Philippine President thanks US for helping fight IS hinh anh 1Philippine army in Marawi (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has expressed thanks to the US government for helping Manila fight pro-Islamic State (IS) group militants in the southern city of Marawi.

Speaking to local residents in the central town of Balangiga on September 29, Duterte said the US deployed a P-3 Orion spy plane and provided other intelligence inputs to the Philippine forces trying to retake the city in fighting which has left more than 900 people dead since May.

He said without the US’s help, the Philippines would be having a hard time.

Relations between the two allies – the US and the Philippines have worsened since Duterte took office in June 2016. He previously announced separation from the US and called for removing presence of foreign armies within two years in the country, adding that military exercises are more beneficial to the US than the Philippines.-VNA