Mindanao since May 23, killing more than 800 people  and displacing more than 500,000 others.

Given this, President Duterte has extended martial law on the Mindanao island until the end of this year to make it easier for security forces to fight the terrorists.-VNA