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ASEAN leaders pledge support to counter IS influence in the region

  • As per reports, Shangri-La Dialogue, the annual regional security forum of ASEAN countries in Singapore, has just concluded with a commitment from all participating leaders to raise security cooperation in fighting IS influence from further spreading in the region.

    The leaders pledge to step up joint patrolling of the Sulu Sea, using drones and other surveillance equipment, to block entry and exit routes for Islamic militants from Indonesia and Malaysia, from moving to Mindanao in South Philippines.

    Philippines has been fighting Islamic group Abu Sayyaf for years and has recently launched a major military operation to flush out armed militants from Marawi City. Since Indonesia is home to the world’s largest Muslim population and Malaysia is a Muslim majority state, both have sections of people that sympathetic to the IS cause in the Middle East. Many from these sections are now believed to have entered Philippines to support the Islamic fighters there.

    U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis who attended the conference has pledged U.S. support in all security initiatives taken by the ASAEAN nations.