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Philippine Special Forces Celebrate Victory Over ISIS With An 8-Minute Brag Video
In late October, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) declared victory over the ISIS-inspired Maute group after a five-month pitched battle left more than 1,000 dead in the sprawling city of Marawi. The siege, which prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to declare martial law and the Pentagon to deploy an unidentified detachment of special operations forces, finally culminated with the deaths of two top terror leaders. Now, more than a month later, the AFP’s own elite forces are taking a victory lap.
On Nov. 28, the AFP’s Special Operations Command published an eight-minute sizzle reel detailing the rise of the ISIS-inspired groups and AFP special forces’ months-long struggle to expel them from the city:
We’ve had to sit through plenty of disconcerting (if informative) ISIS propaganda videos as the terror group made its last gasps in its former Iraqi and Syrian and strongholds of Mosul and Raqqa, so the AFP clip is pretty sweet, even if it’s a highly produced state public relations product.
At the same time, there’s one thing worth noticing in this video: the non-presence of the many U.S. special operations forces deployed to the Philippines — ostensibly to provide “technical support” against Islamist groups. It’s possible that American commandos are present in the footage and simply dressed out like their Philippine counterparts rather than in distinctive U.S. uniforms; they’ve done that before, with the black kit worn by the Iraqi military’s elite Counter Terrorism Service’s “Golden Division,” which the American operators assisted during the battle for Mosul last March.
There’s no footage of the deployed U.S. SOCOM forces in DVIDs, the military’s public affairs imagery database … nor would you expect there to be; perhaps American special operators remained quiet professionals while deployed in the Philippines, even in someone else’s touchdown dance.
The Pentagon has identified the two soldiers were killed in combat in Afghanistan on Wednesday as members of U.S. Army Special Forces.
Master Sgt. Luis F. DeLeon-Figueroa, 31, and Master Sgt. Jose J. Gonzalez, 35, both died in Faryab Province from wounds sustained from small arms fire, the Pentagon said in a press release. The incident is under investigation.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hinted on Thursday of possible Israeli involvement in attacks against Iranian-linked targets in Iraq.
A series of blasts in the past few weeks have hit weapon depots and bases belonging to paramilitary groups in Iraq, many of them backed by Israel's regional foe Iran. The groups blamed the United States and Israel for the blasts on Wednesday.
President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday that will make it easier for permanently disabled veterans to have their student loan debt forgiven.
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Navy Secretary Richard Spencer has expanded a review of the Judge Advocate General Corps to include the Marine Corps, a Navy spokesman said on Thursday.
"There is value in applying this review and its subsequent recommendations across the Department of the Navy," Cmdr. Jereal Dorsey told Task & Purpose. "The review's purpose is to confirm the uniformed legal community is structurally and organizationally sound and best supporting the good order and discipline our integrated naval force."